Hey! Melanie here

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I’m a social-cognitive psychologist who designs with words.

Words are magical. Words – linguistics and social interaction – have been the focus of a career that has found me as a teacher, writer, therapist, conversational interface designer, researcher, and professional coach. I’ve designed an eclectic career that seems unlikely at best, bizarre at worst, or just plain lucky.

The throughline is this: I’m endlessly fascinated by simple, ordinary, everyday conversation. So, I’ve spent a career gathering as much knowledge and skill as possible in communicating with purpose. I’m a case study in following your inspiration, wherever it leads.

Learn more about me


February 2022

Senior UX Research Manager
“"I want to nurture a large team."”

2014 – 2022

UX Freelance, Writer & Professional Coach
“I want to follow my muse.”

2018 – 2020

Senior VP at Irish startup, UX Researcher/Writer & Coach
“I want to nurture the next generation.”

2002 – 2014

IBM UX Consultant
“I design machines that talk.”

1999 – 2002

Graduate School
“I study linguistics, cognition and social interaction.”

1993 – 1999

Speech-Language Pathologist
“I help people communicate better.”

1988 – 1992

High School Teacher
“I love linguistics. I’ll teach teenagers to write.”

Learn more on LinkedIn

Articles, Talks & Interviews

Does UX have an imposter problem?
UX Collective, February 2020
Career Profile in Silicon Republic
Silicon Republic, Apr 2020
The Cognitive Diversity Issue in UX
UX Cake Podcast, Aug 2019
Advice for Women in Tech
Tech Savvy Women, Jul 2015
See more of my writing

Where you can find me