Hi. I’m Thomas. I reside in Atlanta, Georgia with Sara, Rosa, and Saint Francis. I still inline skate. I ride my bike a lot. I read on the train. I want to make technology that helps people live full lives rather than make people’s lives full of technology.
I am currently a Senior User Experience Researcher at Verizon Connect. I work on strategic and tactical research for both consumer and commercial lines of business, supporting product development, business strategy, and organizational transformation.
I previously worked as Research Scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the Institute for People and Technology(IPAT) and the Center for Urban Innovation. I focused on smart cities and the future of work (both together and separately).
I received my PhD from the Digital Media program at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where was a member of the Public Design Workshop. I focused on participatory design, civic technology, and user experience within technology workplaces.
How I Research
Everyone does mixed methods, and so do I! I specialize in gathering and sorting through qualitative data, but use quantitative data where I need it. I am particularly fond of: participant observation, contextual inquiry, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups for data collection; close reading and discourse analysis (often of social media), grounded theory, needs analysis, and ethnography for data analysis and synthesis.
In the context of product development, I believe the most compelling outputs are narratives—narratives that locate the challenges, opportunities, and complexities of the world in people and organizations. I see the role of a UX researcher as 50% understanding something and 50% making others understand it too.
My research interests focus on the changing shape of work and public life—both in relation to one another and as separate domains. This includes writing on the open government data, the professionalization of civic hacking, smart city technical assistance, flexible workplaces, and product development. I focus on questions related to design—how concerns are conceptualized, scaffolded, and represented—and affect—the embodied and relational qualities of activities, people, and situations.
I approach these interests through the lenses of critical theory, media, communications, & design, science & technology studies, and (digital) anthropology. I take influence from workplace ethnographies, affect theory, production studies, and policy research.