I provide design services to companies and nonprofits, from research to prototyping to visual design.
I can build my own designs (or yours) with the latest and greatest web dev tools – and time-tested ones.
If you tell me your business goals, I can offer design & development consultancy tailored towards getting you there.
You can hire me. I’m especially interested in projects involving climate change, privacy, media, and human rights.
I call New England and California home, by way of Arizona, Ohio, Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts, England, and Manitoba. I’m currently in Connecticut.
You can subscribe to my newsletter at tinyletter.com/zda.
As lead developer of the web team at Apportable, Zach took on numerous responsibilities, including design, project management, and writing tons of code. He effectively handled our constantly changing priorities and put a lot of energy into mentoring other engineers on the web team. He works hard and communicates extremely well. I would love to have an opportunity to work with him again.
Zach joined Meedan to fill a short-term front-end designer/developer position. His role was primarily to assist our lead designer with product design tasks, and also to translate those designs to HTML/CSS. But quickly, Zach carved for himself a place in the dev team by coding the React components directly instead of plain HTML, much to our delight. I came to rely on him to act as the dev team's main design contact point, and to steer design thinking towards feasible and standards-based implementation.
Zach also displayed much diligence with integration and browser testing, by refactoring our testing code and optimizing it. We were so happy with Zach's performance that we hired him for a second contract period. We heartily recommend him for front-end work, both on design and development sides.
If you already have designs and just need them implemented, I can take care of that. I notice the small details and can translate them accurately – to pixel-perfect if necessary.
Good design is the foundation of a successful product, and it starts with understanding your users and customers. My approach is influenced by the Stanford d.school’s Design Thinking, which involves structured exercises to help generate empathy and insight.
I prefer design projects where I also get to build (or help build) the product, because it’s not uncommon for a design to be lost in translation during the handoff to engineering. Plus, rapid design/dev iteration more often leads to success than waterfall handoffs to begin with.
My favorite roles involve being embedded in both design/product and engineering teams, where I can help each understand the other’s work.
Although I’m often hired for pure design and development roles, I see both as just means to higher ends – like increasing conversions, or achieving a nonprofit mission. If you show me a graph of a metric you want to go ‘up and to the right’, I can provide advice and/or services focused on making it happen with the tools I know.