Clarissa posing with a cardboard cutout of Flo from the Progressive commercials.

At the Progressive corporate headquarters in 2012 to give a talk on responsive design to the Cleveland Web Standards Association. Flo was not able to attend the event

Are you looking for a unicorn? I’m one of those rare people who have a wide range of web-related skills, enabling me to fill a unique role in teams, bridging the gap between designers, developers, and all the other areas that are necessary to build and maintain a strong online presence.

I usually call myself a UX strategist, but that only tells part of the story. Starting out as a HTML developer more than a dozen years ago, I quickly discovered that websites are made up of more than code. I became interested in information architecture and content strategy early on, and soon discovered user experience design. I spent the early part of my web career working at nonprofits, where I was often the only “web person,” allowing me to get hands-on experience in every area of creating and maintaining websites, from the technical nitty-gritty to developing online strategy.

In the early part of my career, I was lucky enough to work at some pretty awesome places, such as the Library of Congress, AARP, Fannie Mae, and the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights. I’ve also worked for Ralph Nader.

More recently, I’ve been focused on helping companies switch to responsive design, and helping everyone who works on websites gain a better understanding of how responsive design works. Along with my husband, I co-founded the digital agency Peterson/Kandy, which specializes in creating responsive websites.

I wrote a book called Learning Responsive Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide, which was published in 2014 by O’Reilly Media. This book is a start-from-the-beginning introduction to responsive design, targeted towards designers, project managers, department heads, and others who may have trouble getting into the many more technical, developer-focused books on responsive design. It’s great for the members of your team who are having trouble understanding the concept of responsive design, and everything that needs to happen to make a responsive website work well.

I’m on the road a lot, speaking at web design and development conferences, where I give presentations on topics relating to responsive design and user experience. Since 2012, I have given talks or workshops at more than 50 events. I’m also a contract instructor in the web developer fast track program at SAIT Polytechnic, where I teach Web Design Theory and Web Page Construction Fundamentals.

Currently I live in Calgary, Alberta, with my wonderful husband A.J. Kandy. I grew up in central Wisconsin (lots of cows), and I’ve also lived in Houston, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Montreal.

I’m currently looking for a full-time position, but I’m also available for consulting and freelance projects. Please get in touch.


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