Aryel Cianflone, Creator/producer/host
Aryel grew up in northern LA county. After studying international relations, she decided she wanted a career with more visible impact than what she’d seen during her time in government. She went to work for a company democratizing data. After watching the company grow from ~300 to ~900, saw the problems that arise when you build features based on a "wouldn't it be cool..." philosophy versus human-centered design principles and fell in love with UX research. She started Mixed Methods in 2017 and also works as a UX researcher at LinkedIn.
Laura leavitt, Creative Director
Laura Leavitt is the design mastermind behind all of our visual content. She is an alumna of BYU's Graphic Design BFA program who left for New York City without a job right after graduating in 2011. In 2015 she transitioned from print to UX design. She currently works as a Sr. UX Designer at Instructure and was recognized as UX employee of the year for 2015 when working at Domo. She loves side projects, her husband, her two young daughters, bright colors, and graphic novels.
Denney Fuller, Audio Engineer & Composer
Dennis grew up in listening to oldies in the East Valley of Phoenix, AZ. After moving to Salt Lake City, he double majored in General Music & Media Music, as well as studying music composition privately with composer Igor Iamchimciuc. He’s played in every type of music group imaginable from punk bands to symphonic orchestras. He recently opening for The Roots in front of thousands at the Twilight Concert Series.
Val Pucilowski, Research & Development
Val Pucilowski is a researcher and strategist. She takes a collaborative, holistic approach: to ensure that decisions are rooted in a deep understanding of human needs and behavior. At Spotify, Val partners with cross-functional teams to surface insights about a global community of creators. Previously, she conducted foundational research at Etsy—to develop a strategy, services and tools that help 1.8M+ creative entrepreneurs start, grow, and manage their creative businesses.
Val lives in New York City with her partner, Kevin and their cat, Peach 🏙👽🍑. She loves to make things, meet people, and spend time in nature 🎨✨🌈.
ANIA MAStalerz, Editor (MEdium)
Ania is a User Researcher based in Wellington, New Zealand. Originally from Poland, she grew up in Canada and later New Zealand, both contributing to her love of the outdoors. With a background in Psychology, she's inspired by the intersections between technology, design and human behaviour, and aims to inject a dose of humanity into everything she does.
When she's not researching the researchers at Optimal Workshop, you'll find her shredding down mountains, watching Wes Anderson films and eating healthy-ish snacks.