My name is Maggie Gram, and I design tools that aim to solve real problems for the people who use them.

I'm a design lead at Google, where I focus on security and privacy.

Some other recent projects:

Losing weight is hard; keeping weight off after you've been obese is much, much harder.

Our client, a major global health company, wondered how a "digital therapeutic" -- a therapeutic intervention using digital technology -- might help people acheive long-lasting weight loss while also distinguishing the company in the obesity care market.

My team worked closely with nurses, doctors, therapists, and families, conducting user research and journey mapping and iterating extensively on several different prototypes. Together, we designed an evidence-based program anchored by a mobile app. Research participants described as "game-changing").

Pilots for this program are still in progress. But we hope it will fill the “maintenance gap” among the options available to people who have been obese.

[my roles: design lead, user researcher]

People undergoing chemotherapy become extremely susceptible to infection. Four thousand people die of this kind of infection -- "febrile neutropenia" -- each year in the United States. Drugs can help, but often the problem is detecting infection early enough, especially when people undergoing chemo for cancer have so many other concerns and symptoms on their minds.

Working with a major global pharmaceutical company's "innovation unit" and clinical staff, through many rounds of user research and prototyping, my team designed a new solution to detect "FN" earlier. A wearable smart temperature monitor is connected to a network of care management tools and systems. A pilot program is being planned to confirm that the solution improves outcomes for people with cancer.

[my roles: design lead, user researcher]

When you're a home health care patient, your care can feel disconnected and uncoordinated. Only you, the patient, seem to be passing important information -- if you're able to do so at all -- between your doctors and nurses and therapists, as well as family and friends. This is a heavy and often overwhelming cognitive burden. It also leads to poor health outcomes.

Working with the leading player in the home health care management space, my team designed a platform to take the burden off of patients by connecting and coordinating their caregivers. The platform unites the home health care team, including professionals and family and friends, around a single patient record, care plan, and task management system. It integrates data from smart devices, so that everyone's seeing and acting on up-to-date stats. Patients, meanwhile, can heal and rest.

[my roles: design lead, user researcher]

Our client, one of the world's largest hotel companies, acquired another major hospitality group. They saw integrating the two groups' technologies -- reservations software, property management systems, loyaty points trackers -- as their greatest challenge in bringing the two companies together.

Through a series of workshops, we reframed the problem as an opportunity to embrace an internal user-centric strategy: a regular practice of listening to the company's "on-property" (hotel) staff, from front desk associates in Borneo to revenue managers in Cape Town, and designing technology solutions to meet their needs. The integration proceeded smoothly, and on-property employees have become a yet more central part of the process.

[my roles: ux strategist]

A major advocacy organization had rich content around the topic of family caregiving—but little strategy and no effective way to present that content.

Through a series of workshops and qualitative user interviews, my team built out a UX strategy roadmap and backlog. We created a new information architecture and content strategy for the organization's caregiving resource, and we designed a user-centered measurement program that began with caregiving KPIs. Our client's new caregiving resource will launch this fall, connecting family caregivers to the resources they need.

[my roles: design lead, user researcher]

I live in Brooklyn and in Roscoe, NY, with my wife, Jen, and our dog. I teach experience design (remotely, for now) at MICA, the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore.

I have a Ph.D. in English from Harvard University (2013). I've also been a community organizer and communications director for New York State's ACLU; a visiting professor at Wash. U. in St. Louis; a joint postdoc at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society's metaLAB; and a designer, researcher, and senior manager at other digital consultancies, Slalom and Medullan.

And I like to write!, e.g.:

"On design thinking" n+1
"For many caregivers and people with disabilities, WFH was never just a perk" The New York Times
"Under color of statute: Did the Civil Rights Act change the Constitution?" n+1
"Listening to books" n+1
"What Maya Angelou taught us about the politics of hope" The Washington Post
"Freedom’s limits: Jonathan Franzen, the realist novel, and the problem of growth" American Literary History

I'm on Twitter and Instagram, and I am reachable by email.