I'm passionate about user experience and designing for non-addictive technology. One of my favorite parts of teaching is incorporating lessons from nature and the animal world, and readings from across disciplines (such as architect Christopher Alexander, urban studies author Jane Jacobs, positive computing leaders Rafael Calvo and Dorian Peters, and artist Jonathan Harris.) I've taught workshops nationally and internationally to designers from the world's leading products and spoken about my design philosophy at places like Warm Gun, WebVisions, Product Tank, User Experience Lisbon, and the Bay Area Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction.

This workshop was co-created and taught with Samuel Hulick of User Onboard in Amsterdam.

We believe better onboarding makes better products and better people. If you missed the workshop you can download the curriculum, worksheets, and exercises here. And here is the accompanying reader. It's everything you need to get you started!

Interested in a workshop at your company or conference? Reach out:

Workshops can often be a transfer of knowledge you soon discover simply doesn’t copy paste to reality. Mara and Samuel’s workshop is about adopting a new way of thinking. Not a day goes by without observing situations at work as well as in every day life that make the crucial mistake of focusing on the task or tool instead of the user and their goal.
— Fokke Z., Support Engineer, Zapier
I have been to many of these types of workshops and they tend to drag on for hours and normally there’s not much to walk away with. I found your session to be well organized and packed with a ton of tactical and useful information. Kudos for such a well run workshop. Best fours hours I have spent learning something in a long while.
— Carnet W., CEO & Co-founder, Spright
Mara and Samuel are the onboarding experts. I highly recommend this workshop!
— -Laura K., UX at Google
The workshop was fun and passionate. They’ll let you think about your own product in ways you probably haven’t before and hand you the tools to complete your own onboarding quests.
— Maarten B, Interaction designer


Special thanks to Steve, Iris, and the wonderful team at GlobalOrange who provided the beautiful space (a converted church!); photographers Joyce and Andres from On a Hazy Morning; and Kristen Gallagher at Edify