Even before graduating from Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology in Ontario, Canada with a degree in Advertising and Media Communications, Mark had several years of experience in visual design and art direction.
He continued to advance as a print and web designer with various companies, and soon moved into a management role as director of web services at an advertising agency.
He describes his transition from a visual design focus to user experience design as a natural evolution. “Partly it came out of necessity — as web projects became larger and more complex, there was a greater need to focus on strategy to control scope and cost. I was attracted to the thoughtfulness user experience brings to a project. I like thinking about user goals and aligning those with stakeholder and business objectives.”
In addition to his full-time agency job, Mark was asked by his alma mater to create a three-year web design & development course for Mohawk’s graphic design program. Because of the project's scope, Mark is particularly proud of the work he completed, which included lesson plans, quizzes, in-class presentations, in-class tutorials, assignments, projects, exams, videos, and training for more than 70 classes. Mark has also taught in the program for several years.
Mark reached a point, though, where he wanted a better balance between work and family life. When he found Bluespark, he saw an opportunity to achieve that balance. “I felt that I was wearing too many hats, and I wanted to focus on what I really like to do.” The user experience strategist position at Bluespark offered that, as well as the added benefit of working at home.
Outside of work, Mark enjoys traveling with his wife and two sons - a highlight of their adventures was backpacking through England and France in 2015. He loves soccer (Liverpool FC fan), a passion his family shares, and (of course) is a hockey fan, the hometown sport.
Mark has also volunteered as the marketing and advertising chair for the Relay for Life and as a board member on the Canadian Cancer Society Community Council. Currently, he resides on the Graphic Design Advisory Board for Mohawk College.
You can listen to Mark talk about Bluespark's process on this LibUX podcast: The UX and Library Web Development Process.