Hi, I am a designer + Creative Technologist + Inventor.
My background includes media production, product design, and design-thinking allowing me create great products and support others through the research, development, and deployment process.
I am especially interested in how technology impacts the lives of women and girls. I spend much of my energy inventing ‘FemmeTech’ and fashion technologies that prioritize the needs and desires of women and sharing that work with others. Recently, I started a femme and fashion-technology company called Digits Tech.
To learn more about my experience check out my LinkedIn page. For updates on my work, follow me on Twitter. You can also take a look at my Medium articles on design strategies for delightful, humorous, and playful engagements with technology.
Updates: The Pittsburgh City Paper recently wrote a great cover story on my femme-forward technology design work, which give a great glimpse into my workflow.
say hi : email@example.com
My design practice originated in my love of filmmaking and telling compelling stories. I earned my BA in Film production and studies from UNCW with concentrations in documentary and animation production. Filmmaking is a key part of my design practice. I use film to tell stories about my design concepts, and to show stakeholders what their users are saying/wishing/desiring from the product.
While leading a media-based mentorship program at Dartmouth College, I was exposed to design, technology, and computer science. I was gripped by the power technology has over changing the course of one’s environment, experiences, and lives. To learn more, I enrolled in the MFA in Design in Technology program from Parsons the New School for design. While at Parsons, I cofounded Blink Blink, a startup with the principal mission of encouraging playful and meaningful experiences with technology through the making of circuit-based DIY projects.
Most recently, I have earned my Masters of Science degree from the Human Computer Interaction Institute program at Carnegie Mellon University where I was a research fellow in CMU's e-heart lab, directed by Dr. Geoff Kaufman. One line of my creative research centered on humorous and playful design strategies. The other line of my research focused on the creation of FemTech - technologies that center the unique experiences of those that identify as womyn (inclusive).
In the summer of 2018 I worked with Facebook as a UX Design Research Graduate intern. There I supported the development of new Facebook Events products that prioritize meaningful engagement with community members in the real world.
In 2019, I cofounded Digits Tech, a FemTech and fashion technology focused R&D studio in Pittsburgh, PA. My team and I are currently building a variety of products including beautiful feminine hygiene products from up-cycled materials, RFID-embedded press-on nails, and fashion technologies that increase visibility for cyclists.
Press: blink blink
McDonald, J., Zhao, S., Liu, J., & Rivera, M. L. (2018, May). MaxiFab: Applied Fabrication to Advance Period Technologies. In Proceedings of the 19th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (pp. 13-19). ACM.
To, A., McDonald, J., Holmes, J., Kaufman, G., & Hammer, J. (2018). Character Diversity in Digital and Non-Digital Games. Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association, 4(1).
McDonald, J., & Yi Messier, N. (2015, January). Input/Output: Paper Prototyping for the Future. In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (pp. 493-495). ACM.