Makoto Kern

UX. IA. Mobile. Web.

About Me

"That's Tron, he fights for the users."


Makoto Kern, UX Consultant |IIIMPACT, Inc.

UX Strategy, Web & Usability, Enterprise Software Designer in Chicago, IL

I’m the UX Principal and founder of IIIMPACT, Inc. which is a boutique digital UX agency (started in Chicago for 10 years and now in Austin). I have a passion for helping companies integrate the latest UX processes and methodologies to create wonderful products and customer experiences. My team are experts in Visual Design, User Experience and Front End Development.  I have been working professionally for over 10 years in the User Experience (UX) and Information Architecture (IA) fields.  I focus on creating better experiences for the web, mobile and software applications and my wide variety of experience allows me to excel at this profession. I’ve worked in many industries: from Network Security, eCommmerce, Enterprise Software, Insurance, Financial Tech, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Crowdsourcing and SmartTV, Start-ups.

I recently moved to Austin, Texas from Chicago, IL and excited to become part of the booming tech industry here and hope to help companies in need of improving their product User Experience (UX) and Information architecture (IA) and implement UX /UI into their development process.

I absolutely enjoy what I do and hope to continue being a UX advocate to industry leaders.  I have a wide variety of experience and background and feel this is one of my strongest assets. This allows me to think of solutions from many different angles, while understanding business and development goals and being an advocate for the user. I have a passion for learning about new emerging technologies, methods and research and how to integrate these into new and existing products to improve the user experience (UX).

If you have an inquiry regarding a new project, opportunity, need to redesign old legacy software applications…or just want to talk shop or just say hello, contact me or call @ 877.388.2121 Ext # 1.

IIIMPACT, Inc is a small, Lean UX agency with big experience! We create User-centered, SEO-optimized, professional websites, mobile and tablet apps for start-ups to Fortune 500 enterprise software companies. We also are focused on redesigning legacy enterprise and consumer applications, user research, strategy, design, and front-end development (HTML/CSS/JS) of consumer, B2B, and enterprise applications for all platforms.

We have produced amazing UX-centered interactive products for startups and some of the world’s biggest companies. Contact to get in touch with our team and to discuss how we can help improve your product’s experience, interface, usability and front-end and backend development needs.

We also have staff augmentation for development firms, other creative digital agencies or internal corporate UX / UI / FED teams. If you are looking for support with your digital projects and UX / UI strategy, please contact us as well.




Freelance / Contract Roles
Variable Hourly or Project Rates
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Full-time Consulting Roles
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Mobile and Tablet UX Projects
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Start-up Lean UX Consulting
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Artists themselves are not confined, but their output is.

-Robert Smithson

Get in contact with me

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."

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    What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.

    T. S. Eliot

    Job Board


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    My Clients

    I work with great brands. Close partnerships with really awesome clients allows me to do world-class work and create innovative products.


    "UX Design is a competitive advantage. Bring on a UX Designer from day one & the best you can afford"


    This will be updated shortly. A large part of my recent portfolio is still under NDA, but I can discuss in private upon request.

    @levelsio Just waiting for the bubble to burst...can't keep going up indefinitely...

    About 2 years ago from IIIMPACT, Inc.'s Twitter via Twitter for Android

    My resume

    President of IIIMPACT, Inc. & UX Consultant User Interface Experience Design | Startup Lean UX Design | Multi-Channel eCommerce | Web | Kiosk | Mobile | HMI | Tablet Design | SEO | Product Innovation | Data Visualization | Big Data Presentation | Enterprise Software application redesign | UX Development Strategy

    work experience

    2000 - 2001

    Project Engineer

    March 2000 - March 2001

    Omron St. Charles, IL

    Managed electronic projects on multiple automotive component product lines.

    2001 - 2002

    Robotics/Automation Engineer III

    March 2001 - March 2002

    Motorola Harvard, IL

    • Programmed robotic cells to improve efficiencies within the plant.
    • Created new Human Machine Interface (HMI) programs and presented new technologies to automate and improve manual processes.

    2002 - 2003

    Sr. Automation Engineer

    March 2002 - May 2003

    Andrew Corporation Addison, IL

    Designed and integrated software/hardware, automated and semi-automated solutions for factory workers to help improve the quality and efficiency of product output.

    2003 - 2008

    Sr. Engineer

    May 2003 - October 2008

    Gendex Elmhurst, IL

    • Electrical Design Engineer for new high-tech Kavo Dental Chair line.
    • Integrated Automation systems (National Instrument GUI, PLCs, MS Access DBs) to improved manufacturing and testing of several high-tech dental product lines, by increase efficiency and updating technology throughout the facility.
    • Lead Kaizen Teams through aggressive lean techniques and initiatives throughout the manufacturing floor - 5s, Value Stream Mapping, VRKs, Standard Work-Black Belt, Kanban Systems.

    2008 - 2009

    User Interface (UX) Designer / Information Architect Consultant

    October 2008 - Feb 2009

    Trustwave Chicago, IL

    • User Interface, Experience / Information Architect Consultant - Worked with Flex programmers, Marketing, and Executive Management to improve the look, feel and usability on network security web applications.
    • Conducted User/Usability Testing, reported findings and made recommendations to Sr. Designers and management.
    • Created new User Interface Designs based on usability testing and improved user experience for security web applications in Photoshop and Fireworks.
    • Managed creative direction of off-shore graphic design team to create over 75 custom-made icons for applications.

    2009 - 2010

    Web Usability / User Experience Consultant

    March 2009 - March 2010

    Hewitt Chicago, IL

    • Identify/define the usability objectives of new web and mobile applications for large-scale intranet site used at top Fortune 500 companies.
    • Facilitated rapid usability test sessions, Heuristic reviews, personas, card sorts, A/B & Multivariate testing, and wireframing, utilizing knowledge of Human Factors, Usability heuristics knowledge and Web Design to improve the user experience of web applications.
    • Compile/analyze results using analytical/statistical skills to identify true issues. Developed recommendations and reported the findings to Designers, Architects and Business Stakeholders.

    2010 - 2011

    Freelance User Experience (UX) / Information Architect Consultant

    April 2010 - October 2011

    Morotola Chicago, IL

    • Created wireframes using MS Visio to architect processes, layouts and interactions of consumer website and presented to stakeholders.
    • Performed heuristic reviews, made recommendations on interactions and surveys questionnaires for while maintaining consistency, awareness of international content and driving forward new interactions and user experiences.
    • Work with design and technology teams through the experience design portion of interactive projects to define and meet project plans, goals and objectives.

    2010 - 2011

    Sr. User Experience (UX) / Information Architect (IA) Consultant

    April 2010 - April 2011

    Manifest Digital Chicago, IL

    • Sr. IA/UX responsibilities for leading projects that involved creating and presenting high-fidelity wireframes for both mobile apps and web (Visio, Axure).
    • Used Visio and Axure prototyping software to develop detailed interactions and facilitating user-testing for large eCommerce and Fortune 500 company websites - clients include, Northwestern University and
    • Facilitated requirements meetings, brainstorms, with client stakeholders (BAs, SMEs, and technical staff) and high-level management to architect process flows, personas, use-cases and interactions.

    2010 - 2011

    Freelance User Experience (UX) / Information Architect (IA) Consultant

    July 2010 - October 2011

    Symmetri Marketing Group Chicago, IL

    - Created detailed IA/UX website and mobile wireframes (Visio), UX interaction design recommendations, sitemaps, functional requirements and competitive reviews for Symmetri’s large international manufacturing and medical clients - clients include Danaher, Dentsply, Kollmorgen, Barry-Wehmiller, Valtera, and Thompson Linear. - Worked directly with the VP of Digital and their clients to present UX wireframes and recommendations.

    2004 - Present

    Owner / UX Consultant

    2004 - Present

    IIIMPACT, Inc International

    - Web, Mobile and Tablet Design/Programming, User Interface/UX/Design and Usability, Information Architecture, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), HTML5/CSS3, eCommerce, Mobile Apps for B2B and B2C. - Managing teams of Designers & Developers to create websites, tablets/mobile app, utilizing the latest web technologies and Search Engine Optimization techniques, while maintaining the best user experience. - Our clients, from small businesses, start-ups, to large digital agencies, are successfully outsourcing their IT, web, mobile/tablet development and UX/UI design needs to IIIMPACT.

    2009 - 2013

    Web Architect/IT Consultant

    July 2009 - July 2013

    Bella Baby Photography Chicago, IL

    • Responsible for managing entire IT, Mobile and Web initiatives for high-traffic, successful Photography/eCommerce Start-up
    • Web and iPad Design/Programming/SEO (HTML5,CSS PHP/MySQL, jQuery/JS)
    • Usability/User Experience (eCommerce Development)
    • IT/Intranet (24/7 Dedicated Linux/Plesk Server Support/Migration/Setup, Email, NewRelic application monitor)

    2011 - 2011

    Senior Information Architect (IA) / UX Consultant

    April 2011 - Dec 2011

    Razorfish Chicago, IL

    • Created information architecture and interaction design for transactional, informational, and marketing websites, mobile and Facebook applications for Kellogg's and other Fortune 100 companies. (Visio, InDesign)
    • Worked closely with clients to translate business requirements into meaningful interactive experiences and understanding target audiences' needs, tasks, and goals and translating them into creative concepts and functional components.
    • Collaboratively developed prototypes for demonstration of concepts to clients, developing and documenting detailed user experience specifications for highly interactive interfaces.

    2014 - Present

    Freelance User Experience (UX) Web & Mobile Designer

    2014 - Present

    Moving Interactive New York

    • Creation of UX Wireframes and Photoshop Design Comps for Avis and Budget car rental mobile apps - iPhone, Android and Windows apps
    • Created UX wireframes and Photoshop design comps for Android and iPad education app

    2013 - Present

    Mobile User Experience (UX) Application Designer

    2013 - Present

    Humana Chicago IL

    • Create great experiences across Humana's Android/iOS Mobile Application and Responsive Web products in an Agile environment.
    • UX Lead for Members and engaging Loyalty and Health Programs this includes Humana's Mobile apps to their Responsive Website Design.
    • Collaborated with Humana's Innovation team from brainstorming sessions to rapid prototyping/usability testing ideas for new product ideas.
    • Employ multi-channel, UX and Human Factor principles from several fields including psychology, engineering, anthropology, informatics and more to assure quality human - computer interactions

    2011 – 2013

    Sr. Info Architect / UX eCommerce Consultant

    December 2011 – July 2013

    Walgreens Chicago, IL

    • Responsible for developing the best user experience and information architecture for web, mobile, kiosk and cross-channel UX for,,, and other eCommerce initiatives.
    • Create site maps, flows, wireframes/prototypes (Axure), and design specification, analyze usability test results, and develop user experience design specs based on consumer data, usability testing and web analytics (Omniture).
    • Work with Business Analysts in the development of use cases required to document the business rules & expected online customer behaviors and identify areas of difficulty in the customer experience.

    Education experience


    Publication – Robotica

    November 2005

    Implementation of a Hexapod mobile robot with a fuzzy controller

    Fuzzy logic has features that are particularly attractive in light of the problems posed by autonomous robot navigation. Fuzzy logic allows us to model different types of uncertainty and imprecision. In this paper, the implementation of a hexapod mobile robot with a fuzzy controller navigating in unknown environments is presented. A robust fuzzy algorithm was created and integrated into a working hexapod robotic platform. The robot, MKIII, interprets input IR sensor data through the comparison of values in its fuzzy rule base and moves accordingly to avoid obstacles.   ROBOTICA / Volume 23 / Issue 06 / November 2005, pp 681-688 ; Copyright © 2005 Cambridge University Press


    Masters of Science – Electrical Engineering / Robotics


    Northern Illinois University

    NIU Tae Kwon Do Team - US Nationals Qualifier 1998,1999

    Activities and Societies: NIU MMA Club President - 2001 Champion Midwest Pancrase Martial Arts Tournament


    Bachelor of Science – Electrical Engineering


    Northern Illinois University

    → View website

    "You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology."

    - Steve Jobs

    what I can provide

    Owner and Consultant for a small, Lean UX company with big experience! We create User-centered, SEO-optimized, responsive websites, mobile and tablet apps for Startups, large digital agencies to Fortune 500 companies (Enterprise applications and B2C).

    User Experience

    At the heart of everything I do lies a great user experience. I take pride in my interfaces that I design for my clients and will try to be the advocate for the user while balancing Development and Business needs & goals.

    Rapid Prototyping

    This step in the process takes us from pencil and paper to fully interactive digital prototypes. We rapidly test hypothesis gained from research with key user groups before going into production.

    Information and System Architecture

    This is where research really begins to merge with design—we create workflows, wireframes, process flows and data maps to help connect the dots between a user’s input and expected output.

    Visual Design

    The final look and feel of a digital application—the user interface (UI). These designs are aimed to exceed user expectations by marrying a product’s interface architecture with an aesthetic and user experience (UX) that brings it to life.

    Mobile UX/UI Design

    I design apps and responsive sites that are intuitive, easy-to-use and positively impact people's lives.

    Usability Testing

    Using psychology, human behavior and neuroscience, to create groundbreaking user experiences that increase your sales as much as possible.

    Responsive Web Design

    With responsive web design, your website becomes a fluid display of information that re-organizes and rebuilds itself according to the needs of the individual. Creating a customized and intuitive user experience and improving performance across all user-types.

    Lean UX

    Lean UX lets you focus on the actual experience being designed, rather than deliverables. Gather feedback early and often and drive the design in short, iterative cycles to assess what works best for the business and the user.

    Lean UX Process









    • Lean User Experience (UX) 100%

    • Responsive & Adaptive Design 100%

    • Information Architecture (IA) 100%
    • User Interface Design (UI) 100%
    • Usability Testing 100%
    • Rapid Prototyping 100%
    • UX / UI Strategy 100%
    • Enterprise Application Design 100%
    • Axure, Omnigraffle, Visio 100%
    • Innovation Ideation 90%

    • Human Computer Interaction 100%
    • Photoshop 90%
    • HTML/CSS 90%
    • Interaction Design 100%
    • Web Application 80%

    • IT/Server Technology 70%
    • PHP/Python 70%
    • Product Design 80%

    • SEO 70%
    • Web Analytics 90%

    "Design is hard work. Striving for design excellence is even harder."

    -Archie Boston

    UX Blog

    Yes, I will start writing a blog as soon as I have time :-) This blog will contain the greatest and most awesomeness UX stuff known to man (and woman). We will have the trial and tribulations of how we have integrated UX into our clients' development process, enterprise applications redesign, consumer mobile apps, and everything in between. Tune in next week...

    A new way to enjoy classic children’s stories

    Posted by Creative Bloq |30 Jul 14 |

    Read more about A new way to enjoy classic children’s stories at vimeo: 99556143 Some think that classic children’s tales are timeless and should never be changed. But forward-thinking recent graduate Annabelle Murguet has no truck wit…

    Find out what happens when you change a CSS property with CSS Triggers

    Posted by Creative Bloq |30 Jul 14 | 0 comments

    Read more about Find out what happens when you change a CSS property with CSS Triggers at Instead of spending time performing your own tests, you can now use Paul Lewis’ CSS Triggers to understand the ramifications of setting the value…

    50 free Photoshop actions

    Posted by Creative Bloq |30 Jul 14 | 0 comments

    Read more about 50 free Photoshop actions at We’ve rounded up some of the best Photoshop actions that are free to download and create stunning effects. Adobe’s flagship image-editing software Photoshop has a powerful programming langua…

    Design is a competitive advantage. Bring on a designer from day one & the best you can afford