Sift is a user experience consulting firm led by Samantha Bailey. My approach to user research and design is collaborative and pragmatic. For the past five years I’ve partnered with other talented designers and student interns from Kent State University’s Information Architecture & Knowledge Management program to provide a full suite of user experience design services including heuristic evaluation, user research, information architecture, interaction design, and usability testing. Our goal is to create highly functional, information rich digital environments that work well for both customers and producers of content.
Samantha Bailey, Lead Consultant
Samantha Bailey is a highly skilled leader with over fifteen years of experience in a variety of user-centered design environments. As the first employee at Argus Associates, I was there when Lou and Peter wrote the Polar Bear book (also known as Information Architecture for the World Wide Web), which is another way of saying that I’ve been doing information architecture on the web since its inception!
I played an integral role in growing the IA practice at Argus from start up mode to mature practice. In my role as VP of Operations at Argus, I was responsible for the management and career development of 21 information architects and usability specialists.
As VP of Information Architecture during the First Union and Wachovia merger in 2001, I introduced a user-centered design methodology into the eCommerce organization. My team developed the information architecture for the new bank’s combined website serving four million online banking customers. After the launch of Wachovia.com we focused on continuous improvement of the website and utilized diverse methods including contextual inquiry, RITE (rapid iterative testing and evaluation) and FIDO (freehand interactive design offline) techniques in addition to traditional interface design methods. The success of the website contributed to Wachovia’s #1 rank on the American Customer Satisfaction Index 2001-2008.
In 2005 I was hired by Thomson West to lead the nascent usability practice for Westlaw, the premiere legal research product on the market. Westlaw’s user base of legal professionals includes the Department of Justice, IRS and the US Supreme Court. With nearly 3000 databases, our usability efforts focused heavily on search interface and search results design. During my tenure at Westlaw I supervised a quantitative eye tracking study for a Westlaw information product that led to design improvements generating a 10% increase in revenue for the product–which translated to four million dollars in additional revenue annually.