About Vaughn Aldredge
What do you get when a precocious artist grows up in a house with two engineers for parents?Someone too artsy to fit in in public school, but too pragmatic to really fit in in art school. After graduation from the Art Institute of Seattle, I spent seven years as an illustrator, painting for magazines and ads, but never felt really comfortable with that role. "You want me to redo this illustration because you don't like the color blue? Well, what colors do your readers like? Have you tested for that?" Needless to say, I'm not an illustrator anymore.
I remember when I discovered that my passion was for taking the complex and making it simple: 1996. After building my first site, I realized that not only was this a vocation that satisfied my creativity, but it also satiated the part of me that likes the fact that I won a science fair in the eighth grade. I'd found my calling as an interface designer: true to my precocious artist side, as well as the numbers-driven engineer.
I began with contract work for assorted clients: notably IBM, Arthur Andersen for SiteWerks (now Bowne), and USWest (now Qwest). Then I became a lead designer at Amazon.com, designing interfaces for Amazon Marketplace, cross-site buying and on-site support, and partner integration. For three years I worked with teams at Amazon that set industry standards in the realm of e-commerce, creating features in which every parameter could be measured for success or failure.
One of those teams split off from Amazon to start up Intelligent Results, where I have worked for the last three-plus years. Intelligent Results was founded with the notion that it would become an unstructured-data-mining company. It didn't take long to figure out that finding patterns in unstructured data had many very useful applications: from government/military analysis, to helping financial companies predict which were the best customers to partner with — all based on analysis of plain text. Our programmers create the web applications; I design interfaces that even PhD Statisticians like to use.