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Well – I got it…

30 Aug

Now I’m just waiting for the actual offer to come through.  Guess I didn’t bomb the interview like I thought I did.  Mind you – there were 7 interviews plus a group portfolio review, so maybe, even though I forgot to say those things (look at previous post), it still must have shined through.  Now fingers crossed that the offer comes swiftly and is a good one.  🙂

So what have you all been up to lately?  Any cool projects you’re working on (either professionally or on the side)?

I had a neat opportunity yesterday to be a guest speaker/guest teacher for a design college here in Seattle.  Had a blast, as I typically do when I get the opportunity to work with students.  But it led me to think about a few things.  Continue reading


Happy Friday everyone!

20 Jul

It’s been a busy month.  Launched some new apps this month, and saw the release of a few of the apps I worked on at Microsoft.  I feel very accomplished.  🙂  Have quite a few other apps (both mobile and tablet) in the works as well.  Some very exciting stuff!

Apps I’ve designed/developed and/or contributed to in the last 3 years:

1. Microsoft Tag for iPhone

2. Microsoft Tag for Android

3. Microsoft Tag for Windows Phone

4. Fresh Paint for windows 8 Tablet

5.  Bonus Apps for WinPhone

6.  Wi-Fi Calling App for WinPhone

7.  An IP Communications app soon to be released for iPhone

8.  An IP Communications app soon to be released for Android

9.  Same app but for WinPhone

Love designing for the tablets – you can do much richer interactions and really push innovation in new ways.  Metro and the new Windows design paradigms are a blast to create for as well.

Well – would love to hear what you all are working on these days.  What have you accomplished in the last month?

Fresh Paint for Windows 8 review

19 Jul

Fresh Paint for Windows 8 review.

Yay it’s released!  Reviews seem to be going well as well!


So to those who don’t know what I’ve linked to here.  It’s a tablet application for the new windows 8 tablet that has just hit the marketplace.  This is an app I worked on and helped consult on when I worked at Microsoft.

Its an art application that tries to be realistic about paint textures and blending and what not.  If you have a nice touch screen – you can paint using a dry paint brush and it will pick up the individual bristles of the brush – building paint on those bristles and then painting a stroke with each bristle’s touch point.  VERY fun to play with.

An amazing day…

26 Aug

So I’ve been carrying that torch for a week now.  Yep, been boss officially for a week.  Weird.  I don’t like the word boss but whatever.  It’s been an odd, stressful, wonderful week (so far), I know there is still one day left.

Today one of my contractors had a satisfied look on his face and I asked him how things were going.  He said “Great!” and then proceeded to tell me that the team felt different, but in a good way.  Our boss was a fantastic boss, and although we miss him and his friendship, he said the team was hunkering down and making serious progress.  That things were more organized, and we were working better as a team.  We’ve been scheduling in brainstorming sessions and taking some time to prepare as a team (when possible) for reviews.  Later, another team mate spoke up and shared similar sentiments.  And it’s true.  We’re creating some shared systems to help make our team more efficient and collaborating more.  It’s a really good feeling.

To be honest, I was a little nervous about all of this.  I knew I could do the work, and I’ve been in management roles before.  This one is/was different.  It’s one I truly care about, one I really want.  Being a manager on this team, this size of a team, on project that’s challenging and inspiring and fun.  But I find myself, a week in, finding a comfort I didn’t think I’d find.  As if the role was perfect for me all along.  Oh sure, there’s things I’m still trying to figure out – the hiring computer system is odd, and I have yet to figure out who to talk to about getting one of my contractor’s a laptop… but these things are small things that i’ll figure out and all will continue to be well.

Have you ever felt that way?  Been given the opportunity to truly challenge yourself and step up to a new role and be both terrified and excited all at the same time?  Did it turn out the way you’d hoped in the end?

Next week is sure to be an interesting one.  Lots of design work to do.  Some new UI and UX design to consider.  Things to plan and things to learn.  I might even get to work with a little typography if i’m lucky.  I hired a new guy and he starts on Monday.  So there will sure to be a lot of password issues, computer set ups and the like.  But he’s got a lot of skill, and his personality was a treat in his interview.  He even giggled! 😀  So I’m sure the rest of us will enjoy getting to know him and getting him up to speed.

Well, I’m done for the night, I hope all of you out there will enjoy your night!

The passing of the torch… sorta

19 Aug

Today is going to be a very busy, very interesting day.  It’s 7am and I’m here sitting in my office looking over my calendar for the day.  It’s bursting at the seams.  I have 7 meetings today.  And although I’m sure they’ll be very interesting, they are not the reason my day will be so interesting.  Today, I will lose 2 of my coworkers.  These 2 people have been my friends and mentors.  They are still going to be at the company, but they are moving to a different department to work on a different set of projects and will be on the other side of campus.  One of those coworkers happens to also be my boss.  Although him and I don’t have a boss/employee relationship.  I wracked my brains to figure out what I could possibly give him to remember me by.  I ended up buying him a gift set of 3 of his favorite whiskeys.  I’m sure I looked like quite the Lush walking into work this morning.  How funny that is, as it’s so far from the truth.  I’m sad to see these two go.  They have given me guidance and advice, they’ve allowed me to come in and shut the door to vent about anything, they’ve given me the ability to laugh at my mistakes and they’ve pushed me to think differently or take a product to a whole new level.  They’ve trusted me when I didn’t even trust myself.  To Jason and Keri – I wish you the very best of luck at your new jobs.  You will be missed!

Come monday morning, I will be taking over my bosses place and be the leader of my team.  Part of me is very excited to be given the opportunity to step up the ladder a bit further, but there is also a part of me that is nervous.  I know I’m damn good at my job.  Graphic Design and UX Design is a passion.  That’s never been much of a worry for me, but leading people is a whole new ball of wax.  Not to mention, now I not only have to continue to do my job, but I also get to do his.  I’ve done management before, and found I was good at it.  I just hope I can still say that in a few weeks when I’m in the full swing of things.

So as I start a new journey into the world of management, I thought i’d share it with you all.  🙂

Happy Friday!!



Been a while.. thought i’d update

24 Jun

So here’s my update.  I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of activity as of late.  I received an offer to be a judge for a pretty prestigious online design award group (  It’s something I’ll do in my spare time and i’m pretty excited to do it.  A week after I accepted the position, I received an job offer from a Software/Computer Giant in Redmond, WA for a position that.. well… I just couldn’t refuse.  We’re talking DREAM job.  So I gave my two week notice to the ad agency where I worked and 3 weeks later – here I am.  So far – it’s been amazing.

We had a minor setback with Creative Fusion Pro.  We hired someone to work on it with us and they accidentally deleted some things in the server, namely a few databases.  Soooooo… we’re on it – learning a few new lessons as we go – but it’s been frustrating to have those kinds of set backs.  However, I CAN say that the set back had an alternate effect.  Because of it, we decided to take a look at the overall structure of the design and launch schedule.  Rather than trying to push everything out and then go back and fix as we originally intended, we’re going to fix the bugs and clean the slate.  In the long run – I think it will be better.  We’re going to launch the CMS system (for those curious – we’ll be using Expression Engine), and then we’ll be launching the stores (Multi Store Magento) etc etc… hey I can’t give away ALL our secrets 🙂

I hope everyone is doing well – for those of you who know me and talk to me on skype – send me a hi and hello!  It’s a bit uncomfortable starting a new job, you get a bit lonely at times for a friendly familiar face, so a hi and hello from a friend I recognize would be wonderful!

And to anyone else…. Hi and hello.. I look forward to getting to know you and discussing design, development, type, photography, art, theory… whatever our passions drive us to discuss in further detail.

– Jen Walter

How does a whole month slip by so fast?

29 Apr

Been busy this month.  I’ve completed a new booth design for the company I work for full time now.  Along with a complete set of new collateral and brochures.  I’ve done some work with HR to “decorate” the offices a bit more than your typical standard office posters and artwork.  Going to have to grab the camera and take some pictures when it’s all done.  I’ve built about 6 microsites and designed about 12 others that haven’t launched yet for some pretty big name clients which is always a bit of an honor.  Still waiting for the new machine at work – hoping end of the week that I’ll get it from the IT guys.  Also currently studying up on some new techniques for building some really complex flash demos.  It’s exciting work actually – ground breaking in that I’m trying to do something a bit different than your standard demo.

On a personal note – i also managed to get a bit further in a comic i’m working on – 🙂 which in my book is ALWAYS a good thing.  Progress!

Things i’ve learned in the last month:  Corporations never really change.  Why I thought 5 years would improve things is beyond me.  But at least i know i’m strong enough to handle that world.  If only I could get through to these people that I’m not a button pusher, i’m an artist with valuable marketing and business experience and valid ideas. 🙂  They’re slowly coming around, so we’ll see.

Oh.. and I’m expecting my second child.  🙂  I’ve also learned that i’m not one of those women who enjoy being pregnant.  Instead of that beautiful rosy glow that some pregnant women get – i’ve discovered my glow is mostly pea green.  We’re due on November 20th and the hubby is just beside himself he’s so giddy.  It’s quite funny.

Well must get back to work.  But wanted to check in with everyone and see how life was going.

Talk to you all later!