it all began in a small mining town in Nevada...

Born in Nevada and raised in Colorado, I went East in my twenties to live the Big City life in Boston and NYC. A decade later, I returned to Colorado with a renewed appreciation for the beauty of the Western mountains and plains and a more relaxed, outdoor-oriented pace of life.

I came to product design later in my career, after curious explorations into craft beer sales, social media marketing, copywriting and UX content design. I’m inspired by vintage brands and logos, American traditional tattoos and Peter Saville/Factory Records.

I’m a dedicated climber, leisure camp skier, dog mom to two rescue pups and stepmom to two young humans, based in Denver, Colorado.

Melissa climbing Into the Light, a boulder problem in Clear Creek CanyonMelissa, their partner Jo, and their kids smiling from a mountain lakeMelissa, drink in hand, striking a pose and looking off into the distanceMelissa smiling from sunny Albuquerque, New MexicoMelissa holding Wren, her Aussie mix, as a three-month old puppyMelissa's dogs: Junie, a yellow Lab mix, and Wren, an Aussie mix

my values

idealistic

Just because it’s been done one way, doesn’t mean it can’t be better or done differently. I’m always looking for ways to improve my process and design skills, work better with cross-functional teams, and advocate for business and cultural practices that center our customers and employees.

curious

Continuous learning is one of the ways I stay engaged. I’ve committed at least 1-2 hours per week to pick up a new skill or program, or explore a topic I’m curious about. In the past year, for example, I’ve done courses and tutorials on UI design, illustration, logo design, merch design, Adobe XD, Figma and Webflow.

practical

There are many real factors into why something may not be able to be done as designed. I try to figure out how we can still improve the customer experience within those constraints. A small solution that can be implemented now can still make a difference until the bigger, better solution ships.

strategic

Success in design means figuring out what’s important first. Perhaps the natural outcome of being idealistic and practical, determining our strategy helps me stay on track as an individual contributor.

Melissa and their partner Jo posing together on a bridge at a friend's weddingMelissa's stepkids cuddling Junie, a yellow Lab mixMelissa and their partner Jo dressed as "Nite Owls" for Halloween, and their two kids dressed as Spiderwoman and Princess Leia

more kind words

“Melissa is an amazingly talented human who elevates the entire team. She's customer- and data-centric, continually asks thoughtful questions, and ensures that all use cases are considered. Her background in content strengthens her approach to UX, and she's skilled at collaborating/driving alignment with other designers, product/business owners, and stakeholders.”

Dave Chung
Haley Goldstein
Product Owner, Xero

“Melissa is a one-two punch of both content and UX design. Her ability to break down complex problems in a way that makes it easy to understand is a talent that not all designers have. She also did this while juggling all kinds of requirement changes and undecided stakeholders that were all over the map with direction. I'd jump at the opportunity to work with her again.”

Dave Chung
Joanna Matthews
Director, UX Monetization, Chegg