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Take Six with Charles Mastin, Principal UX Designer

You’ve been with CarePort for just over a year. Why were you originally interested in working at CarePort?

I had just moved from San Francisco to rural Ohio and was beginning to get restless after taking a break from work for a few months. I hopped on LinkedIn and a noticed a post at the top of my feed from our Head of Product, Sara Radkiewicz, in which she was looking for a UX designer in Boston. A few days later I had secured a three-month contract to help CarePort with some overdue product initiatives. I’ve worked at plenty of startups, even med-tech, but nothing that had such a day-to-day impact on folks’ lives. As my contract came to a wrap, it was the clear vision from leadership and the infectious collaboration of my colleagues that compelled me to accept when I was offered a full-time position.

What does your role entail?

My role is to manage the visual and interaction design of a suite of CarePort products including Guide, Transition, Connect, and Insight. Working from strategic direction and carefully orchestrated roadmaps, I help to breathe life into capabilities and value propositions. Working hand-in-hand with our CRACK (top-notch) team of product managers and engineers, I propose considered solutions, ensure they meet the needs of our customers through testing, and collaborate on delivery.

Broadly, I like to split my time in three places. Research, ideation, and prototyping for the product futures of the next year – customer-focused solutions for the current quarter of roadmap – and sprint-to-sprint guidance on planned execution and responsive troubleshooting on any emerging feedback.

What advice would you give to someone beginning their career as a UX designer?

Critically observe. Great user experiences are a carefully orchestrated plan in motion. Find all the moving parts.

Study the greats. Mature organizations have intuitive, unified and elegant solutions for user needs.

Be empathetic. Always.

Begin with the end in mind. And frequently check your bearings.

Test your ideas early and often. Learn through your mistakes and build on your successes.

Embrace constraints. Be focused.

Gather feedback from everyone. And learn how to effectively use it.

Celebrate your users’ victories. Remember who this is for.

What’s something about you that coworkers would be surprised to learn?

I live in a 200-year-old home, which conveniently includes farm acreage. The crop rotation includes soy and corn and is expertly managed by a local generational farming family. Although the remaining slice deeded to me is just a drop from the original congressional land grant, my “backyard” opens to the entire farm. After harvest, mya boys and I love to repurpose the fields for things like “how to crash a drone in 60 seconds,” “golfing with toddlers,” and “grown adults on tiny dirt bikes”.

No mention of the farm would be complete without a rundown on the animals. We have a modest free-roaming flock of diverse chickens that are expertly guarded by Francis the rooster. Upwards of 20 adorable coturnix quail work hard to produce the tastiest eggs for ramen. They live in a highly secure residence, free from the grasps of neighboring racoons, roaming foxes, minks, snakes, and the occasional opossum. Residing in a spacious dwelling, complete with hand-cut rafters and detailed trim work, Leonard the pig has the lay of the land. This farm/pot-belly hybrid is the pride of the yard and is known to have a small internet following.

What does life look like outside of work?

When not working, actively being schooled in the art of parenting by my three young boys and lovely wife or fixing things around the “farm,”. I can be found in the barn. Unfortunately, most time is spent tidying from the myriad of creatures who find shelter (bats, racoons, mice, chickens, cats, and small birds).

I keep the drumming chops sharp with practice and frequent recording sessions. It’s not the same as being on stage with other musicians but it has been a wonderful light to remain connected with folks and stay active.

Less of a transportation necessity here in Ohio, I find time to modify, maintain, and ride my various motorcycles. Despite being merely hobby status, I’m still motivated to rip around when it’s freezing or ride through a downpour to play “will it fit” in my backpack at the local shops.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

My boys – ages 9, 7 and 4. I get to see both a microcosm of society as well as have an additional play in the “don’t make the same mistake twice” game of parenting. Okay, seriously though, I get to contribute to and admire their development as they move through the milestones. Nothing else comes close.

Interested in working with Charles? CarePort is hiring for several open positions. Apply today!

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