Rick started with Bluespark as the Sr. UX Designer before transitioning to Principal UX Designer and UX Director in 2015. As a UX designer by trade, Rick brings a thoughtful and strategic approach to leadership.
“To develop great user experiences, you must have empathy for your users,” Rick says. “You must take time to understand what people need and find innovative solutions to those problems. Leadership is very similar. You empathize with your clients. You empathize with your team. And you nurture a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive culture.”
It’s the focus on culture and strategy that drives Rick. "Culture is the foundation on which everything is built." He has been instrumental in creating an environment where everyone is respected for their expertise – where everyone has both the authority and the responsibility to make the decisions they need to make.
“In many ways, we are a community of experts and we are all empowered to act,” Rick says. “When you bring great people together, you don’t want to bog them down with unnecessary bureaucracy. Likewise, you don’t want them stepping all over each other’s toes. You need a system that defines clear roles and allows people to do what they do well.”
Rick is an integral part to every part of Bluespark from marketing to sales to design to implementation. "It's how I keep my finger on the pulse. I don't want the sugar coated version – I want to understand the reality so we can continue to evolve in the right, best ways – not based on some ideal of reality."
Still active in the UX community, Rick co-founded the Interaction Design Association, an international organization focused on the advancement and promotion of interaction design and, in 2006, served as President of TriUPA, a group committed to supporting usability and interaction design professionals in North Carolina’s Triangle area.
Rick and his wife, Gina, now live in central Illinois with their three children.