howdy.
My name is Catherine T. Nguyen, aka Cat. I create cohesive, intuitive user experiences, bringing together the pragmatic and the delightful. I'm known for questioning assumptions and taking on the details that make products not just good, but great. My style (in all things, really) is to keep things human, and I believe a bit of playfulness is good for all.

I'm fond of this quote:
"The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art."
– John Lasseter, Pixar


"Some say less is more, some say more is more. I say 'just right' will cause you to break and enter a bear family's home, eat their food, break their chairs, and sleep in their beds."
– my "Goldilocks" design principle

what i do:
I'M A THOUGHTFUL DISTILLER:
What's "just right" is rarely what you assume it to be. So I tease out what's unique about the problem, thinking honestly about what users need and do in the situation. I derive concise characteristics, specific enough to cover the pragmatics, but open enough to invite inspiration. These can clarify debates on what's right to work on, tell us if we have a solution without a problem, or identify the gamble within a strategy.

I WILL CONVERT YOU TO THE USER SIDE:
I not only champion the user, I get my partners to as well. I'm known to readily share and explain the design rationale, because when I have partners in crime, we make better products.
fun stuff:
Comics: good. Icons: good. Cartoons: good. Collaging: good.
Weird contrasts: good. Swedish goggles: good. Confusion: bad.
The Oxford comma: good. Food: yum, good. Music: good.

My dog: good.
contact:
Drop me a line at:
work [at] catherinetnguyen [dot] com
Why no mailto?
LinkedIn profile
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professional nitty-gritty:
EMPLOYMENT:
Currently, you can find me here:
Motorola Mobility, Inc.
Senior Staff Visual + Interaction Designer

Places I've been:
EDUCATION:
School of the Art Institute of Chicago,
Visual Communication department
MFA in Visual Communication(2007)
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (2005)

Carnegie Mellon University
BS in Computer Science with Minor in
Communication Design (2000)

SKILLS:
My design process and skills include research, concepting, illustration, copywriting and editing, photography, interactive and print design, packaging and retail graphics.


Download resume PDF here.




COLOPHON:
typefaces: Verdana & Trebuchet MS
Makin' do with basic web typography.

development: HTML & CSS hacked together by me, with ColorBox mooched and adapted

software: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver