Michael Heliker: UI/UX Leader

All About Michael

Michael Heliker

UI Designer ME

I like to design and build things. By day, I collaborate with stakeholders, users, colleagues and my teams to design, develop and support intuitive experiences. In an agile development environment, we are able to work quickly, iterate and deliver value to the most important people...our end users. In order to be effective in my roll, communication is a critical component. Communication between product, engineers, UX researchers and designers can be a challenge. When those communication gaps are filled, you create beautiful things together and have fun doing it!

From the educational/nonprofit, commercial sectors, small business or enterprise level corporations, I strive to fill those communication gaps. When everyone is on the same page, everyone wins.

I have worked in web development, design and UX spaces for the last 20 years. I started as a jack of all trades and have narrowed my focus to deliver elegant, user experiences that provide value.

My design background and my technical experience allows me to be uniquely qualified to communicate between disciplines, teams and organizational groups. I understand and can translate the needs of an engineer to a designer. I can provide the same benefits for front-end engineers. Or for stakeholders within the organization.

Design and collaboration tools I recommend include

  • Adobe Creative Cloud (photoshop is my favorite)
  • Figma
  • Sketch
  • Lucidchart
  • Miro

I am well versed in the following

  • Design Frameworks (Bootstrap, Material Design)
  • Javascript
  • Git
  • Storybook
  • Agile Processes
  • Atlassian Tools (Jira, Confluence)

Educator ME

I have been teaching for over 10 years at the collegiate level. I have taught photography, motion graphics, UI design, UX, HTML/CSS and Javavascript for web design programs at multiple colleges:

  • Harper College
  • Benedictine University
  • Illinois Institute of Art

My classroom philosophy is to bring real world work experience to the classroom. Concepts are presented in concrete ways with real situations to help students understand the how AND the why. I also much prefer to work WITH my students rather than simply "lecture" them to death.

Intern Mentor

Mentoring interns has provided me an opportunity to guide students in a real work enviornment. From high school to college, I've helped students experience real agile work environments and truly contribute to a team environment. There's nothing better than helping somone learn and succceed!!

For Fun ME

Like I said above, I like to build things. Sometimes I create images as a photography enthusiest. Portraits, still life, food, macro, or events.

I also build, customize and race RC cars on the side. I am able to relax going as fast as possible, racing on the dirt, or driving slow and crawling over the rocks. I am able to dive into the mechanics and aesthetics of having the coolest looking car and trucks on the track!

Want to talk?