Hello! My name is Amanda Krauss.

What I Do

I’m sometime programmer, oft-times researcher, and full-time leader. I’m happiest when helping teams to make thoughtful decisions about what we choose build and how we choose to build it. If you need to put me somewhere in the UX diagram, I think I’m at the tech and product edges of UX (at least currently.) I don’t really care what we call it, to be honest  — more on that here — but I do care about making strategic, ethical decisions and measuring success in appropriate ways. If you’d like to see a a full résumé, please visit my LinkedIn profile.

Lead

As Christina Wodtke noted, “Being a good manager is 90% having a series of difficult conversations.” I’m good at those, and also good at inspiring folks to do their best work towards a common goal. It doesn’t hurt that I used to be a professor; I’m research-driven, a good public speaker, and I love the challenge of bringing different stakeholders to consensus (or at least to “disagree and commit”).

Strategize

Before you worry about technology stacks, you need to be clear about your project goals and your definition of success. Let’s focus on the problems you’re trying to solve, rather than choosing technical solutions first. And when it comes time to choose the solution, we won’t jump for the shiniest new product on the block.

Promote Best Practices

Best practices are the organizational equivalent of using a third-party library instead of writing everything yourself — not the only way to do things, but a useful way to get started. When thinking about accessibility, for example, there is tons of stuff already written about how to make code better. Similarly, with ethics, no one is going to have to write a whole new philosophy themselves, believe me. When talking about developing products, “best practices” means (to me): data-informed decisions, human-centered development, and cross-functional design and development processes. And yes, sometimes it’s hard to hear honest feedback from the people you think you’re serving — but it’s essential. Otherwise, you might be trying to solve the wrong problem.

Writing