The Communication Studio

John Vaughan

My Resume

JV Portrait (head on)

Seasoned Senior Interactive Architect and Leader of User Experience Design, Usability, and Documentation teams at Fortune 500 companies. 

Very strong financial, transactional and workflow.

Implement UX process at team and enterprise level.  

Can mentor, advocate and motivate across disciplines.

Often called upon to provide consultation and guidance at the executive level.

Adaptable, innovative and insightful, I "hit the ground running" and excel in a challenging environment.

Highly regarded by clients and colleagues.

A Few Things About Me

(that you probably didn't know)

Military Brat, speaks several languages (metaphorically and literally), Family Guy, lived in Europe, pioneered a loft in NYC (when it was cool), community activist, ex video freak, animator, documentarian, Good Scout, Navy ROTC, student troublemaker, cat/rat-man, Honor Society Boy, new media adventurer, alien anthropologist, artiste...

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

Theodore Roosevelt

Here's what clients say ...



Dad was career military, so I averaged a move every year-and-a-half of my life until age 18. It was a learning experience unto itself:

Adaptability is a way of life.

Attended 12 different schools by the time I graduated high school -- including several years abroad in Europe and Hawaii - but mostly in the pre-integration South. Interesting...


While living in Europe (ages 9-12)

We traveled on pretty much every shool vacation ... and covered a fair amount of territory. It looked something like this:

Never let your schooling interfere with your education.

Mark Twain

New York University

Master's in Interactive Telecommunications 1981
One of the first three graduates of this groundbreaking graduate progam; scholarships; Work/study internships with early videodisc, cable/satellite and teletext ventures ...More Info


Technical courses in animation and video 1977
Lowell Institute; Hung around at Nicholas Negroponte's Media Lab in its early days

Boston University

Master's in Educational Media / Instructional TV 1974
Residency at WGBH New Video Workshop; educational merit scholarship

Tufts University

BA in History 1972
Founding member of The College Within; self-directed projects in light & color, video and communications; taught course on "Viking" in the Experimental College; Naval ROTC and work scholarships

State Art School

Courses in graphic arts, sculpture and color theory 1971 (Oslo, Norway)

Speaks: Norwegian, German, Spanish, Dutch

A good library is a place, a palace where the lofty spirits of all nations and generations meet.

Samuel Niger



It's "Big Data" - presented small.



Fortune 500 Client Engagements



Total Client Engagements



Callbacks for Repeat Business

BIG Data


Large Jobs for large clients

Logo: Morgan Stanley Logo:  Deutsche Bank Logo: FISA CityTime Logo: KyoceraLogo: Bunge Logo: SchoolNet

BIG Data = BIG Scale


Average # pages produced per job



Managed one of the first community-run cable channels in the nation



Languages that John speaks


International Engagements



Average # of Pages


Average # of Templates

UX Deliverables


of engagements involve all these tasks:

Content Inventory, Heuristic Evaluation, Best Practices, Wireframes, Demosite, CSS Styleguide, Info Architecture



Average # Documents per Client



Of my recent engagements have involved virtual self-management




100+ client engagements is a lot to plow through. You're probably interested in a particular area. Use the tagcloud to focus in on the information that interests you most.







“John helped our small non-profit get our website redesign project organized and off to a strong start. None of our staff had tackled a web project of this size, and we were struggling with how to approach it in a way that would lead to the end result we envisioned. John was exactly the right person to help. He took us through a process that was totally unfamiliar to us but really organized our thinking in a way that we couldn’t have done without his help. Our web committee was blown away when the full team unanimously supported the final product we developed — and there’s no way that would have happened without John’s guiding hand. John is easy to work with and he "gets it" - he’s had invaluable experience with other small organizations like ours and was able to work with us in a way that fit our capacity and our goals. We couldn't recommend him more highly.”

Jessica Bassett, Director, Strategic Communications, HealthGAP

"John was a big help in cleaning up a mess created by a previous web site designer. I'm very pleased with the results."

Peter Curran, Owner, HP Curran Appraisals

“John and I worked together on a multi-million dollar technology initiative. John designed a customer centric user interface that made excellent use of best practice UX design principles. John is a very talented UX designer who understood the business needs and was able to produce tangible UX artifacts in timely manner. The modern and sleek design included a combination of usability and flexibility which quickly won the users over. John was very easy to get along with and integrated well in the team environment.”

Dawn Routzahn, Project Manager, Chubb Surety

“To say that John is one of the best user advocates around is an understatement. His experience extends across many industry verticals and goes beyond the typical boundaries of UX within the world of advertising. Every conversation with John makes you realize that he's a master at his craft -- a craft he's been immersed in before the discipline even had a name. And to top it all off, he's a fantastic, genuine person. Get to know John if you have a chance. You'll be smarter as a result, that's for sure.”

Andy Bhatt, Director, Digital Production & Operations, Grey Group

"John was a pleasure to work with, and delivered superior ideas above and beyond what was required." Top Qualities: Personable, Expert, Creative

Mathilde Benington, GM - Media/Interactive at Merkley + Partners

“John is a seasoned professional who applies his broad experience to complex information architecture problems. He is astute, a quick study, and adept at working effectively within situations of considerable ambiguity. His understanding of business processes and workflow make him a very valuable asset to software development teams and processes.”

Colin Campbell, Manager, User Experience, Standard & Poor's

"John was a pleasure to work with. He listened very carefully to all of the project stakeholders, amassed the project requirements, provided us with detailed documentation and created a look and feel that was just what we were looking for. John worked very well with our team at every level." Top Qualities: Great Results, Personable, Good Value

Lisa Spurlock, Vice President, Client Relations at Hartford

“I have worked with many consultants over many years, however, working with John has truly been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. We hired John to work with us in designing a new corporate website, the experience and ability to work in a difficult environment John brought with him provided us with a site beyond our expectations. We are proud to say the NIA website has been nominated for two awards. John would be a welcome asset to any project demanding out of the boxing thinking regarding graphical design or interface.”
Top qualities: Great Results, High Integrity, Creative

Ira Schwartz,CIO at the NIA Group

“John worked with my team at SchoolNet on a component of a release for the company's flagship software. John went beyond what we expected and presented innovative interaction designs. His work was thorough, detailed and delivered on time. While we didn't end up using his work due to resource constraints in development, it served us well in later releases as an exemplar of work well done.”
Top Qualities: Expert, Good Value, On Time

Neil Wehrle, Manager, User Experience, Schoolnet (2006)

“John was able to take my design and concept and translate it into a viable, working medium that presents my work exactly the way I want it to be viewed. He went completely with my direction yet took it to a level I couldn't possibly envision without his expertise. The result goes far beyond and has much greater impact than what I originally wanted and has actually influenced my work.”

Rick Daccardi, Director, Rick Daccardi Photos

“I worked with John only for a short period, but I feel he has a more intuitive grasp of interactive web design and technology than almost anybody I've worked with.”

Holten Norris, Owner, Ariel Partners FISA CityTime

“I recommend John highly. We worked together on a project and his contribution (on all levels) was outstanding.”

Goran Vukobratovic, Project Manager, Bunge

"John is a visionary who knows how to get things done. At Bunge Global Markets, John took control over a fragmented and immature UI design process and in short order provided realistic structure and standards that could be readily applied across all applications to produce a single unified user experience that was functional, intuitive and easy to use. He took the initiative to produce the support materials needed to deploy it - including a revised style guide, fully functional prototype wire-frames, and a set of standards for UI Behaviour.He made a major contribution to the overall UI effort at BGM." Top Qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative

Duff Bailey, Program Manager, Bunge

“I was impressed by both the high quality of John's work as an Information Architect and Interaction Designer and his professionalism. John's excellent work is also enhanced by his broad interdisciplinary experience in art, videography, and other areas.”

Terence Nelan, Senior Information Architect, Grey Interactive

“I have had the pleasure of working with John on several projects in Deutsche Bank. He is one of the best User Interface and Interaction Designer I have worked with in my career. He is a very knowledgeable in user interface design process and working with business resources/users to extract design requirements. He is very articulate and has strong business acumen, particularly within Financial Services and has the ability to translate complex ideas into very effective user designs and effectively communicate these to senior executives. He is a very innovative and dedicated professional and a big asset for any development team. It was a pleasure working with John!" Top Qualities: Great Results, Personable, Creative

Harmeet Bharara, Director, Deutsche Bank (2003)

John lent his unique depth of skills in melding UI concepts and content to deliver outstanding products supporting critical business initiatives at Ernst & Young. John demonstrated an ability to quickly analyze the core requirements of a user/audience base and design an approach that was elegant, compelling, and strongly resonant with our specific user communities. John combines world class design and UI skills with dead on targeting for the needs of client users. I strongly endorse John's work for future initiatives in any industry

Stephen Carroll, Competency Manager, Ernst & Young

“John elevated the design process to a new and higher dimension. I would work with him again anytime.”

Peter Bodtke, Business Analyst, Ernst & Young

"John Vaughan brings a unique and valuable perspective to any project and team. His ability to get inside the mind of the core audience and help develop the best possible interface is uncanny. His fundamental knowledge of design principles and human factors makes him a solid addition to any creative or interface design team. Personally, John is one of the most wonderful and intelligent people I've ever met. Our ability to exchange ideas in the work place and then do the same in matters of the world is a welcome shift from the typical tired relationships one usually has with co-workers."

Gentry Wilson, Senior Designer, Immersant

"John is very creative, with a great eye when it comes to details for GUI design. It was my pleasure to work with him and learn from his many years of experience. In his position as GUI specialist for the Order Management System design team, he was diligint in making sure that the software was easy and intuitive to use."

Prashant Patel, Front End Team Colleague at Instinet

“John is a brilliant, living example of a person with outstanding creative skills matched with unparalleled technical knowledge. Cutting-edge thinking and skillful execution are routine parts of his framework.” Top Qualities: Personable, Expert, Creative

Jim Conaghan, Director, Marketing Products Development, Newspaper Association of America

“In 1985, when Pacific Bell was rolling out the demonstration of 'Project Victoria', its invented and user-controllable DSL technology (later disallowed by the FCC and Judge Greene), John helped by designing the user interface for what was one of the 1st high speed residential multiservice applications in the US ... accomplished with customary taste, haste and under less than perfect circumstances.”

Jeff Richards, Pacific Bell

“The work you did here was certainly of a great value to our products promotion. We have included the pages in all of our demonstrations and they have a considerable impact on our chip set acceptance by customers - and even how they perceive videotex. Please send me one of your brochures and I also suggest that you send a couple of them to TI Houston Video Group people.”

J.L. Villevielle, Electronic Systems Development, Texas Instruments

“We would be happy to have our name appear in your client list and to have examples of inContext frames in your brochure. You have provided valuable assistance to CSP International. Michael, Paige and I wish you every success in business and look forward to working with you again in the future.”

Sara Ordover, Marketing Manager, CSPI

“I thought you would be pleased to know that several of the graphics screens you produced for the Bank in 1982 for our participation with the TMVS Trial have been called back to duty in a new effort by Bank of America. We are testing the concept of a self-service customer activated information kiosk ... consider it a testimony to your skill as a designer of videotex screens.”

Gerritt Kerkstra, Sr. Product Manager, Bank of America

“I want to thank you for the very professional and creative job you did for Booz-Allen in database design and computer graphics screen creation for the Home Information Systems simulator. Your expertise in graphics and interactive video contributed significantly to the overall quality of the system. In addition, your dedication to getting the job done, including your suggestions on improving our software tools, were greatly appreciated. I thoroughly enjoyed working with you and hope to have the opportunity to do so again.”

George P. Lilly, Booz-Allen Hamilton, Inc.

“John and I worked on a '81 video-interview series that became key in the renewal of one of NYC's prime assets, Bryant Park at 5th Ave & 42nd. It was a physical and social mess at the time, and the choice was between rennovation by police action or by creative social and physical planning. John pushed for the latter, and the information we collected resulted in the vibrant public space seen today.”

Anne McKay, Community Manager, Consumers Union Bryant Park/Project for Public Spaces

"... the Municipal Cable Project served as the basis for the creation of a more recently funded Educational Channel project in Somerville. John's work in the city has had a lasting effect on the development of community access cable here."

S. Lester Ralph, Mayor, Somerville MA (1977)


Soft Skills


Strategic UX consultation   to management level stakeholders

Usability resource   at level of the Team, the Group, and the Enterprise

Educate, evangelize, collaborate   programmers, marketing, creative

Grasp "the Big Picture". Holistic.
Identify and address critical issues.
Think and act "out of the box" (I had to say it.)
Improve what already exists. Fix the legacy.
Understand what's really going on.
Explanation & Presentation
Communicate effectively.
Organization & Librarying
Pull it all together into a coherent system.
Do due diligence.
Detail Orientation
Follow-through on the whole package.



I'm a multi-skilled, cross-disciplinary, Full-stack UX Unicorn

I sometimes refer to myself as "a repository of dead languages". Whether a given product is still popular today, the usage and functionality is constant. Here are some of the tools I use most often.

Only the skilled can judge the skillfulness, but that is not the same as judging the value of the result.

C.S. Lewis


CSS Stylesheets
Responsive Design



Documentation & Structure

Documentation / MS Word
Information Architecture
Erwin Data Modeler

Coding & Process

Javascript : behavioral
SourceSafe & source control systems

Presentation Platforms

Windows / DOS
Voice / IVR

Professional training / certification

I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want... what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.

Liam Neeson in 'Taken'


I am not really a Programmer

I work with teams that use a range of programming development platforms: ASP, JSP, DotNet, JSF, PHP, C+Plus, etc.

I don't include these programming languages in my list of skills because I don't actually produce this programming code. Nor is that my job.

I am a very skilled Coder

I do produce User Interface and Information Architecture collateral (HTML, CSS, and some Javascript) that is readily usable by developers who are skilled in producing program code for each of these platforms.

I have technical knowledge that is appropriate to my role.

I help make the 50,000 lines of program code usable.