Ian McDowell

PO Box 1101,
Mount Shasta, CA 96067


Masters in Information Management and Systems, University of California, Berkeley, 2009-2011 - GPA 3.92
Winner of 2011 Chen Award for Outstanding Master's Project in Analysis of Information Systems

BA in Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, 2001-2005 - GPA 3.86, High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa

Software Projects - Additional projects and links available at http://www.squidproco.com/resume/

Salesforce.com Personas SiteA database-driven internal website showcasing personas developed by the user research team.EmployerHTML, CSS3, Javascript, & jQuery with Apex, Visualforce & Salesforce.com back-endSalesforce internal.
Demo video available on request
December 2011
AppKrakken DatabaseA programatically constructed database of iOS app price changes. Uses Apple's RSS feed and affiliate API. Exposes data through JSON API.Personal ProjectRuby on Rails.appkrakken.heroku.com

git repo

December 2011 (ongoing)
ListaculousA cloud task management applicationPersonal project with Ben CohenRuby on Rails w/OAuth, Javascript, jQuery, HTML & CSSlistaculo.usJuly 2011 (ongoing)
Documentation Portal PrototypeAn interactive documentation site prototype with searching, sorting, and filtering.EmployerHTML, CSS, JavascriptSalesforce internal.
Demo video available on request
August 2011
AppShopperSmarterA chrome user script for enhancing AppShopper.com. Auto-filters by rating, uses pulls in in-app purchase data from Apple, and pre-fetches multiple pages via Ajax.Personal ProjectJavascript & jQueryuserscripts.org

git repo

November 2011
CrosshatchAn application to push twitter posts to Facebook with markup. Uses the Twitter and Facebook APIs.Personal ProjectRuby on Rails w/OAuth, HTML & CSScrosshatch.heroku.com

git repo

June 2011
Conway's Game of LifeA web-app implementation of Conway's Game of Life. Includes drag-and-drop patterns and save/load.Personal ProjectJavascript, jQuery, HTML & CSS, Rails for saving statesgame-of-life.heroku.com

git repo

May 2011
Interactive PortfolioAn interactive site showcasing programming work I did during my Master's program at UC Berkeley.Personal/School ProjectJavascript, jQuery, HTML & CSSsquidproco.com/portfolio/

git repo

March 2011
CritterquestMy masters capstone project; a bio-feedback game for children using HeartMath's emWave ear sensorSchool ProjectUnity3D (Javascript), HearMath SDK (C).www.critterquest.orgMay 2011


Salesforce.com - (May 2010 - Current)

Usability Analyst - (July 2011 - Current)

Designed and conducted usability tests for documentation portal:
  1. Interaction Design: Worked with product manager to to define requirements, then crafted system to meet user needs.
  2. Prototyping: Converted wireframes to high fidelity interactive prototype built in HTML/CSS/Javascript and using the jQuery framework.
  3. Usability Testing: Evaluated the quality of interaction and ease of use by running usability tests with representative end-users.
  4. User Advocacy: Presented usability findings to product and engineering teams. Helped prioritize features to deliver the highest value to the user in the shortest time possible.

Results: Design and testing completed in under three weeks, initial launch to users scheduled for five months after start of project.

Additional work as Usability Analyst:

  • Designed and ran numerous usability tests evaluating different facets of the Salesforce.com administrator interface. Worked with product and engineering teams to ensure identified issues were fixed.
  • Collaborated with other designers to craft plan for next generation admin UI.
  • Conducted various user research activities, including interviews, contextual inquiries, and card sorting.
  • Coded sites and utilities, including database driven HTML/CSS site for distributing personas internally and a greasemonkey script for streamlining the creation of test instances of Salesforce.

Usability Analyst Intern - (May 2010 - January 2011)

Planned and conducted user research, interaction design, and usability testing for redesign of internal bug tracking tool.
Result: Designs and findings used as basis for product roadmap. 80% of recommended features implemented within one year.

Google - (September 2005 - April 2008)

Tools Engineer

Automated and obviated work of internal second-level support team by planning and executing the following project steps:
  • 1. Identify sources of escalations: Launched adaptation of tracking system developed as Online Operations Specialist. My analysis determined that most escalations resulted from insufficient administrator tools and lack of product knowledge among both administrators and end-users.
  • 2. Improve education and provide tools: Wrote PHP tools and Greasemonkey scripts to streamline or fully automate administrator functions whenever possible. Met regularly with engineering team to convey need for additional product features to support administrators and reduce need for second-level support. Built online troubleshooter and wrote content for end-users to help diagnose common problems, and to direct users to the nearest administrator when necessary.
  • 3. Train administrators and educate users: Trained 20+ new administrators and enabled them to better support their teams. Launched online resources to administrators and end-users.

Results: Produced time savings equivalent to 2 contractor and 2 full time employee positions

Online Operations Specialist

Identified the need to reduce the volume of unnecessary technical support escalations by customer service representative (CSR) team. Initiated and owned the following multi-phase project:
  • 1. Identify knowledge gaps: Audited existing paper-based escalation-tracking system and identified issues. Overhauled the classification scheme to collect more useful data, then designed and built a PHP/MySQL based web application to allow for easier issue recording and reporting.
  • 2. Improve education resources: Used data from the new system launched in Phase 1 to identify sources of unnecessary escalation. Designed new trainings, updated existing knowledge base, and redesigned internal support website to address product knowledge gaps among CSRs. Adopted tool used by Dublin support team to inform CSRs of known bugs, reducing duplicate reports.
  • 3. Educate CSRs: Delivered revised trainings to hundreds of support personnel, and worked with training team to make the trainings part of CSR new-hire education. Coordinated with teammates to launch internal marketing initiative to publicize our new resources.

Results: Greater than 75% reduction in Improper issue escalation within two months of launch.

Additional work as Operations Specialist:
  • Researched technical support escalations from AdWords CSRs, researched aberrant behavior and filed bugs with engineering when necessary.
  • Worked on AdWords Ad Quality core team (primarily PMs and engineers) as representative of the sales department.
  • Authored communications used by customer support team to use with advertisers.

AdWords Representative/Coordinator

Provided top-quality customer support through phone and email interactions with customers. Handled double the employee average number of emails and phone calls while maintaining top quality marks. Side-projects and distinctions:
  • Conducted competitive analysis of AdWords competitor and presented findings to core team of engineers and product managers. Received peer bonus for quality of work.
  • Helped prioritize and refine development of new AdWords features as member of feature advisors team.
  • Recognized by co-workers three quarters in a row with "AdWords MVP" nomination

UC Berkeley - July 2009 - September 2009

Website Developer

  • Designed and coded standards-compliant website http://recovery.berkeley.edu
  • Wrote Python scripts for programmatically generating data for use in demonstrations of report implementations.
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