XDS Employee Spotlight – Fall 2020 Edition

With staff more than doubling(!) since our last spotlight post, we’ve been long overdue to feature our newest (some not even really new anymore :)) employees. From User Experience Designers to web developers, producers, SEO/SEM strategists and more, we’ve got quite a few staff members to include. Let’s get to it.

 

Chen Reichert, Designer
Chen Reichert
Q: If you had to use an animal to describe your role at XDS, what animal would that be and why?
A: A party parrot. My designs are bold and colorful and when I get excited I like to dance.

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?
A: After working independently for several years, I got tired of talking to myself and joined this fun team! Talented people and varied projects make me glad I did!

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?
A: In 2018 I collaborated with a group of artists, nurses, and doctors to create a commissioned installation piece called The Center for Adult Swaddling.

Q: What’s your superpower?
A: Singing karaoke sober.

Q: What advice do you have for prospective XDS candidates?
A: Enjoy what you work on, be open to growing and learning, and study up on 90’s movie and song references.

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
A: Teaching English to kids and adults in the Japanese countryside on the JET Programme.

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?
A:

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?
A: Publish a graphic novel and befriend a sloth.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “Ever make mistakes in life? Let’s make them birds. Yeah, they’re birds now.” – Bob Ross

 

Ashley King, Web Developer
Ashley
Q: If you had to use an animal to describe your role at XDS, what animal would that be and why?
A: My role is a lot like a worker bee: I’m always busy working with my coworkers toward a bigger goal for our company and for the companies of our customers.

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?
A: I really liked the company’s vision and it seemed like a supportive place for learning new skills.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?
A: My favorite projects are always the ones in which I get to reinvent a company’s web presence from the ground up. I love the before and after transformations.

Q: What’s your superpower?
A: Empathy. It helps me to see the big picture of most problems.

Q: What advice do you have for prospective XDS candidates?
A: Ask lots of questions and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Everyone is here to help you succeed.

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
A: I’m also a licensed occupational therapist. During my first job in Miami, our clinic collaborated with an organization that cared for apes that could not exist in the wild. One of my little patients was a baby orangutan named Millie who was born with developmental disabilities.

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?
A: Singles

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?
A: I don’t believe in bucket lists. If I want to do something, I make it happen.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “The only way around is through” (Robert Frost)

 

Yi Zeng, Associate Digital Producer
Yi Digital Producer
Q: If you had to use an animal to describe your role at XDS, what animal would that be and why?
A: I would describe my role at XDS as a worker bee because they work tirelessly to make sure the hive is functioning properly.

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?
A: I chose to work at XDS because … 1) I wanted to work at a company that has a clear goal and purpose, 2) I wanted to work at a small company where I can make a great impact, 3) I wanted to work at a startup that encourages growth, and 4) I wanted to work at a company where it is okay for employees to make mistakes and learn from them.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?
A: To be determined!

Q: What’s your superpower?
A: I can eat super spicy food

Q: What advice do you have for prospective XDS candidates?
A: Be honest, be thorough, and be proactive.

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
A: I worked at an asparagus farm in New Zealand

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?
A: Clueless

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?
A: Learn how to scuba dive & swim with whales, and live in a self-converted van and travel to different state parks across the US

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: Just Do It.

 

Hannah Strayline, Associate Experience Designer
Hannah UX Designer
Q: If you had to use an animal to describe your role at XDS, what animal would that be and why?
A: A cute, fluffy little bumble bee, floating between tasks as needed and working hard to help them grow to their full potential!

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?
A: Working for smaller companies has that close knit family feel and there’s more opportunity to learn new skills you wouldn’t have otherwise thought to pick up.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?
A: Redesigning the menus for a Korean restaurant in Philly’s Chinatown. There’s something very satisfying about getting to see your designs in use every day, and I’m proud of the Chinese translations I did for the menu. It features English, Korean, and Chinese descriptions to better serve the demographics using them.

Q: What’s your superpower?
A: Being dyslexic has taught me to have a near photographic memory.

Q: What advice do you have for prospective XDS candidates?
A: Bring passion with your skills and be ready to use them on unique challenges to create compelling solutions!

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
A: I used to work at a women’s shelter. Legally, I can’t talk about a lot of what I did there behind the scenes, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. The women I met there taught me a lot about the kinds of hands people are dealt in life and to always be open minded about others’ situations. I got to teach, learn about counseling, and help women and children find better opportunities away from their troubled situations.

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?
A: Probably Mulan, seeing as I was 3 when it came out in 1998, haha! I wouldn’t know much about 90s movies.

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?
A: Live in Berlin for a year and get certified to scuba dive.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes.” – Maggie Kuhn

 

Deborah Smith, Experience Designer
Deborah Smith
Q: If you had to use an animal to describe your role at XDS, what animal would that be and why?
A: A quarter horse, as I need the stamina and agility to hop between projects in a flash.

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?
A: A close friend recommended the company to me as she has a great experience with XDS. Always nice to know there are good people in a team you’re going to join.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?
A: I really enjoyed working on a Service Design project for High Speed Rail (HS2). I studied current passenger experience and offered recommendations that were taken to Parliament. (former Minister) David Cameron read my study highlights to the House of Lords.

Q: What’s your superpower?
A: Empathy for the user and solid understanding of their needs.

Q: What advice do you have for prospective XDS candidates?
A: I’d simply say let your experience shine, show your personality and be open to new challenges.

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
A: While working at Snagajob.com as a Lead Product Designer, I designed a new Job Application product that helped people apply to jobs who had little to no experience. I used Product Discovery to study users and listen to their pains while applying for work. This was a huge insight and I became an expert in Service Industry job applications. I was luckily enough to work alongside the Lead Engineer, Lead QA and Project Manager in weekly sprints.

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?
A: The Matrix

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?
A: 1)Ride Akhal Teke horses in Turkmenistan, and 2)Finish my novel on my USA cross country road trip

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from.” – Jodie Foster

 

Sarah Polega, Engagement Strategist
Sarah - Engagement Strategist SEO SEM
Q: If you had to use an animal to describe your role at XDS, what animal would that be and why?
A: A monkey – always finding new tools to get the job done.

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?
A: Speaking with both Shai and Doug gave me the confidence that I’d be working with a team who enjoyed a face-paced atmosphere and knew their stuff. The ability to grow as a digital marketer, constantly learning new platforms and optimization tactics, was also a big plus. Not to mention my friend Tiffany already worked here; always raving about the awesome neediness of the crew.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?
A: I created a company magazine completed content pieces, directed the design team and took care of print/distribution while working in Detroit, Michigan.

Q: What’s your superpower?
A: Dog whisperer. My girl Rosie is the most perfectly behaved Rotti you’ll ever meet.

Q: What advice do you have for prospective XDS candidates?
A: Be your uniquely nerdy self when interviewing and throw out some Star Wars references when possible if you’re talking to Doug 🙂

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
A: I worked as a bartender in Paracas, Peru one summer in college!

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?
A: Do I have to choose?

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?
A: Go in Hot Air Ballooning in Kazakhstan and complete the 14 day Lord of the Rings hike in New Zealand.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “Lifting others as we climb.” -Mary Church Terrell

 

Luke Hoang, Web Developer
Luke Hoang
Q: If you had to use an animal to describe your role at XDS, what animal would that be and why?
A: I always want to be a hawk to get a larger perspective on the situation and stay as focused as possible.

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?
A: I believe that at XDS, I will have the opportunities for growth much faster and further on my career path. I can see that being proved by the great products that XDS has put out to the world in the past years. Because data never lies.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?
A: That will be a web-application that I’ve built for Nail Salon businesses to manage the appointments virtually. This is a one-man show, and I’ve failed so many times on this project. But those are the success fails.

Q: What’s your superpower?
A: I can eat spicy, really spicy.

Q: What advice do you have for prospective XDS candidates?
A: If you don’t want to learn new things, and just want an easy job to get by your days. This will not be the right place for you. Because at XDS, every day will be different, and you will have to step out of that comfort zone and upgrade yourself.

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
A: I’ve been working as a Lead wedding videographer for almost 7 years.

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?
A: I’ve grown up in Asia, so if I have to talk about what movie I like, I really like Dynasty Warriors.

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?
A: A road trip from East to West America and to see the Northern Lights.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “Do what you love, and you will never work another day in your life.”

 

Sara Coren, Experience Analyst
Sara C - Experience Analyst
Q: If you had to use an animal to describe your role at XDS, what animal would that be and why?
A: I’d probably say that I’m most like an eagle- seeing the big picture, but also zooming in on all of those small details.

Q: Why did you choose to work at XDS?
A: I chose to work at XDS because I really value working as part of a team that offers opportunities for growth and collaboration.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on in your professional career?
A: I helped a nonprofit client redesign and redevelop their website last year. It was a great experience to be a part of the project from beginning to end and very rewarding (for both myself and the client) when we launched the new site and shared it with their users.

Q: What’s your superpower?
A: Thinking outside of the box and finding creative solutions to unusual problems!

Q: What advice do you have for prospective XDS candidates?
A: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s often the best way to learn 🙂

Q: Before working at XDS, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
A: I taught 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade in NYC and CT for 8 years. Kids really do say the darnedest things!

Q: What’s your favorite 90s movie?
A: I’m definitely an 80s girl, so I’m gonna have to go with The Goonies here.

Q: What are the top 2 things on your bucket list?
A: The top 2 things on my bucket list at the moment would have to be to build an awesome office treehouse in my backyard and to travel around Japan.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “The only source of knowledge is experience.” -Einstein

About XDS

Created with the purpose of providing big agency services without all the rigidness and overhead, The Experience Design Studio is a full-service East Coast based Digital Agency that focuses on customer experience solutions in the health and wellness industry.

With strategy at our core, XDS make our client’s tools and technology easy to use, engaging, and effective by looking at the complete customer experience – analyzing every touchpoint with the core focus of understanding how real people, patients, doctors, mothers, fathers, payers – interact with an experience.

XDS has offices in Ambler, PA, Charleston, SC, and Atlanta GA. Learn more about the services and solutions we offer.