30 Sep

Celebrating 5 Years: Jill Nemec

We’re thrilled to celebrate Jill Nemec’s Pepperversary!

It’s been 5 wonderful years since she took a leap of faith on us! Jill left the comfort of her home in Savannah, Georgia to move to Maryland and join 11p, in its infancy stages. Over the years, Jill has leveraged her awesome design and typography skills, and has now even broadened her skills into UX.

Jill loves traveling near and far to hike or ski. She’s also an avid coffee drinker and rock collector.

To learn more about Jill, check out this infographic and read our special interview!

1. Best part of working at Eleven Peppers Studios?
Great people, good leaders, and flexible hours.

2. If you were a pepper, what type would you be and why?

Mini bell pepper… minimal and sweet!

3. What is a favorite 11P event? Of course the holiday parties, but more recently I really enjoyed the Baltimore Coffee and Tea morning. Such a great way to start off a Friday with all those smiling faces!

4. What is your favorite Christmas present ever received from 11P?  The Duchess a.ka. The Roomba.

5. What is your favorite 11P memory? Any and all snow days!

6. Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice: It’s hard to pick one… Kelsey has been a great desk mate for a “take a break” stroll and convo. And, Kathryn and Theresa are great listeners and advice givers!

7. Name a Pepper whose work or work ethic inspires you: Easy, it’s Kristen. She has inspired me since grad school when she decided one day she would start her own business. She didn’t know what it would be then, but she made it happen! You can always count on her to come through and show up. And, I don’t know how she does it with minimal hours of sleep and a smile on her face. She also exhausts me.

8: My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame!
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

Get to know Jill a little bit better…

1. Any secrets talents or hobbies? Rock collecting. And, I can still do a back flip on a trampoline.

2. Favorite type of coffee to drink? First and foremost a Nespresso. Second, a fresh cup of coffee from Albert. But, mostly sneaking sips of Joey’s vanilla lattes because it’s more fun sharing!

3. Where is the best place you’ve ever gone skiing (snow or water)? I don’t know that there is a best… but when it comes to snow and some crazy slopes I’d have to say traversing the mountains of Alta (no snowboarders allowed!) and Snowbird (most expert skiers I’ve ever seen) in Utah with my nieces and brother.

For water it has to be where I learned to slalom… the bitterly cold water of the Columbia River in Washington. Of late it’s Norris Lake, Tennessee for my old bones. The water is amazing and the perfect temp!

4. What’s your favorite book of all time? If it’s favorite of all time then it’s “Green Eggs and Ham” hands down.

5. What is the furthest you’ve traveled from home? Dubrovnik, Croatia

6. How many trails have you hiked? Geeze, who counts! I’ve been hiking the Appalachians and Cascades since I was a kid plus all vacations include a hike… probably 50+!?!

24 Sep

Pepper Talk with Krista Cochran

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re getting up-close and personal with Krista! Just a little background before we get started, Krista works on a wide range of applications for the government in cyber knowledge. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for 4.5 years.

1. Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
I love to fish. The calming sounds of the water mixed with the thrill of the catch create a very peaceful yet exciting experience. It brings me back fond memories of fishing at my aunt’s pond and local rivers.
2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Well for years, I slowly stumbled to the shower to wake up. Now that I have a new puppy, I always have to stop and give her lots of belly rubs and love.

3. How do you balance being a mom while working? I do my best to keep work and home life separate. I feel blessed to be a mom to two amazing girls and work. Having two teenage girls requires a lot of attention, listening and patience. So while I’m with my family, I try and give them my full attention, just like I do at work.

4. How did you get started in UX?
I was sort of forced into it. As most government contractors are aware of, contracts end and you must move to other jobs or opportunities. My company at the time lost the contract I was supporting so I found a position as a graphic designer on another contract to support Usability Engineers. I was NOT happy to take this position as I loved my old work and team. After a few weeks working with my new team, I came too really like working with users and truly understanding what they need. Over the next year, I became certified in Human Factors and my passion for UX kept growing and growing.

5. What does your day-to-day look like as a UX designer?
I currently spend the majority of my time understanding the pain points of various types of users across a multitude of applications while also understanding the complexities of the systems that support them. Once that is understood, then I work with everyone involved to come up with solutions that the user can understand and the applications can deliver.

6. Do you have a UX design philosophy or guidelines that you live by?
Truly listen to your users and work with your team. Sure, I have some core guidelines that are my foundation, but if I don’t understand the true needs of the users and technical restrictions from my team, then I can’t deliver work that is useful and useable.

7. Where do you find inspiration for your work in user experience design?
 I have a couple mentors that I follow that give great advice and inspiration. They have worked in this field for over 20 years. Not only do they stay on top of how UX and Human Factors is changing, but they also stay rooted in core values.

 7. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Yesssss….everyday
Sweet or Savory: Savory. I’ll take chips and dip over cake any day!
Favorite Movie: Any Jurassic Movies
Favorite place to travel: No favorites. I enjoy any adventure whether it’s cave tubing in Belize or chilling on a beach.
Hobbies: Baking, working out and spending time with family

Thanks for meeting Krista. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

28 Aug

Pepper Talk with Audra Harvey

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re getting up-close and personal with Audra! Just a little background before we get started, Audra works as a Senior Designer on our commercial team. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for 9 months.

1. What is your favorite part about being a designer?
I love problem solving, art, and psychology. I feel like as a designer, I can touch on all 3 of those areas. I’m also a “big picture” kind of person, and am happiest when I’m working on a project that is supporting a mission I believe in.

2. What resources are your favorite to stay up to date on the latest design trends?
Coolhunting.com is a great online publication for creative inspiration. It showcases innovative thinking in products, music, fashion, culinary arts, technology, public spaces, etc. I like seeing the intersection of form and function, and how design really does have an impact on pretty much everything.

3. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I check Slack for any work messages, drink a glass of water, feed the cat, and decide if I want cold or hot coffee that morning.

4. Who is your favorite designer of all time?
Chip Kidd. In college, I wanted to be a publication/book designer. I saw Chip Kidd speak at a design event, and loved his light-hearted approach to coming up with great ideas but never getting too attached to them (since they would inevitably get picked apart by clients and publishers). His designs have so much wit and charm. Years later, I ended up being in the same elevator as him at a HOW conference. I managed to squeak “I love your work” and he graciously said “Thank you” while I tried not to melt into the floor.

5. How would you describe your design style?
Simple and organized with attention to detail. I’ve had to be reminded by colleagues throughout the years that it’s okay to break the rules sometimes, and when I allow myself to do that, it often leads to some of my favorite work.

6. Do you have a set design process when starting a new project?
Ask lots of questions! I always want to get as many details as possible so I can begin to wrap my head around the project. After that the process can very depending on what’s needed (sketching, doing research, etc.).

 7. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine
Sweet or Savory: I have a dangerous sweet tooth.
Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride
Favorite place to travel: Anywhere that’s new
Hobbies: Baking, Yoga, hiking, audio books, puzzles

8. Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
Any movie poster by Saul Bass.

Thanks for meeting Audra. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

22 Feb

Pepper Talk with Jill Nemec

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re snooping into the inner-working mind of Jill N. Just a little background before we get started: Jill is a Senior User Experience Designer and has been with Eleven Peppers for a little over 4 years… get ready for her 5 year anniversary interview in September! If you’re ever in the need of someone for a Murder Mystery party, she’s your gal! Read her Q&A below!

1: Do you have any nicknames?
Oh lots and lots – Jilly, Jill the Pill, Jilly Bean, Jillian, Jill the Thrill and what I call myself when I’m irritated or exasperated with myself… Bean.


 2: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Look at all the texts that have rolled in throughout the night from my 19 family members (mostly nonsense, but sometime emergencies), open up the blinds for all my high maintenance plants, drink hot water, and start getting dressed.


 3: How would you describe your design style?


4: How did you get started?
Started at Seattle University pursuing a degree in Social Work and after two years I reevaluated and took a hard turn transferring far away to Virginia Tech and into their Architecture program. After receiving my BS at VT I decided I still needed some more education (my parents were of course overjoyed) and headed to Savannah, GA to SCAD to get my MFA in Graphic Design.


5: What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Favorites: First and foremost my retired type A personality Father/My Personal Assistant aka Papa Joe (gotta keep him busy). Along with Google Calendar, Timers, ibooks and Nook, Alexa (when we aren’t in an argument), and my first love AutoCAD.

Worst: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram… sensing a trend!?!?


6: Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
Ask lots of questions, research, ask questions again, get some hot water, and then jump in.


7: What do you draw inspiration from?
Architecture mostly, patterns, and textures (I have to touch everything so museums can be extremely frustrating).


 8: Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Moderate Caffeine via Nespresso or fellow pepper, Albert–my favorite Barista
Sweet or Savory: Savory
Favorite Movie: Field of Dreams
Guilty Pleasure: Psycho thrillers/Murder Mysteries
Hobbies: Skiing (snow and water), paddle boarding, cleaning and organizing (seriously), screen printing, reading, rock collecting, hiking


9: Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
The Roomba!

Thanks for meeting Jill N. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

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