Hi, I’m Brad Ulrich. I’ve been obsessing over details in software for more than 10 years with small startups and large corporations.
I started designing because I am curious and love computers. I chose design as a career because I enjoy crafting detailed systems and manifesting experiences that feel personal and intentional.
I’ve learned about the impact of those details and experiences by working in large and small companies, and watching large and small numbers of users
fumble through experience my “personal and intentional details.” I’ve learned to trust my intuition, but verify by trusting real users more. I’ve found I’m most capable and motivated when I’m proud of the level of craft I’m able to usher into the final product and when I can see the impact of my work through data and user feedback.
Through time spent in both design and product management at Sonic Drive-In, I’ve learned to look deeper than visual details, honing a sense for business impact, efficiency and analytics. My experience in both product and design roles gives me a convenient combination of perspectives (and its fair share of inner turmoil).
I learned HTML and CSS early on because I felt like I and the front-end devs I worked with were both at a disadvantage if our language and materials didn’t overlap. This experience has definitely informed and improved my design systems work over the years. I know enough to speak the language of developers and suggest legitimate compromises or approaches. But I also know enough has changed in the front-end development landscape that I won’t be pushing React code anytime soon (even though I bought that course).
I’ve since returned to a design-specific role (intentionally) where I lead a team of designers at MidFirst Bank working to make bank apps that people can understand and enjoy using.
The most recent quote I wrote down was,
Work is not life’s product, but its currency. What we choose to buy with it is the ultimate project of living.