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Miguel Ángel Pérez

Human-centered strategy, design & development

Whether your team is striving to achieve product-market fit, expedite design research, or facilitate sprints and run A/B tests, Miguel helps people skillfully navigate into the unknown by surfacing our shared, hidden reserves of creativity and compassion.

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Consulting Services

Miguel combines expertise in design research, software development, and data-driven strategy to offer just right consulting services for startups and businesses of all sizes.

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Research

Understand the motivations behind users’ behavior through rigorous and regular discovery research, expedited by Miguel’s singular process. Cultivate research insights that will stay valid for decades, and organize documentation so that knowledge gleaned from users isn’t siloed within one department of a larger institution.

Strategy

Prioritize your team’s backlog, pinpoint and de-risk the trickiest elements of a venture, test and achieve product-market fit by conducting discovery research, prototyping, and getting regular feedback from users. Gain competitive advantage by identifying and solving for latent user needs, rather than continuing to push out features and updates that aren’t really needed.

Design

Listen to stakeholders and facilitate their involvement in the design process through collaborative sprints that center the voices and needs of your users. Write scenarios based on insights from discovery research, create wireframes, prototype ideas, and test the usability of your designs.

Development

Equip developers with a clear understanding of the purpose of their work by sharing insights from discovery research and rallying around user outcomes. Save time and money wasted on rework & misguided feature development.

Testimonials

A vocal proponent of design, Miguel often cites Herbert A. Simon’s conviction that, “everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.” Miguel helps people get comfortable approaching challenges as designers and scientists do: by asking questions and rigorously testing assumptions.

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"Because of his tenacity, and attention to detail, we were able to take an enterprise application from ideation to release in under 6 months."
— Scott Stoddard, Senior User Interface Designer at Arrow Electronics
"He is very engaging, approachable, and we trusted him to interview our customers on our behalf to get a true unbiased voice-of-the-customer"
— Diane Wright, Director Of Business Operations at Arrow Electronics
"Miguel is a strong visionary with tremendous intelligence and high EQ. His passion and curiosity are contagious and energizing"
— Brianna Frost, Senior Design Strategy Director at Inovalon
"Miguel is a transformative force multiplier, who is able to guide through vision, tactical execution, and a personal example of what is possible"
— Cobbie Behrend, VP of Software and Data Analytics at Avalere Health
"His enthusiasm and high energy got everyone so excited to come to work everyday to help to further achieve our team goals"
— Emily Egan, Project Coordinator, Digital Initiatives at CID Entertainment
"Miguel's eagerness to jump in, connect with users, evaluate their needs and ensure that the product solves their biggest problems is useful for businesses at any stage"
— Sashenie Hayman, Director of Product Management at Curadora

Recent Work History

Miguel has worked on products and services ranging from B2B healthcare technology to DTC hardware for pets. Since his days developing games as a teenager, Miguel’s worn different hats on tech-enabled teams for more than a dozen years.

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2021 - Understanding audiences faster and more deeply

Cactus removes the hurdles to finding product-market fit by providing innovators with human-centered insights before they bet big on doomed ideas. Unlike subjective surveys or labor-intensive UX research tools, Cactus fully automates the process of collecting and analyzing empirical data about the goals and motivations of your audience and stakeholders.

2019 - Piloting user research to guide automation

In just 90 days, Miguel accelerated internal capabilities for user research and uncovered eight ways to drive profitability via self-service and automation. Miguel's work uncovered eight design opportunities, three focused on increasing revenue and the others on lowering costs. The team prioritized their backlog, forecasted development cost, and released an enterprise product in under 6mos.

2018 - Establishing a Design Center of Excellence

Miguel was hired as the first Human-centered designer at a publicly traded tech company that provides cloud-based tools for healthcare. In a year, Miguel transitioned UX work in-house and built a training program that certified 20+ design practitioners. Along the way, the team reduced the run rate of the design team by 60%, saved $2.4 million on code rewrites with user research, and designed a training program for cohorts of 20 per quarter.

2017 - Human-centered design in City Government

During a 9-week UX fellowship, Miguel facilitated design research with open data stakeholders and shared key findings. With this project, Philadelphia’s Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation engaged community groups and nonprofits to explore their needs for open data, and the challenges they faced when using it. Since usability is vital to making open data accessible to broader audiences, Miguel was hired to formally explore the depths of this issue, driven by this key research question: How might we create a portal that makes open data more accessible to non-technical audiences?

Open Source Projects

Dawddle.js

Existing research indicates that cursor dawdling when performing goal-directed tasks is correlated with negative emotion. To spot dawdling, we need to track changes in mouse distance and speed, looking for decreases in a user’s relative mouse speed by at least 17% and increases in their relative distance traveled by 30%. By comparing patterns across users we are able to create a heat map of potential problem areas and prioritize our research efforts. I’ve created a Github repository with my approach to detecting dawdling with javascript.

smoothState.js

Buttery smooth animations common on native apps have begun to make web tech feel outdated. This has encouraged brands to move away from the open web, greatly increasing the cost of reach. In response to this I built, smoothstate.com, an open-source javascript library that gives developers the ability to add animations to web pages while reducing load times with few changes on the back-end. The project was featured by CSS-Tricks, Treehouse, Envato Tuts+ and has over 3k stars on Github.


Miguel lives and works from the ancestral and unceded territories of the Tocobaga and Seminole peoples in Tampa Bay, USA.
© 2021 Miguel Ángel Pérez. All rights reserved.