About Me

About Me

I’ve focused my career on delivering products that work for your entire user base, through inclusive design and in-depth research. I’ve managed small teams previously and in my free time I mentor students and junior UXers. I love the constant creativity and curiosity of a well-running team and am fortunate to lead one at MRS.

Outside of work, I focus on UX education and community building. I teach undergraduate and graduate classes at Milwaukee School of Engineering, conduct workshops and speak at conferences. In 2017, I founded the Milwaukee area group Brew City UX.

“Ash is hands down one of the best UX professionals I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Her thought leadership, creativity, wit, pre-sales engineering, and hard work expedited sales cycles and challenged my clients mindset on how to align UX to their critical business issues.”

Managing Philosophy

As a manager, my best work doesn’t come from me, it comes from my team. Successful and profitable products are created by inspired teams who are enabled to do their best work.

As someone in UX, it’s critical to be empathetic, curious and supportive — both in your work and within your teams. I adapt my communication, feedback and general management style based on the organization and members within my team. No two employees are alike, so they shouldn’t be managed the exact same way.

Things that help me manage:

  • A skills progression matrix that the team helped to create and are excited to use
  • Strong social network of fellow directors and managers to get feedback on my own performance
  • Headspace or a similar app
  • A healthy love of custom Slack emojis

“In just a few months she proved to be an amazing addition to our group and indispensable advisor for me personally.”

Teaching

I am an Adjunct at Milwaukee School of Engineering and previously served on the UX Department’s Industry Advisory Committee.

  • Helped create the User Experience Degree
  • Designed several brand new classes
  • Teach 3-5 undergraduate and graduate courses per year
  • Serve as ongoing mentor to current and previous students

Post-its used to set up class flow for MSOE's UX Program Creating the class flow for the UX Program

Psychology of Design

This class was completely designed by me.

This course will introduce students to concepts of psychology and their application to digital design. Students will learn the basics of cognitive psychology, including concepts of perception, attention, memory, problem solving, reasoning, reading, and decision making. Students will also be introduced to some social aspects of digital behaviors, including persuasion, fear, motivation, and needs. The course will culminate in a final project or report where students demonstrate their understanding of design psychology.

Data Visualization

This class was designed by me for graduate level students.

Within this course, students learn how to visualize data to support effective decision making. Students will learn how to create visualizations and dashboards for a variety of audiences. Special attention will be paid to “telling the story” of the data in the context of a business decision/scenario. Students will learn how to evaluate the appropriate human-analytics interfaces to best support communication and interpretation of results at all organizational levels. 

Digital Portfolio

Digital portfolios are a commonly used way to express professional identity and are critical for entry into many careers. The course helps students highlight their existing work produced during the course of their studies in the UXCD program. Students will analyze and create a digital portfolio to showcase their individual skills and work. Students are expected to organize their portfolio by the core UX competencies and a specialization, if applicable. The main goal of the portfolio is to display the breadth (variety) and depth (responsibility) in each of your projects. The class will help students to build their unique personal narrative and apply it to resumes, job descriptions, elevator pitches and culminate in the creation of their portfolio.

Creative Thinking

The subject seeks a deeper understanding of the creative process by examining the nature of creativity and various competing and complimentary theories which seek to explain the nature of creativity and its origins. The course provides instruction beyond the scientific method and traditional problem solving, aiming for greater fluency in generating ideas, increased sensitivity to problems, greater intellectual flexibility, and the gaining of a broader range of new insights through an enhanced openness to experience.

“Exceedingly dedicated, Professor Dzick would make a full-stop to mentor or assist anyone with academic needs in and outside the classroom. Her motivation and passion for the UX industry sparked confidence and excitement in myself and many other students about our prospects for the future.”

Past Events

I’ve spoken at local and regional conferences about UX Design, Research and Accessibility. After the pandemic, my goal is to speak at an international conference.

Conferences and Meetups I’ve spoken at:

  • ACT-W Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • Brew City UX (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Cream City Code (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Fall Experiment (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Milwaukee JS (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Milwaukee UX (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Open Source North (Minneapolis, MN)
  • That Conference (Wisconsin Dells, WI)
  • UX Camp (Brookfield, WI)
  • WiLS World (Madison, WI)

“Hey! Just watched your talk on modern data viz at THAT conference (no pun intended!) Very nicely presented!”