I am a researcher, ethnographer, strategist, writer, and editor.
I live and work in Stockholm, Sweden as a senior user researcher at Spotify. My focus is on foundational research. I develop frameworks and strategies for product teams and other researchers that help them approach product design and development by better identifying opportunity spaces that solve users' needs with more widely scalable solutions.
Before I left California for sunnier Swedish climes, I worked at Slack, where I started the user research team and helped grow both the discipline and the team. Not only was I the first user researcher, for my first year I was the only one!
Prior to that I worked at Automatic directing and conducting user research and working on product design. I also worked at Mule Design Studio, where I was both the design researcher and co-host of Let's Make Mistakes, a design podcast. And leading up to all this, in pursuit of my Ph.D. in Sociology at UC Irvine, I conducted a longitudinal ethnography and wrote a dissertation on the practices and culture of clinicians with respect to the adoption of electronic health records (EHR). I also have a Master's degree from Georgetown University, where I wrote a thesis about androids and cyborgs.
My past roles include Editor and Audience Development Manager for entertainment/video game content companies including IGN.com and UGO.com. At both companies I also worked as the industry’s first Affiliate Manager, in charge of maintaining relationships with and managing content from external content producers.
But if you can believe it, what I am best known for is being an advice columnist, which I've done twice. Most recently I wrote How To Be Human for The Verge, and before that I wrote Ask Leah for IGN.com. My readers from both columns still get in touch with me from time to time, both to ask for advice and to tell me about the positive impact my columns had on their lives.
I'd love for you to get in touch with me too.