Shannon Halgren, PhD

Chief UX Consultant

Shannon has extensive experience in the area of product user experience with a particular passion for and expertise in UX research.  Through Sage Research & Design, Shannon and her team have helped start-ups as well as established companies like Dell, Compaq, Old Navy, Intel, Netflix, and eBay create products with excellent design, usability and user experience. Prior to founding Sage, Shannon co-managed the usability group at Marcomedia and founded the usability group at Apple/Claris.  Shannon has shared her love of UX by presenting her work at several professional conferences (HFES Healthcare Symposium, UXPA, CHI) and in professional journals and books.  She holds a M.A. (1990) and Ph.D. (1993) in Experimental Psychology from Rice University in Houston, Texas where she specialized in Human-Computer Interaction.


Jody Solem, MS

Sr. Healthcare Human Factors Consultant

Jody has been passionate about user experience for 15+ years ranging in areas from medial to aerospace/aviation.  During those years she had a long stint working for Lockheed Martin at NASA/Johnson Space Center for projects designed for use on the International Space Station and the Orion spacecraft.  Jody’s most recent work was with Covidien, a global healthcare products company and medical device manufacturer.  She has developed and used a variety of tools covering various aspects of user experience including usability testing, requirements development and interpretation, heuristic reviews, interactive design and validation testing.


Monica Snideman, PhD

 Sr. UX Research Consultant

Monica holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in Cognitive Experimental Psychology from Rice University with a focus in Cognitive Neuroscience.  Her interest in the human brain translated easily to the applied field of user experience.   For the past 15 years, she has enjoyed using her research skills to identify how great products can become even more usable, intuitive and delightful to use. She has worked with several high tech companies including HP and EMC, and her experience includes research with a wide variety of websites, software, and hardware.


Heather Merrill, MS

 Sr. UX Design & Information Architecture Consultant

Heather’s UX design experience at PayPal, IBM and Western Union has taken her into the global payments, healthcare and education industries. She delivers prototypes, wireframes and flow diagrams for all phases of the design process and for all devices. She applies LeanUX principles, design thinking and content strategy in all her work. She holds a Masters (2009) from the University of Denver in Knowledge and Information Technology for the Web and has training in cross-cultural communication and anthropology.


Anne Russell

Sr. UX Design Consultant & Website Developer

Anne’s elegant and innovative designs have been transforming software and web applications for over 18 years. She specializes in online visual design; design reviews to improve the usability and look of existing products; and illustration for responsive web design, Windows, Mac, and mobile applications. Her wide range of experience includes financial software, e-commerce, telephony, enterprise software management systems, and biotech and medical applications.


David Hemsi

Sr. UX Design Consultant

As a Visual Designer with over 15 years experience, David conceptualizes and produces creative, engaging graphic design strategies and solutions. At his core, David is a human-centered designer with commitment to the end-user. He relies upon the simplicity of form and the use of aesthetics as a source of structural enhancement, rather than embellishment – marrying a love of typography, video and data visualizations to create unique and memorable solutions.  His goal is to encourage smart dialogue and analysis, paired with out of the box thinking to create end products that enable clients to find their voice, tell their story and broadcast their core values to the world.  David’s specialties include Brand Design & Development, Discovery & Story Telling, Responsive Designs, and Digital Media, Print, Environmental Graphics and Signage.


Stacey Ashlund, MS

 Sr. UX Design & Research Consultant

Stacey blends her background in software engineering with a strong focus on user needs to provide a customized user experience. Stacey has worked as a usability professional at MyCFO, Infoseek, Lotus, and Digital Equipment Corporation and consulted for companies of all sizes. Her experience includes interaction design, interface audits, designing and conducting user research studies, competitive analysis, product specification documentation, and project management. She received her B.S. in Math and Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her M.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, where her research focused on Human-Computer Interaction.


Consulting Partners

Julie Rennecker, PhD

Julie is the founder of The Management Doc, LLC, an Austin-based research and consulting firm committed to making technology work for healthcare. She works with both technology vendors and healthcare facilities to promote the design of user-friendly technologies and to improve the integration of technology into patient care routines. Julie’s experience includes ten years as a hospital RN (ICU, ER, behavioral health), five years on the Information Systems faculty at Case Western Reserve University, and more than fifteen years doing research and consulting on technology design and use She holds a BSN from Purdue University and a PhD from MIT’s Sloan School of Management where she studied the complex interactions of technology, culture, and group dynamics.


Mekayla Beaver, MS

Sr. Design Researcher & Innovator

Mekayla is a design researcher and strategist. Her expertise lies in understanding and uncovering the factors that determine how people adopt and use products, services, and environments. She guides teams from initial user insight discovery through the translation of these insights into design opportunities and requirements, and on to final product refinement. Mekayla has developed and guided innovation projects for a wide range of companies and non-profit organizations including Nestle, Daimler, Chrysler, Kraft, Target, Eli Lilly, Design that Matters, and Landcare Research New Zealand. She pulls on experience across a wide range of industries including consumer products, packaging, software systems, in-home health products, medical products, food and beverages, and spaces. Prior to working as a freelance consultant, Mekayla was a lead Design Researcher and strategist at IDEO, a world renowned design and innovation company.


Ritual Labs

Niya C Sisk, MFA

Website Design, Brand Specialist

Niya infuses business brands with relevant, creative touch points to help shape consumer behavior. She strives for the right balance of innovation and consistency in all aspects of brand media. Niya leverages her degrees in psychology and writing as well as her background in the visual arts to create elegant solutions that scale to the goals of the organization. Significant design accomplishments include the initial foundation setting visual design for Final Cut Pro, Claris Corporation, as well as website portal design for APX Environmental Markets, Vonage Mobile and the Transformation Series for Oregon Health Services University. Niya’s articles on color and semiotics underscore the importance of effective symbol and language cues, and have appeared in Communication Arts Magazine, the Design Annual.


Other Team Members

We have a wide network of talented colleagues with expertise in user experience and related fields such as web and software development, project strategy, and IT that can be brought in to lend their expertise to any project as needed. Clients will have an opportunity to approve of all team members brought in to work on their project.