I’m a veteran design director specializing in user experience, platform architecture, and editorial design
I work at ProPublica, a non-profit investigative newsroom, where I lead a design practice that supports and extends our award-winning journalism.
I have directed projects recognized by the Pulitzer Prizes, the Online News Association, the Society for News Design, PDN, the Society of Illustrators, AI-AP, and have served as a judge for both American Illustration and American Photography. I’ve also been a Pulitzer finalist and the recipient of a Communication Award from the National Academies, as well as cited in several industry books, including Designing the Editorial Experience by Sue Apfelbaum and Juliette Cezzar, and Art Direction for the Web by Andy Clarke.
Previously, I was an independent consultant working with the likes of Birchbox, Nomad Editions, Novartis, Signpost, Thomson Reuters, and Qualcomm. Before that, I led the interactive design team at BusinessWeek, and helped build some of the first web-based textbooks at Pearson Education. I’ve also been a staff columnist for A List Apart magazine and a member of Readability’s board of advisors.
Oh, and it’s pronounced “slate.”
Here and Thereabouts
Highlights from other writing, appearances, and recognitions.
- A good overview from the Society’s publication Nightingale , featuring thoughts from myself and several other industry figures.
- Two newsroom projects I worked on have been recognized by the Pulitzer Prizes.
- Discussing art direction in the newsroom with Andy Clark.
- Back on the Big Web Show podcast, talking about an approach to story design that’s more like product design and less like traditional layout work.
- The ProPublica staff picks up 35 Awards of Excellence, including one for our redesign.
- How do newsrooms brand themselves in an era when platforms remove their fonts, art, and layout?
- Full video of a talk explaining how we use Jekyll to design custom layouts and story packages at ProPublica.
- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recognizes ProPublica’s Killing the Colorado team.
- Honored to be named a Pulitzer Finalist alongside Abrahm Lustgarten, Al Shaw, Jeff Larson, and Naveena Sadasivam for our work on ProPublica’s Killing the Colorado series.
- ProPublica’s first-ever illustration award, and a Society medal no less.
- Defining “editorial experience design.”
- A panel discussion at Columbia Journalism School with myself, BuzzFeed’s Stacy-Marie Ishmael, and McClatchy’s Damon Kiewsow about building mobile-savvy newsroom teams.
- A wide-ranging discussion on the RWD podcast with Ethan Marcotte and Karen McGrane about how ProPublica approaches responsive web design.
- Comparing the two very different paths ProPublica and the New York Times are taking in pioneering user experience research in the newsroom.
- How a news design award went wrong, and what we can learn from it.
- My contribution to Nieman’s annual ‘Predictions for Journalism’ series.
- A discussion with ProPublica’s assistant managing editor—and new colleague—Scott Klein about building better design practices for journalism.
- An interview with Nieman Journalism Lab about taking on the new role of ProPublica’s first design director.
- Full video of my conference talk discussing the past, present, and future of publishing.
- Two decades after the arrival of the web the search for durable, profitable business models for publishing continues.
- A chat with web standards legend Jeffrey Zeldman about the intersection of publishing and technology, magazine apps, and why piracy is an opportunity for publishers.
- A brief interview about work tools.
- Some thoughts on explaining the ins and outs of the craft to clients and co-workers, preparing for meetings, and presenting well.
This site is built with Jekyll. Body text is set in Signifier and Founders Grotesk by Klim Type Foundry, and the Stuntbox wordmark is set in Deming EP by Mike Fortress. Icons are sourced from the Ionicons library. And yes, unless otherwise noted, I really did shoot all the photographs you see on this site. If you’d like to use one for something, drop me a line. No stealing, please. Life’s better when we all play fair.