Let's Work Together
Greetings! My name is Daniel Allen and I'm a free agent right now. I'm about to roll off of a contract with Humana and I'm presently deciding where I'd like to go next. Here's what you need to know about me:
Creative & UX Direction
I'm what's called a multipotentialite- or more simply- a "Renaissance Man." This means I am best suited for roles that demand a high level of creativity and innovation. Because I know a lot about many disciplines, I'm able to find solutions that fit between the cracks. In no particular order- I'm a copy and creative writer, artist, designer, filmmaker, ux and information architect, tester, project manager, strategist, analyst, digital and search marketer, game designer, and musician. I work well in situations that demand domain knowledge of some or many of these things (such as creative direction and R&D). I also thrive in situations where there are fewer restrictions and more scenarios to test and learn. I have a very high sense of taste in the arts and multimedia, so a big part of what I bring with me is the ability to know what is or is not of high quality.
In 2014, my best friend and I founded a creative studio called Block Interval. We've been building a virtual reality story game called Life of Lon. I recruited a dozen of the absolute best talent I could find to create a ground-breaking game. We are in the process of talking to investors and working out funding for Life of Lon. While it is my ultimate goal to move towards this project full time, getting funding is time consuming and arduous. Even with funding, I will still need a day job for quite some time. I'm ready to bring all the things I've learned from starting my own studio into another company that wants to achieve comparable results.
The biggest piece of innovative domain knowledge I bring with me right now is virtual reality. I have been working in it for a year and a half, and have done lots of research and writing about comfort in VR. I also know a lot about the hardware and software- which devices are best for which scenarios- and which tools to use. I've conducted hundreds of user tests in VR, and have become a voice of thought leadership in the VR community for user experience. I am the co-admin of the VR Creators Network on slack, and have built a number of relationships with people in the VR industry. You can read some of my research in VR here.
Though I look young, I have been in the design field for 12 years and have worked on many projects from start to finish. As a multipotentialite, it is my tendency to exhaust a domain of all of the knowledge I can find and move on to the next one. This has afforded me the chance to experience many different related roles and gain a better understanding of how a product is developed from every angle. I work well with all levels of a team- product managers, engineers and developers, artists and designers, ux professionals, testers and qa, marketing and strategy, social media and community management, etc. In the same day, I am capable of working on a wireframe in a room full of front end developers, walk over to an engineering team and discuss whether the data calls will be efficient, and then synthesize those results into something a product manager could understand. I can function as a team or project lead, or as a liaisan between multiple teams and I've got experience doing everything from big data visualizations to marketing campaigns to games and interactive content.
How has this been working out for me? Have a look at my references.
I have two children here in Chicago, and I'm actively involved in being there for them every weekend. While the VR industry is budding on the west coast, I recognize that it has not yet taken a firm foothold in the midwest. My ideal scenario would either be one where I can build a team or product here in Chicago for a forward thinking company, or work remotely for a company that is located elsewhere as I did with Humana. I live in Naperville near the BNSF line, so something in the loop area would be the logical choice.
Contract vs. salary doesn't make a huge difference to me- though I do like the flexibility that contract affords (considering I am also running a studio).
Get in Touch
If you're still not sure about getting in touch, have a look around the rest of my portfolio or take a look at what I've been doing with Block Interval. I am responsible for the direction our studio takes in most aspects, so you can get a real sense for how I run things when I have total freedom. You can also have a look at my resume as that breaks down my history and skills.
If you ARE convinced that you should get in touch, the best way to reach out is via email first: firstname.lastname@example.org
From there- perhaps we could setup a phone or video call. Looking forward to hearing from you!