Below are some kudos and letters of recommendation I've received over the years, listed [mostly] in reverse chronological order.
Alaska Airlines (2014-2016) - UX Design and Research Manager
"Jerrod is an exceptional leader in user experience and design. He is at the top of his field in UX knowledge. Jerrod is a firm believer in design influencing product strategy early on and not just meant to be considered at the end of the execution process - more agile and less waterfall. He also strongly advocates for the customer and uses data to make informed decisions. He leads his team by balancing high performance expectations with a strong investment in coaching and mentoring which starts with his open communication. He insists on consistency of design across platforms. I highly recommend Jerrod to any leadership role in user experience and design."
--Director, e-commerce, Alaska Airlines
"Jerrod is truly a one-of-a-kind user experience leader–one with a great deal of knowledge, who empowers his team with freedom in their work and above all else, has the ability to grow a team. His years of experience in the field, both design and research, is welcomed and his post-gradate studies are inspiring. Despite his wealth of knowledge, he is surprisingly humble. I was pleased to discover that Jerrod enables his team with complete autonomy and encourages each member to own their product wholly. It’s something I really valued, and it made my work more meaningful.
I think its fair to say Jerrod was responsible for developing the UX practice within our team, and I got to witness the transformation firsthand. He is a strong advocate for the user-centered design process and promotes data-driven decisions. Jerrod was our biggest champion when it came to expanding design’s role within the organization and he did so with eloquent diplomacy. Jerrod is truly unique and I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with him."
--UX Designer, Alaska Airlines
"I had the pleasure of working under Jerrod's leadership at Alaska. He is highly thoughtful, composed, articulate, and creative. Jerrod has excellent listening qualities and a true commitment to transparency that leads to relationships built on trust. He has natural empathy skills that allow for open and candid dialogue. Jerrod is a true champion for user-centered design and created the first cohesive UX design team at Alaska. I would absolutely welcome an opportunity to work with Jerrod again."
--Senior Visual Designer, Alaska Airlines
"I loved working for Jerrod! He's super smart, dedicated to his team, and a great leader. He helped grow my team into one that is cohesive, respectful, and respected for our design leadership in the organization. His hiring process raised the bar and brought in talented teammates, while his coaching helped everyone on the team to recognize our strengths and opportunities and grow in both areas. He balances data-driven design with best practices and common sense. I couldn't be more thankful for the experience working with him."
--UX Researcher, Alaska Airlines
"I had the pleasure of working for Jerrod at Alaska Airlines. He is the kind of manager every designer seeks. He understands and appreciates the power of design and as a designer on his team I experienced this directly. He appreciates his designers and provides thoughtful, actionable feedback to our work. His approach to critique and feedback, was to continually encourage personal and professional growth, which created an environment of mutual respect. While proactively empowering each and every team member, he has worked hard to create a high performing team that works well together to tackle all manner of design problems. He effectively represents his team and design as a whole to leadership and other disciplines, which has in turn resulted in collaboration across aisles that previously would not have occurred."
--Senior UX Designer, Alaska Airlines
"Jerrod was an outstanding manager to work for! His calming temperament sets a great tone for the team. He lets his designers have freedom in their day-to-day work, establishing a culture of accountability and respect. He has a wealth of UX and design knowledge which is evident when discussing specific projects and design principles. Another major takeaway was his excellent communication skills with project and business stakeholders. He is great at leading reviews, resolving issues, and establishing expectations and next steps. I definitely enjoyed my time on his team!"
--Senior UX Designer, Alaska Airlines
Amazon (2013-2014) - UX Design and Research Manager, Sr. UX Researcher
"Jerrod’s ability to expertly lead teams is only surpassed by his gift for growing and developing talent. When I started at Amazon, Jerrod adeptly led the UX research efforts for the Customer Service team; during his tenure as a Senior UX Researcher, he displayed strong ownership and expertly assessed the research needs of more than seven separate product teams. Not long after I started, he was promoted to Manager of UX Research & Design where he excelled at developing talent, scoping & resourcing effort, and building a new support model. Jerrod’s relentlessly high standards and unwavering leadership helped to craft the team into a world-class UX organization; he’d be an absolute asset to any organization in need of a highly talented UX leader"
--Senior UX Designer, Amazon
"Jerrod is that rare combination of everything you should have in a manager. He's an expert in the field of User Experience, with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share, but at the same time empowers his reports to take ownership over their own projects and spaces and, in turn, be experts themselves. In this way, he cultivates the designers and researchers who report to him, giving them the opportunity and support needed to strengthen their skills, develop their career and show their leadership abilities.
As a manager, he steps in when needed without hesitation to advocate on behalf of individuals, the team, and the role of UX within the company, never losing sight of what is best for the end-user. For all of these reasons, his team trusts him implicitly.
I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to work for Jerrod and would do so again in a heartbeat."
--UX Designer, Amazon
"I worked with Jerrod at Amazon, and watched him quickly rise from senior individual contributor to trusted management, overseeing a wide-ranging portfolio of projects. Behind Jerrod’s patient, listening demeanor is a dedicated, sharp professional with a keen eye for what’s most important for improving customers’ experiences. I found that Jerrod always had a great answer, as if somehow he had considered everything in advance. His research acumen is a strong foundation for a t-shaped skill set that allows Jerrod to effectively collaborate with a wide range of roles, from design to PMs to engineers. I witnessed his staff grow through his leadership, and I saw his impact continue even after he had moved on to another company. I highly recommend Jerrod as a UX Leader, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with him again."
--Principal UX Researcher, Amazon
"As a UX design manager, Jerrod always conveyed that his top goal is to make sure that he helps everyone on his UX team grow and succeed while working to make the customer experience better. I've always felt that I can rely on Jerrod's support and expert opinion whenever I've turned to him. His deep understanding of the UX design process has always been an invaluable asset to my work - whenever I needed feedback on a study design, user data analysis or strategy of better advocating for user needs, Jerrod has always provided thoughtful ideas that helped me make a better decision. As a manager, Jerrod also took time to help me develop my career goals and to make me clearly understand how to achieve them. Working with Jerrod, I learned a lot about how to focus on customer needs through thinking about the big picture and each individual detail. Without hesitation, I would highly recommend Jerrod as a manager and an outstanding UX design professional."
--UX Researcher, Amazon
"Jerrod brings out the best in the people he works with. He is a leader with a passion for creating products that work for customers, and a great advocate for UX with experience in delivering results. Jerrod has a unique ability to see the big picture of a problem at hand and offer solutions that bring long-term value. His mentorship inspired projects that completely redefined how designers support the software development process, conduct peer design critiques, and perform usability research in an agile environment."
--Senior UX Designer, Amazon
University of Washington (2013) - Instructor, Foundations of HCI
"I worked with Jerrod when he taught the five credit course "Foundations of HCI" at the University of Washington. In this class, 50 undergrad students learned about HCI theory, research, and design for the first time as this class was the door to the HCDE program. It was an intense experience for undergrads to digest but Jerrod made it fun, drawing from his impressive experience in the industry and bringing in real world examples to complement the theory and design principles taught in this class. He used his vast knowledge and experience in the field to make the difficult readings and case studies easy to understand for the beginning students. He did this with a very well organized, dynamic class where all the information was clearly communicated and planned from the beginning which increased student interest in the material. Students had individual and group assignments as well as a final presentation where Jerrod offered immediate feedback after the presentations. I offer my recommendation for Jerrod in any aspect of the design field and cannot wait to work with him again in the future."
--Ph.D. student and teaching assistant
Boeing (2005-2013) - UX Associate Technical Fellow; Sr. UX Designer/Researcher
“Jerrod did a truly commendable job [leading a team of 7 user researchers in a field study], from taking in feedback from all of us and helping us all feel valued and operating at our best, to making tough decisions that steered us toward our goal, to organizing us in a way that would be effective for the group (enough autonomy that all 7 of us weren’t tied together and could operate in our strengths, but enough tie-in to keep us all moving in the same direction), to putting a structure and a method to our analysis and presentation, to maintaining a very positive relationship with our team & customers. The kind of turnaround required for this project was daunting, but Jerrod charted a course and steered us to the successful presentation we had this week. In short, I truly could not have picked out a better leader for this project."
--UX Designer, The Boeing Company
"I am honored to recommend Jerrod Larson for employment as a user experience (UX) leader. I had the privilege of working closely with Jerrod as his direct supervisor while Jerrod was a User Experience designer and researcher.
Jerrod distinguished himself as a subject matter expert and leader among his peers. He is exceptional in that he is highly competent in all areas of the UX discipline, rather than just one or two. He is able to quickly acquire complex application domain knowledge, and to understand and work very effectively with all types of users, co-workers and management at all levels. And he develops creative solutions that reflect a focus on doing what is right for the business. As a result, I was able to confidently assign him to a wide variety of projects in any phase of development and in any domain, with positive impact on all of our company’s business units. His expertise and leadership were also sought by others – in addition to being requested by name for important assignments, he led a team to develop digital style guides (for web, software, and mobile apps) that were adopted as company-wide standards. He was also a popular UX mentor and presenter.
Because of Jerrod’s outstanding work and work ethic, teamwork, coaching, negotiation and communication skills, his strong overall contribution to the group and its customers, as well as his amazing successes in increasing the company’s appreciation for UX, Jerrod’s job classification level was above that of a first level manager and he was recognized as an expert in User Experience design, research, and leadership.
It is my privilege to highly recommend Jerrod Larson for any UX management/leadership position. I firmly believe that his vision, leadership capabilities, expertise, experience, record of success, and ability to inspire others make him an excellent choice."
--UX Manager, The Boeing Company
“Jerrod Larson is my mentor and colleague in the Usability Services group at The Boeing Company. In 2009 I asked Jerrod to be my design mentor, because I find his design and leadership skills to be outstanding.
Outside of Jerrod’s role as my mentor, I and others within the Boeing Company have been educated by Jerrod on the value of the application of good design for the benefit of the Boeing user experience. He has presented lessons on this topic within our own team, and also to the Boeing IT community during Usability Special Interest Groups.
Examples of the knowledge that Jerrod has transferred to me include:
- The Design process: Jerrod taught me that design moves from broad to narrow, i.e., moving from defining the overall flow of the application first, down to the smallest details of a screen (like color and button placement) last.
- Big picture thinking: Jerrod has taught me that if no user research was performed, it is not safe to assume that the solution being proposed is addressing the right issue. It is not until we conduct research that we can begin to understand the goals and needs of our users.
- Design fundamentals and design defense: Using his knowledge of design fundamentals as well as his extensive experience with design, Jerrod helped me to understand what makes a good design. Before taking my concepts to the customer, Jerrod and I would perform a design review so that I could understand where questions might occur and how to defend my designs.
I feel that Jerrod’s skills as a teacher and a mentor are without question. He has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, helped me to build my confidence in my skills as a designer and as a leader, and taught me the importance of being forward thinking and taking on projects and tasks that move me toward where I want to be in the future.”
--UX Designer, The Boeing Company
“Having worked with Jerrod for 2 years and on a small team under his leadership for the past 9 months, there are many things that stand out to me about him, but one of the biggest things that stands out to me is how "on" he is at all times. He is tirelessly energetic, passionate, and smart about user-centered design. Jerrod not only possesses great vision for a user-centered design future for the company, but he is incredibly talented at communicating his ideas and vision in a way that is engaging and easy to digest. His designs reflect a clean and aesthetic approach, and his rationale is always grounded in sound research. Furthermore, Jerrod is an absolute pleasure to work with. I could not more highly recommend Jerrod as a teammate and a leader. I have no doubt that he does and will go on to leave his mark in the field of user experience.”
--UX Designer, The Boeing Company
“Jerrod is an excellent User Experience Specialist. He is strongly focused on the needs of the user. He learns the critical details of user tasks very quickly and can create effective improvements to the user interface and the process workflow. He is very imaginative and creative, which makes his design work excellent and also makes him fun to work with. I look forward to the opportunity to work with Jerrod again.”
--Usability Specialist, Boeing
“I worked with Jerrod when I was an intern with the usability group at Boeing. From the time I spent working with him in the usability lab, I can say that he is truly knowledgeable and organized in his work. Perhaps just as importantly, he is very easygoing and friendly -- definitely a pleasure to work with. I'd happily work with him again.”
--Usability Engineering Intern, Boeing
FMC Corporation (1998-2005) - UX Designer, Webmaster, Technical Editor
“Jerrod worked for me on several FMC FoodTech web projects during the first couple of years of the 21st century. Jerrod was responsible for the company’s websites, content and software development. Although we didn’t meet on a daily basis as he was located in Seattle and me in Chicago we established a very good working relation. Jerrod was always on top of the projects and took our web projects to new levels, and at the end of the day we had a world-class website within our industry (Food processing equipment).
Jerrod was a blessing to work with as he initiated and drove the projects oftentimes virtually and involved our colleagues around the world to create successful results. In addition to a full time job he also continued his studies and successfully finalized a Master’s within the area of user-centered design.
Jerrod is resourceful person who is dedicated to his job, and he is a good and easy-going colleague.”
--Director Marketing Communications, FMC FoodTech; former manager
“When developing a large-scale technical design project, it is imperative to factor in process workflow and usability into the scope. I did not understand that until I had the opportunity to work on such a project along with Jerrod. His insight into and consideration of how design can impact processes and usability were key to the success of that implementation.”
--Manager, Communications and Media Relations, FMC Technologies
University of Washington - Graduate Student
“I worked with Jerrod closely in a graduate level directed research group analyzing data from a study of engineering faculty decision-making about teaching. Jerrod's insights into our research were invaluable, and advanced the analysis considerably. I am extremely impressed by Jerrod's maturity, initiative, independence, team leadership, and considerable research skills. He took the initiative to conduct a related analysis of the ways by which our research group functioned and independently analyzed the situation. He wrote a thoughtful and outstanding journal article based on this independent research that was subsequently published in a well-respected journal in his field of technical communication. The paper itself provided a very useful and significant insights into how this class/research group had functioned, and we used these insights to make positive changes in subsequent research group classes that we offered. The published research Jerrod conducted to write his journal article was in addition to the work he was required to do for the directed research group, his full time job off campus, and was unrelated to his dissertation research. His contributions to our research were well beyond what we had expected from the graduate students working on the project. Because of this truly impressive and independently motivated work I regard Jerrod as a valued colleague and peer rather than as only a graduate student I was helping to supervise on a specific and limited research project as part of a class. In addition to his outstanding technical skills as a researcher, Jerrod is a great team member, team leader, and also a fun and interesting person to have as a colleague and friend. I feel sure that he will be a highly successful contributor to any project he wishes to work on in the future.”
--Research Scientist, University of Washington Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching
University of Notre Dame (student worker-1997)