L o a d i n g

APEx Tool Suite

UI Design &
Design Communication
US NAVAIR (Navy Air)
2018-2021 Senior UX/UI Designer

2014-2018 Senior Developer

2012-2014 Quality Assurance

Upgrading and personalizing a suite of complex enterprise applications.

User Research
  • Personas
  • A/B Testing
  • User Interviews
  • Use Case Analysis
  • Priotiy Matrix
  • Workflow Diagrams
  • Technical Feasibility Research
  • Conceptual Architecture
User Interface Design
  • Design Systems
  • Wireframing
  • Advanced Prototyping
  • Front-end Development
  • Information Architecture
  • Solution Specification

*Disclaimer: Due to government security and NDA, I am not able to disclose details about the domain of this project.

Project Overview

  • Slow performance and loading times
  • Entering sophisticated data at scale
  • Finding specific records in 12+ years of archives
  • Analyzing data trends to support the warfighter
  • Streamlining efficiency of work
  • Simplify navigational flows & improve search
  • Reduce data entry workloads
  • Provide richer data visualizations
  • Enhance customization options
  • Multiple DoD contract renewals
  • Top-mark CPARS Scores
  • Increased user reliance on the product
  • Enthralled users that can get more done in a day with fewer roadblocks

An aging system of record

CTA is contracted with the US Navy to provide a suite of financial and project management applications. Our job was to help several naval departments gather, store, and analyze data so that they can efficiently produce some of our military's most innovative technologies. Hundreds of users interact with the application suite every day, each contributing their specialty to a multi-layered and complex PPBE process. Dozens of data types stream into the department from multiple external sources and are ultimately stored in our application as a record-of-truth, taking the users out of the depths of uncontrolled and often inaccurate Excel documents into a modern age of data entry and analysis with a kaleidascope of data visualizations to support decision making.


Why role-based personas?

The application supported hundreds of users with a diverse set of roles and responsibilities across the organization. Through all the individualized feedback we received, there were definite trends in pain points and data needs that were consistent amongst the users in certain job-roles.

how we operated

Lifecyle of a Change Request


Users provide feedback and/or we observe pain points


Product Manager drafts requirements


I ideate and present possible solutions to devs and Product Manager


I created high fidelity prototypes and wrote a technical plan for the solution


I presented the design specs to the development team

Doing the research

Product Increment Summits

As our company transitioned from a waterfall approach to agile, we adopted a quarterly release cadence. In between releases users would fly from California to Colorado Springs for several days of intensive research and planning.

These summits offered a rare time to engage with customers in-person, so we packed the schedule full of research and prioritization activities.

It was a chance to usability test features we just built and interview, journey map, analyze use cases, and iron out requirements for new requests.

Design Artifacts


Collected over the course of a decade, our team documented thousands of application requirements. These specifications communicated everything from use cases to form validation rules.

The requirements provided an reliable way for our internal test team to verify the application was working according to user & business needs. They also created a benchmark for consistency.

Additionally, they provided a valuable reference guide for features built years ago. Oftentimes we'd ask ourselves why we built things a certain way, and the requirements were an easy way to get answers.

While this level of detail goes against the Agile Manifesto's "working software over comprehensive documentation", we would have had a difficult time keeping tabs on all the nuance without this lifeline.

Problem Statement

Drafted from user requests after UX hypothesized the root cause.

Ideal Solution

Served as a boundary for ideation, narrowing our focus to achieve a desired MVP outcome.

Conceptual Architecture

A communication document for UX to propose top-contender ideas to our Product Manager and developers.

Solution Specification

A step-by-step guide for the developers to build the design, including a compilation of requirements and all relevant details to the user story.

This document was the final output I'd provide for a feature.

Measuring Outcomes

Quantitative Measurement

We recorded some data in production databases to monitor certain quantitative analytics like logins and CRUD operations.

We used this information to help prioritize features, determine usage of released features and diagnose production bugs.

However, due to security protocols we could not have any more traditional tools like heat-mapping and click tracking built into our application.

Qualitative Measurement
  • High Success - Positive user feedback and/or benchmarked performance improvements.
  • Average Success - Little to no user feedback, the users are back to "being busy". Audit data suggests frequent utilization.
  • Failure- Negative user feedback and/or requests to revert changes. Lack of database growth showed us minimal feature usage.

Tactics like usability testing and recorded observation were not an option.

Business Impacts

  • Founded UX/UI as a necessary role and solidified the value of design
  • Reduced developer rework by communicating details with developers
  • Fostered an enviornment to retain employees and reduce turnover
  • Reduced quantity of bugs by improving processes

User Impacts

  • Improved UI consistency and code maintainability
  • Auto-calculating worksheets reduced work time / cognitive load
  • Global search features helped users sift through 12+ years of historical data
  • Simplified navigation to increase efficiency
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User Interface Decisions