I’m Jess. Some call me Jessica. Some call me Dr. Knott. Most call me Jess. I lead the UX and DesignOps team for Gravity Works Design and Development in Lansing, Michigan. We’re design and systems thinkers, builders, tinkerers, architects, researchers, collaborators, fixers, and figurers. Our goal is that you leave every interaction with the Gravity Works and, more importantly, the website we create with you, feeling welcomed, valued, and inspired.
I hold a BA in Journalism, an MA in Education, and a Ph.D. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, all from Michigan State University. I have worked in digital spaces since 1998, spanning the private and academic sectors. I have led nationally- and internationally-recognized networking, professional development, design and facilitation projects, and am deeply involved in my local community. Project management and strategic rhetoric make me giddy, and learning new things is my favorite. My scholarly interests include community-engaged experience research, strategic assessment practices, shifting literacies in the digital-social age, and how UX and service design methods have the potential to transform the student experience in higher education and beyond.
I am an autodidact to my core. I love learning new things and tackling new challenges. I am both scientific and logical and human and compassionate. I can connect large amounts of information together thematically accurately and instantly. I can then connect people to those ideas and help them see why they should care about them. I have managed large-scale technology projects, designed and executed user experience strategies that improved metrics anywhere from 40% to 200%, mentored timid thought leaders, and been a blogger, podcaster, and social media voice myself. I’ve developed brands and refined voices. I’ve developed strategies and aligned logistics. In my last week at a previous job, I wrote an operations and communication plan to roll out seven new academic technology systems and lined up the people to help make it happen (and communicate it) in my absence. I can speak to the private sector across multiple industries ranging from insurance to athletics to business and technology. I can speak to students, faculty, staff, and administrators in higher education. I can rally communities, discuss and design professional development, interrogate and amplify research and why it matters, discuss and strategize in higher education, the private sector, innovation spaces, digital learning and asynchronous worlds, academic technology units, information technology broadly, and more.
I currently live in Lansing, Michigan with my pretty amazing partner Ryan and two rescue dogs. I have spent more perfectly good hours playing Fallout 4, Zelda BOTW, Skyrim, and Witcher 3 than I’m comfortable admitting in polite company. But, I admit it anyway because I believe in doing what you love and loving what you do. Video games aside, I love dogs, thinking, reading, watching soccer, dogs, volunteering, gardening, dogs, uke-ing and travel. Did I mention I also love dogs?