Kira Butler

Kira Butler - Web Developer Tick

Montreal, QC, Canada

Senior UX and Web Designer with 13 years experience, helping genre fiction authors sell more books through the WordPress platform.

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Overview

Hi! I’m Kira — a web and graphic designer with nineteen years' raw-knuckle industry experience, with a background in user experience (UX) design and brand management. I’ve worked for companies like Lightspeed, Airbnb, and fashion mogul, Dynamite — but my passion is helping authors tell their story through their websites and book marketing.

I work with people who want to aggressively represent the genre they write, who like to scrutinize the details, and who want to present their author platform a little bit differently in an over-saturated market. I believe that every website is like a book: it ought to tell your story. I can help with that.

My experience providing design solutions to a variety of clients balances technical proficiency, accountability, creative process, and a desire to establish resonant products in print and on the web. An aggressive creative professional with uncompromising standards for execution, I am committed to producing work that is beautiful, user-friendly, and competitive with the competition. I am in love with narrative design structure, which is why I adore working with authors, and it goes without saying that I am a voracious reader too.

For clients that are in creative professions, I provide a unique design service for the WordPress platform that best marries my knowledge of branding, visual design, marketing savvy, and user experience to facilitate conversion -- i.e. helping you sell more books.

I like to work with writers of genre fiction, given that I am a writer myself and have spent extensive time figuring out the best approaches to building an author website that can help you grow your platform. I have an affinity for the "weirdos" (mostly because I am one myself): horror writers, authors of dark fantasy, grimdark, urban fantasy, magical reality, YA and MG authors, and debuts -- let's chat about your worlds and how to best turn them into something tangible that your fans can discover.

I am, of course, well-versed in the visual language of these genres, and I’m happy to benchmark against your competition to see how we might better crush them. (I’m just kidding: I just want to ensure that you present better than they do. “Competition Crushing” is only available by special request.)

Services
Fiction
Adventure
Anthologies
Children's - Middle Grade
Fantasy
Horror
Urban Fantasy
Young Adult & Teen
Works with
WordPress

Work experience

Senior UX Designer and Art Director, Proprietor

Self-employed
January, 2018 – Present (10 months)

Owned and operated a freelance design company that provided user experience design, identity, graphic, and web design services to a variety of creative professionals in the publishing industry. Provided consultation services to optimize user behaviour on web and mobile properties, while establishing style guidelines for sub-contractors. Managed budgets, final production, and quality assurance.

Senior User Experience Designer

Group Dynamite
November, 2017 – February, 2018 (3 months)

Led the development of the UX/UI strategy for Groupe Dynamite’s web and mobile initiatives; translated business product vision into a cohesive user experience by reconciling user needs with 
business goals, technical capabilities and best practices in interaction design and usability; facilitated design brainstorming and working sessions with business stakeholders and execution team through the use of collaboration techniques, interactive prototypes, visual mockups and interface 
demos; 
conduct research into competitor products and UX to identify opportunities in digital products and 
designs that provide a competitive edge; Worked with the Web Analytics Manager to establish performance indicators and measure business value 
and return of the developed products. Ensured compliance with external standards (e.g.: WCAG) and internal brand guidelines for use by Product Owners, brand teams, and IT departments. Championed user-centered design thinking, who understands that the best products are designed 
when the team embraces a collaborative and agile culture and process.

Senior User Experience Designer

Luxury Retreats / Airbnb
November, 2015 – November, 2017 (about 2 years)

Conceived, executed, and tested interface designs for the Luxury Retreats website and digital presences while leveraging their brand recognition. Offered research and insight on trends and best practices associated with web design, ergonomics, and user experience. Collaborated with stakeholders and Product Managers to conceptualize new products and improve existing solutions on the company's website, in their internal and supplier tools, and apps. Followed initial concepts, wireframes, mockups, and prototypes through to production and user testing, while playing a key role in the visual design of new features and ongoing refinements to existing features.

Design Team Lead

Lightspeed
August, 2010 – November, 2015 (over 5 years)

Conceptualized, planned, and executed design and strategies that leveraged the company’s brand image, social presence, website, marketing, and corporate identity online, in print, and at industry trade shows. Collaborated closely with the other members of the marketing department and contributed significantly to the brand’s visual evolution. Adapting quickly, working through iterations, and producing clean, efficient designs that met deadlines was a work standard. Managed a team of three direct reports, and oversaw the rebranding effort.

Research Assistant, Design

Concordia University
April, 2007 – May, 2008 (about 1 year)

Conceptualized and designed an interactive, flash-based Cd-Rom presentation and website for the Logo Cities symposium, followed by a sibling website with new content, continuing the project, a year later.

Graphic and Web Designer

West Island Community Resource Centre
May, 2004 – June, 2008 (about 4 years)

Designed multiple web properties, identity packages, and print resources. Collaborated with stakeholders to ensure objectives were met, and outsourced design services in signage, installation, printed collateral to non-profit partners.

Graphic and Web Designer, Proprietor

Elixireleven Design + Foundry (Freelance)
June, 1999 – January, 2018 (over 18 years)

Owned and operated a freelance design company that provided user experience design, identity development, graphic design, and web design services to a variety of clients. Executed deliverables for a variety of commerce platforms including WordPress, xCart, Big Cartel, and Etsy. Provided UI and UX design and consultation services to optimize user behaviour on web and mobile properties, while establishing brand and style guidelines for sub-contractors. Managed budgets, final production, and quality assurance, while offering a variety of product design services including wireframe, rapid prototyping, user research, competitor analysis, data-driven design, and usability testing.

Projects

Dynamite eCommerce Checkout: User Experience Design for a Fashion Website

The goal of this design solution was to reduce friction and accordingly, user drop-off before completion. We reduced the number of steps required for a user to complete the checkout process while still supporting best practices for login and guest checkout, added smart completion and pre-population of address fields by leveraging the Google API, and included a simplified ship-to-store feature. We also included a share cart feature to improve conversion in mobile users after finding that mobile’s conversion was drastically lower than that of desktop.

Luxury Retreats W3: A Luxury Travel Website Redesign

Our objectives for the W3 redesign of the Luxury Retreats website were to respect the existing user flows but bolster conversion by improving upon existing systems: ensure that users were able to either find properties in regions they were looking for easily, but also encourage discovery and exploration of similar areas of the world that they might have not yet considered.

KiraButler.com, YA Horror Author Website

My WordPress website is the heart of my author platform. Using the website to focus building market interest in my career as a horror and dark fantasy writer for young adults, it’s a portfolio of written work, a place to share news with fans of the genre, and a vehicle for generating interest in the topics I write about. It’s a strange and curious venue, where the fantastic is made possible. This is its third iteration.

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