Hess Tractor Trek

Hess has released a new toy every holiday season for the last 50 years, and these stocking stuffers are sold in 1,300 stores up and down the east coast. They're fun to play with and super collectable. To knock the bar up a level, Hess wanted a mobile game to augment the 2013 Hess Holiday Tractor, and we delivered. For the first time, honking the horn on a physical toy unlocked mobile game content. As the UX lead, I helped conceptualize the game and interactions, and supported the developers with detailed wireframes for each screen along with drafting user flows and site maps.

Client: lm/nl / Hess

Date: 2013

Role: UX Designer

Platform: Mobile (iOS, Android, Kindle Fire)

Review: NYT


Lazer Tag

Talk about turning a G­rated boyhood dream into reality ­ we built the first multiplayer, augmented reality toy, which turns real life into an epic first person shooter. I got to work with the original Lazer Tag developers, Hasbro and the guys at Vertigore to build a version of Lazer Tag to build a mobile experience integrated with a physical toy. I translated the game design document into wireframes and adapted the rules from the original game to work on a mobile device using augmented reality and two­way communication with the blaster. I drafted the screen wireframes and more than my share of user flows detailing in­app purchases, on boarding, and both single and multiplayer experiences. Was it worth it? Hell yeah!

Client: Vertigore / Hasbro

Date: 2012

Role: UX Designer

Platform: Mobile (iOS)

Review: Mashable / PC Mag


Gilt Personal Sales

The only thing cooler than seeing the ridiculous deals Gilt offers each day is seeing said sale customized for you with the stuff you love most. That's exactly what our team set out to do when we designed the mobile and desktop experiences for the first personalized sale in e­commerce. As the UX lead for this project, I was responsible for leading brainstorm sessions, sketches, wireframes, competitive analysis, user flows, user testing, prototyping and working with the development team to build the algorithm. Phew! I'm exhausted just reading all that. But once you see it in action…well, it was worth it.

Client: Gilt Groupe

Date: 2013

Role: UX Designer

Platform: Desktop / Mobile

Launch Site

Gotham Guide

New York City has a rich and storied history, but it's largely inaccessible without a proper guide. There are plaques and other memorials, but they're representative of a bygone era. I partnered with the founder of Real New York Tours, Trip Advisor's highest rated tour group, to produce a series of interactive videos about the buildings, monuments and street corners most New Yorkers walk by daily without nary a thought to its history (that's right I used 'nary' there). Through a network of brightly colored, custom built QR codes, anyone with a smartphone could stumble upon and scan the code to learn about the place where they stood. Later I added an Augmented Reality (AR) version that used the phone's compass to direct users to the nearest Gotham Guide codes.

Date: 2009

Honors: MoMA, 2011

Platform: Desktop / Mobile

Launch Site

Gilt Home Relaunch

I collaborated with some very talented UX teammates to relaunch the Gilt Home site for a new audience of designers and architects. The experience was a total site overhaul designed for large product images, user profiles, integrated content and innovative interactions to surprise and delight members. I designed the custom content CMS backend as well as the on boarding, registration and professional designer portal for community members coming to Gilt via an interior design site acquisition. Most of this work required wireframing e­-commerce and profile experiences as well as developing user flows and site maps to support the development team's efforts.

Client: Gilt Groupe

Date: 2011

Role: UX Designer

Platform: Desktop


It's rare to have the opportunity to invest 6 months in a passion project, but that's exactly what this represents. My masters thesis project for the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU was Telestory ­ a secure web and phone based interface for recording stories to share with future generations of one’s family. I designed, programmed and tested the entire project from soup to nuts. It was built using PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS and Asterisk.

Date: 2011

Honors: TEDxGallatin, 2011

Platform: Desktop


When I first pitched this mobile app concept in front of renowned NYC angel investor Joanne Wilson, she shuddered and said, "I hope this never gets made." That's when I knew I was on to something. The idea behind this mobile game prototype is to gamify the mundane tasks inherent in domestic living situations, such as cleaning up the dishes or taking out the garbage. The kicker is that the app knows how many times you've completed certain tasks, such as doing laundry, and can then serve up local deals to purchase more detergent or fabric softener.

Date: 2011

Platform: Mobile

Honors: Finalist - ITP PitchFest 2011


I'm currently the head of product at Virgin Mega based in New York City.

I was fortunate enough to collaborate on two very cool mobile games - Hess Tractor Trek and Lazer Tag: AR - both of which you can read about in my portfolio.

Previously I was a user experience designer at Gilt Groupe where I helped re-launch Gilt Home and worked on Gilt's first homepage as well as its first major personalization initiative.

I have a masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where I became really good at failing very quickly and learning from my mistakes. I hacked together a lot of physical prototypes, wrote Python code that spit out beautifully awkward poems,  mashed up 20+ APIs to visualize my online life, designed an interactive elevator, collaborated with lawyers, musicians, dancers and scientists, and built a system to record and preserve oral histories for future generations. It was a blast!

In what sometimes feels like another life, I was one of the country's first corporate social media strategists. I lead Text 100 Public Relations' global social media practice, directing both internal and client strategy for some of the world's largest brands including Cisco, MTV, IBM, Lenovo and Philips. Together we created some super successful online community engagement initiatives across platforms ranging from blogs to virtual worlds (yes, Second Life!) and everything in between.

In 2007, I won PRWeek's "Young PR Professional of the Year" award and was named one of the industry's "Top 10 Rising Stars." I'm also honored to have received the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) “recommended speaker” designation in 2008.

My interactive work was featured in MOMA's 2011 exhibition, "Talk To Me."

Honors + Awards.

Gotham GuideMOMA, "Talk To Me" (2011)

NYU WinnerMicrosoft Firenze B|X|T (2011)

TEDxGallatin Speaker (2011)

International Association of Business Communicators"Recommended Speaker" (2008)

PRWeekYoung PR Professional of the Year (2007)

PRWeekInnovation of the Year (2007)

Top 10 Rising StarsPRWeek (2006)

Text 100 Star Award for Trusted Adviser Consultancy(2006)

O'Dwyer Award for Excellence in Public Communication in International PR(2006)

Silver Sabre Finalist(2005)

TEDx Gallatin.

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I was sitting with a bunch of other UX designers and the conversation turned to how I stay on top of the latest apps, design tools and interesting reads. I explained it was because I'm one of the few people using RSS feeds to scan more than 500 blogs, a vestige from my PR days. Thus the 'Low Fidelity' experiment was born. It's a semi-regular newsletter where I share the five best design links I've recently stumbled upon. Sign up!

Aaron Uhrmacher

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