I really enjoyed my time at Fidelity. Our office was next to South Street Station in Boston, a fun location. Fidelity had a comprehensive UX operation, with separate groups dedicated to their different businesses. I mainly supported the B2B group. I would’ve stayed, but family matters necessitated my return to NY.
My boss, Joe Ranft, was great to work for. He has since left Fidelity, so if you’re in need of a Boston-based UX pro, he’s your man.
As a freelancer at Razorfish, I worked on a project for Ford designing an intranet site to help their global brand marketing teams collaborate more effectively. Being an avid wrench-turner, I very much enjoyed the assignment. At the time, Ford still had Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo under its corporate umbrella. As an enthusiast partial to hot hatches, however, I was more taken by the European Focus ST. Glad to see they're finally bringing it to the U.S.
GE’s Center for Financial Learning was my first project ever as an IA. I had just joined iXL, the agency whom GE hired for the job (if I recall correctly, GE was an early investor in iXL), and I was chosen as the lead IA because of my previous experience as an instructional designer. The project was run out of the NYC office, which in 1999 was a revolving door of young faces. iXL is long gone. The Center for Financial Learning is gone, too. Last I checked, GE is still around!
Marriott is probably the nicest company I’ve ever worked for, no doubt a reflection of Bill Marriott. His - and the company’s - motto is simple: treat your associates well and they, in turn, will treat your customers well and your customers will keep coming back.
Marriott encourages associates to give back to the community. Each Spring, a “Spirit To Serve” day is organized across the company worldwide. A nice touch and, again, a reflection of Mr. Marriott.
Merck’s research campus is located in Linden, NJ. My commute from Manhattan went like this: 6 train to Grand Central; Times Square Shuttle to 42nd Street; 1, 2, or 3 train to Penn Station; NJ Transit to Linden; walk or shuttle bus to Merck. Hmm, that actually doesn’t
sound so bad.
FYI for those who have ridden the NJ turnpike, the Joyce Kilmer rest stop at Exit 9 is named for a guy. Embarrassed to say, I only recently learned this.
I worked on two different projects for Pfizer, the first for their corporate training department in Rye Brook, NY, the second for their Animal Health group in the old Mobil Oil building on 42nd Street. As clients, the Animal Health folks were a joy to work for, and the training department folks were...hey, look at that squirrel!
By the way, it’s true what they say about Pfizer sales reps, they are a good-looking bunch.
Premier Warehousing was a good lesson in economics. The owners of the company saw how inefficiently trailer trucks were being loaded/unloaded at many warehouses in the U.S. and created a company that provides reliable labor, yard management and logistics services. Many of the day-workers they employ have less than a high school education, yet are able to make a good living. I think this is what Adam Smith had in mind when writing “The Wealth of Nations.”
I joined TheLadders to work for Jeff Gothelf, who had been hired as their first director of UX. I met Jeff a dozen years ago at iXL in Richmond, VA, and have admired his progression over the years
from lowly Jr-IA to Agile celebrity. If you ever meet him, ask about his dog, Chunks.
The best thing about TheLadders was its location in Soho, a block from the Ducati Triumph dealership. Ah, some day...
Standard & Poor’s main office is located on Water Street in lower Manhattan, an area of the city I‘ve always liked because of its proximity to the harbor.
Susan Moller, a former iXL colleague, hired me to help her design web apps for their credit analysts. I had never heard the term “structured finance” before, but quickly learned it was a big money-maker for S&P. We worked with their oil & gas analysts, so I can safely say I had no role in the mortgage debacle!
Crafted and launched September 2012