Since I started Next Step in 2004, we’ve helped over 300 clients crystalize their messaging and expand their customer base. As Next Step scales, I’ve gotten insight into a number of verticals. I credit this ability to “get” new cultures to a childhood spent straddling several very different worlds- I attended schools both in the US and in Iran, graduated with an engineering degree from UC Berkeley, then moved on to founding a successful design agency.
Whatever culture or industry, human behavior fascinates me. Though consumers may seem fickle and irrational, the emerging study of behavioral economics- how people really make decisions- shows that there are actually patterns in play. We incorporate these insights into our design and messaging. We use science to help you influence behavior in a measurable way.
With all this research at our disposal, people are sometimes surprised that I won’t recommend a strategy until we’ve thoroughly examined both your company’s passion and your target audience’s hesitations. It’s a step we won’t ever skip. Deeply understanding your market helps us determine which behavioral science interventions would best remove friction.
We put a lot of thought into making things feel intuitive for your audience; we want to make it feel that much easier for them to take the next step.
I love creating. It’s magical to bring a designer’s idea to life. There’s an idea and an empty screen. You add HTML, sprinkle in some jQuery and Poof! it’s alive and responsive. If I weren’t a developer, I’d be a physicist, exploring the mysteries of our expanding, wonderful universe.
Here at Next Step, I lead the development of large, complex projects. No matter how aggressive the time frame, I take pleasure in synching all the details that make my dev mirror the design.
I have a BS in computer science & multimedia engineering from La Salle School of Engineering in Spain, my native country. I’ve been doing development work for 10+ years and know how important it is to build things the right way, the first time. When you begin coding by first considering the ultimate usability of the site, it makes everything easier for the client.
I’m one of triplets. I speak Catalan with my family and English or Spanish with everyone else. In Barcelona I trained clients how to use their new site in Spanish, but in the States, unless you request otherwise, we’ll probably do it in English.
I love being part of a creative working environment and putting my web development skills to use. My background is in science and research- I came to Next Step from Stanford where I coordinated research at the Center for Narcolepsy & KLS Research, organizing studies that included international patients.
Here at Next Step, I manage client support, coordinate with the design team and handle all the details that make us run smoothly. Each year, I put in over 2,000 hours in web maintenance and client support, from fine-tuning sites to building out new pages for an upcoming PR blitz to proactively installing security patches before you realize you need them.
Whether it’s a client or a team member, if someone needs help, I’m here. Saving the day feels good. I think this ridiculously helpful attitude and fearlessness around learning new skills can be traced to my days as a Boy Scout. (I made it all the way to Eagle Scout. Call me if you need to start a fire from scratch. Or put one out.)
My favorite go-to tools are html, Adobe CS6, Google Apps, Sublime Text, and Cyberduck. My favorite offline tool is my doodlepad. I can sketch for hours.
I really enjoy the magic that happens when solid development meets good design. I also appreciate how crucial it is for everyone to meet the numerous deadlines that go into every project. I help the team and the clients stay on track: on paper a single missed deadline doesn’t look like a big deal, but it causes a chain reaction. Dominoes are only fun on the weekend.
To me, one of the most meaningful and exciting parts of overseeing our projects is being sure that the behavioral strategies we set during the discovery workshops are incorporated into the final product.
As our team and ambitions grow, it’s fun to constantly fine-tune the processes and introduce technology to make everything work seamlessly. But, I’ve long ago learned that people are at the heart of all success, not the latest software. That’s why I adapt my outreach according to each client’s preferred communication style, whether that’s Basecamp, phone, email or in-person meetings.
My toolbox is filled with lots of fun work toys. Some of favorites include Adobe CS6, EverNote, Excel, Basecamp and my bike for getting to and from the office!
Since joining Next Step in 2007, I’ve asked hundreds of pointed questions. During our workshops you’ll discover that I’ve got the writer’s curse/blessing of inexhaustible curiosity. Fidget if you must, but this probing is essential. I won’t let you settle for making any unsubstantiated claims.
This obsession with “Why? How? Prove it!” runs back to my days as a journalist. I’ve written for numerous print and online publications, winning regional and national awards along the way, including recognition by Writer’s Digest, for a piece submitted among 19,000 entries.
My editorial experience also helps me when conducting your client interviews. I like to capture the exact way your users describe their concerns and your solution. Why? Studies in Social Proof show that people are much more influenced by people who share similar qualities. In crafting copy that resonates, each word matters more than ever.
Simply, this is a dream job for me. Working with verbs. Exploring Big Ideas. Getting to the core of what really matters and ensuring that the connection we spark with your audience is a genuine one.
I love the fusion of beauty and functionality. My flavor has always been clean and to the point, but since I joined Next Step in 2011, I’ve also really started to enjoy the iterative process. It fuels better ideas. In the beginning stages, you have to be willing to explore. By creating and eliminating ideas that don’t work, you get closer to a more meaningful solution.
It seems obvious to say, but since it keeps cropping up in recent behavioral science research, I’ll repeat the finding anyway: “as humans we gravitate toward beauty.” Yep. Fine design isn’t just easy on the eyes, tons of studies show that it literally makes it easier for people to process information.
I love that nothing here is random. Everything you put into (or leave out of) a design influences the user experience, from the fonts that announce your deepest attitude to the emotions triggered by a certain color or the strategic use of white space coupled with splashes of (a carefully chosen) color.
When I’m not crafting design or being volunteered by Shirin to share with the team some newly learned psychology of design tip, I’m looking up or down at things with my camera. It’s an incredible feeling to discover beauty in unlikely places, especially when it’s the same place you’ve looked at day after day. I like making familiar things feel special.
I love sharing new ideas as much as I enjoy building cool applications on the web. Whether coding complex sites, teaching clients how to get the most out of their applications or volunteering at UNICEF, I get a kick out of helping people move on to better things.
Before joining Next Step, I worked as a Front End Developer at Epsilon (client Google) and was a Software Engineer at Stanford University. I did my BS back in India and got a Master’s from Missouri University of Science and Technology.
When I’m not developing outrageously ambitious and efficient sites, I’m playing chess with my husband or exploring new places in the world with my young family. We’re invigorated by seeing how many ways there are to decorate a home, to express pride and to get life’s important jobs done.
Ray is watching you. Our Digital Marketing Manager has a strong background in analytics and he’s not afraid to use it. In charge of SEO, SEM, social media and marketing automation, Ray scrutinizes your account and analyzes what’s getting the most traction among your users. “I love data and trying to make sense of it. There comes a point where you start to understand users through their data. You can test what works best with them and succeed in keeping your company’s name high on Google searches.”
Before joining Next Step, Ray consulted for early stage startups, like 500 Startups and Netpulse. At StratoDesk, he doubled the conversion rate. “Growing and scaling businesses excites me. I overcome growth pain points by creating strategies across multiple digital channels.”
He expanded the Southern California market for Currency Exchange International, helping them maintain first page rankings on Google search and experience hyper growth. “I grew the Southern California market by 700%. They started with one location and ultimately became market leaders.”
As good as Ray is at boosting numbers, he’s even better at boosting moods. “I enjoy helping people solve problems. It’s incredibly satisfying to help companies overcome growth pain-points and reach their goals,” he said. “Over the years, I’ve invested time, money and strategy into several startups, so I totally get that intense drive that business owners have.”
He’s fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese and also knows exactly what to shout at the screen whenever the Knicks score. “I root for them no matter how well or poorly they do. Even though I’ve been on the West Coast for years, my hopes are still pinned on those East Coast teams.”
I consult the agency about operations, lead strategy sessions and develop partnerships with other companies that recognize the value of having Behavioral Science embedded into design and marketing. I’m a huge believer in Behavioral Science. I’ve seen the positive impact its use has on companies and individuals.
I’m founder and CEO of Amplify Health, a company that uses a combination of analytics and Behavioral Science to help Fortune 500 customers such as The Boeing Company and Ford Motor Company keep their high risk, complex needs employees healthy and out of the hospital.
Another example of the power of Behavioral Science comes from REM Medical, a company I founded to help patients overcome sleep apnea. By using Behavioral Science techniques, our adherence rate was 79%, nearly double the industry average.
Over the years, I’ve led hundreds of operational meetings and formed companies that are far larger and louder than Next Step. But there’s something very exciting about working with a small, agile firm that’s determined to expand and apply its expertise in Behavioral Science in order to help clients achieve a bigger, more positive impact. This focus on innovation, continual learning and continual improvement sets us all up for an exciting future.
When I'm not busy with Next Step, you'll likely find me building an interactive treat dispenser for our Chief Happiness Officer or taking the RV out for another extreme adventure in the wilderness.
I love timeless images. I also love my two young kids, all fine foodie experiences -- even better if it’s from a truck -- and using design to make complex ideas more accessible. I especially love the days when all of these things happen at once.
They tell me I’ve been with Next Step since 2004. I’m better at creating visuals than keeping track of the years, so I’ll go with that. Over a decade.
In 2000 I graduated magna cum laude from SFSU with a degree in Cinema and an emphasis in Animation. I’ve helped develop interactive multi-screen software and taught students in Tokyo how to use it. I’ve worked at PayPal and have taught animation at schools throughout the Bay. I’ve also taught my daughter how to crack the sugary crust of a crème brûlée and I know how to hail a cab in Bangkok.
I use Photoshop and Illustrator to create my designs and the internet to get inspiration. My other favorite tools include hand-drawn and digital illustrations.
I am a trained SEO expert, a Google certified advertising professional and a Best of Industry Web Award Winner. In fact over the years, I’ve won so many awards that they try to call me an SEO guru. I always counter, “So where’s my robe?” (Come to think of it, where is my robe?)
Since 2004, I’ve helped Next Step analyze which keywords the search engines respond to and help businesses generate new leads. I optimize your site, improve your digital footprint, boost your ranking, all so you can get more customers in the door.
I moved here from the East Coast with multiple technical degrees and a set of baseball cards. I graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from BSEE Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and received my MBA at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. It’s been decades since I’ve transplanted, and I love the sushi here, but there’s no way I’ll ever stop cheering for the Boston Red Sox.
I graduated top of my litter, plucked from a cardboard box of 7 wriggling brothers. As a Labradoodle, I don’t shed, but, boy, do I frolic. Every day I wake up happy and curious and ready to sniff. I’m psyched that when Shirin walks me to our office in SOMA there are almost as many intriguing smells as back on the ranch.
As Chief Happiness Officer, I’m in charge of adoring people and getting them to realize how awesome each moment is. I love this role. I love these people. I love your shoes. Actually, I totally love everything: like how my toenails click as I trot across the floor, the cheering that erupts whenever I “sit” on command, the crumbs that Molly drops when she eats at her desk, and especially that cute border collie who comes in on Tuesdays.
Life is good. If I’m not under the desk chewing my organic, fair-trade buffalo chewy stick, I’m trying to get Pete to open the app that locates the nearest squirrel.