Product Designer, Game Developer, Author, and Actress; Past Director of User Experience, Riot Games
Cheryl is a product designer, game developer, author, and actress best known for her work on Amazon's Alexa, the Echo Look, Cortana, the Sims family of games, the Riot Games + Xbox Game Pass partnership, and Microsoft's Azure platform. She most recently was the Director of User Experience for the Player Platform at Riot Games. Her book, "Design Beyond Devices: Creating Multimodal, Cross-Device Experiences," (Rosenfeld Media, 2020) is a “manual for those who aspire to design the starship bridge of their dreams."
Cheryl’s video game career started with several years working on some of the most influential games in history, including an expansion pack for The Sims (original) and guest writing for The Sims 2. Notably, Cheryl worked on two major console adaptations of the Sims: The Sims Bustin’ Out on all console platforms (Xbox/PS2/GC/GBA) and The Urbz: Sims in The City, for which she produced the Game Boy Advance version from start to finish—and she also played a key role in the historic launch of the Nintendo DS with her contributions to The Urbz as a launch title on that platform.
After the successful launch of The Urbz on the Nintendo DS, Cheryl joined Amaze Entertainment/ Griptonite Games, becoming a lead producer and occasional game designer on multiple handheld titles for Disney Interactive, including The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (GBA), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (GBA/DS). Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds’ End (DS), and Disney Friends DS.
For a decade after her time at Amaze, Cheryl sought out new challenges–from designing the software that manages most PCs in corporate environments to serving as Design Lead for Microsoft’s Azure platform; from working on multimodal experiences for Windows Automotive to shipping those experiences at scale with Cortana on PC/Phone, the Alexa platform, and the Echo Look. Cheryl spent three years at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as Principal UX Designer for Productivity and Collaboration, finding ways to maximize global productivity and collaboration for foundation employees and partners, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cheryl is also an actress, improvisor, singer and director who performed at Seattle's Unexpected Productions in a variety of productions, including their flagship Seattle TheatreSports. She received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University and studied for a year in the Entertainment Technology Center’s Master’s Program before pivoting to industry. She has delivered keynotes and workshops about design topics on five continents and over 15 countries.