What I do
I help make computer programs and websites easier to use. I started as a programmer (see Work History) but now prefer to focus exclusively on UI (user interface) design. As a UI designer I do four different kinds of work: Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Usability Testing, and Graphic Design.
Information Architecture
The secret of a successful interface is user-centered design. This means starting with the needs of your users (not your programmers), understanding your audience, defining their task precisely, getting the concepts clear, choosing the right words, mapping the shortest path, and cutting away all unneccesary distractions and "features". All of this should be done before coding begins. If the purpose of a website or program is not clear from the outset, or is not completely focused on the needs of its intended users, no amount of pretty graphics can save it. Designing before you code can also save enormous amounts of time and money.
Interaction Design
Once you have a blueprint of your website or program, with a general description of each page or screen, the next step is to actually lay out all the buttons and fields and labels in a way users can quickly grasp. This is harder than most people realize. Unless great care is taken, users can easily take a wrong turn, or miss a critical piece of information, or enter the wrong value. Word choice is critical. Each element must be presented in the right order. The user should always feel in control.
Usability Testing
There is simply no way to know whether or not your interface works without testing it on living, breathing human beings. Fortunately, this can be done quickly and cheaply. The basic technique is to put a typical user in front of your prototype (or even a paper sketch of your prototype), give her a task, and then keep your mouth shut and just watch what happens. Usability testing is fun and always full of surprises. It should be repeated at every stage of product development.
Graphic Design
Graphic design is about much more than pretty pictures. Correct font choice and layout guides the eye along the right path and helps make everything easier to find and use. The judicious use of icons and graphic elements helps set a tone and speeds comprehension. A UI style guide may be helpful in promoting consistency, which in turn reduces the amount of time users must spend learning a new interface. A good working knowledge of compression and bandwidth issues can boost overall performance.

Questions? Contact me.