©2019 by John Clarkson

NEUSTAR (2014-2016)

Director of UX

I was the Director of UX of the Neustar UX (NUX) Studio. This centralized studio oversaw UX for Neustar's diverse product groups: Marketing Analytics, Safety and Security, UltraViolet, and many more. I was the first hire and ultimately built a team of seven full-stack UX designers and developers. Besides delivering world-class UX solutions for Neustar's products, we also maintained and evolved the NUX Toolkit, a pattern library built on top of Twitter Bootstrap. NUX was utilized by product teams across the organization.



In 2014, Neustar launched a major initiative to consolidate and coordinate a group of disparate companies and technologies they had acquired over the course of a few years. This consolidated experience was envisioned as a Bloomberg terminal for marketing targeting and analytics.

This initiative initially had two main foci: 1) develop a pattern library that would be centrally maintained by my team but leveraged across the company and 2) creation of a new marketing analytics tool that unified a complete marketing work flow, from customer data analysis to targeting to publishing to analytics and recommendations. 

Below are some key artifacts of this work and two PDF downloads. These represent my initial thoughts on the project and were used to promote discussion and build consensus.


Means and Ends

At its heart, Project Blueprint was an exploration of how a unified experience might be architected. 'Unification' in this case has multiple dimensions: creating a platform that could bring together several disparate products, knit them into a single cohesive workflow while adapting to the needs of different roles (user types). 

This wire illustrates a new user to the system who was in a junior position and more tactically tasked.


Task Bar

Breaking down the page into its discrete elements and explaining what and why. These explorations led to some great discussions across the UX, Product and Development teams. It always helps to have something tangible to react to (napkin sketches, quick wireframes, etc.)


Patterns in the Data

Central to these experiences was the ability to diagnose a system quickly and easily, be it a marketing campaign or a server farm. Based on an initial series of patterns created by Cooper Design, we built out more robust information displays based on the needs of certain roles and product spaces.


Intelligent Coaching

The power of modern software is the ability for the system to recommend next steps based on the status of variables under its watch. The thought here was to elevate the passive, user-maintained 'to-do' list into an intelligently curated 'next steps' based on workflow progress, the state of campaigns, and recommendations kicked off by optimization algorithms.


Mental Models

The original experience was broken into functions and then selecting the object to affect. But what we found was that most users would step into an object space and then into functions. This kept a user from having to ping pong around the application and continually re-select the correct object.



A detail of how to think about data (adjectives). I have to confess, the visuals on this slide are not very helpful (they were placeholders for discussion).


Role Model

One of the key goals of PlatformOne was to be able to serve different roles from a common interface. This diagram was used to illustrate how an experience could differ across a complex workflow (left to right) but also how the view into that workflow could change depending on role (from Jr. analysts to CMOs, from the tactical to the purely strategic.)


There was a massive amount of work that was completed while I was at Neustar. Many of the services were extremely complex. I love that sort of work, but it doesn't necessarily make for a great portfolio presentation.

I urge you to download the two PDFs at the top of this page for more detail on my thinking and project aims. There is also much more to discuss around other UX experiences my team designed for, and the NUX Toolkit we maintained.