Client: Truss, KBase
Dates: June 2020 – January 2021
Skills/Subjects: , , , , , ,
URL: https://www.kbase.us

I led research for and co-designed critical new functionality to the Department of Energy’s Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase), allowing biologists and bioinformaticians in national labs, universities, and companies to better analyze data for genomics and bioenergy research, especially for metagenome analysis.

Truss was hired primarily to improve product management, design, and agile software development best practices among KBase’s engineers, scientists, and educators. We did that by co-creating an improved workflow for users to upload files and a more stable and broadly usable batch analysis tool. We also created an initial digital design system for both the Joint Genomics Institute (JGI) and KBase based on their existing print style guides and the US Web Design System. This was taken further in subsequent Truss contracts with JGI.

I focused primarily on generative and evaluative research, while my design partner Mallory Robertson focused on UI design. We both traded off and complemented each other on tasks, so those weren’t exclusive roles, while working very closely and quite cheerfully with our product and engineering partners on both Truss and KBase sides. It was possibly my most favorite team dynamic ever.