Author Archives: Keith Deaven

Keith Deaven

About Keith

Keith is responsible for co-founding Mediabarn, a company that specializes in UX research, design, and staff augmentation. As CEO and Co-Founder, he has led Mediabarn through ten successful years. Mediabarn's longevity can be attributed to the fine-tuning of an innovative business model which combines the benefits of a user experience research practice, creative agency, and placement services firm under one roof. Keith has built the organization into an interactive powerhouse with a wide range of clients including government clients, such as the U.S Army, U.S. Patent Office and NIH, to some of the world’s most widely recognized media and education brands like Discovery Communications, National Geographic, The Better Business Bureau, PBS, K12, and Pearson Education. Keith is looking to continue the company's progress this year with the addition of a fourth line of business: product development.

Keith began his interactive career at America Online, spending ten years there during a significant period in their growth from 1994 to 2004. He learned what was necessary to design and build world class interactive products from some of the most talented people in the industry. Starting with jobs encompassing project management and product design, he worked his way up to become the Executive Director of the Producer Team in the AOL Studio for over two years. The Producer Team was responsible for project managing the user experience design and production of nearly all of the AOL properties, giving Keith wide exposure to all facets of creating and running interactive products.

Keith earned a B.S. degree in Labor & Industrial Relations from Penn State University, where he continues to assist the College of Information Sciences and Technology as a speaker in project management and entrepreneurship. Additionally, Keith proudly holds the title President of the Board of Uplifting Athletes, a national non-profit organization aligning college football with rare diseases and raising them as a national priority through outreach, research, education and advocacy.

Would you believe that he has some spare time? When he gets a break, Keith enjoys traveling, cooking, and playing bass in a band. He treats going out to dinner like an extreme sport, and shocks people in the office when asked about a restaurant he hasn't been to.

Over the past few years there has been a significant increase in the federal government’s demand for human-centered design (HCD) services in conjunction with software development and delivery. Organizations like USDS and 18F, CIO’s from private industry, and HCD-savvy government employees have all advocated for a more human-centered design approach to serve the government’s constituents and employees.   The result of this growing advocacy is an increase in demand for human-centered design services. Currently, the primary means of procuring human-centered design is limited to a program/project level. As a general example, when an RFP is released for creating a new … Continue reading

In any environment, many critical decisions must be made when you are first designing and building your product. And with startups, tight budgets and aggressive timelines can force you to cut corners and quickly push out products that are not ready for launch. This can pose numerous issues later in your product’s lifecycle, which you cannot afford. Things like bad reviews, user drop off and dreaded re-engineering costs, schedule delays and scope creep are all things that can be mitigated by a good User Experience (UX) process and usability testing. Often UX design and testing are pushed out of the … Continue reading

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October 19 GoodGovUX Event!

Please join us for the next public GoodGovUX meeting on October 19 at 12:30 at the National Endowment of the Arts building (400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20506). We will be serving a light lunch, followed by presentations from our three working teams intended to update everyone on our progress. Following the presentations, the working teams will be holding open conversations with anyone who would like to participate. As a refresher, the mission of GoodGovUX is to drive the adoption of a common set of UX best practices within the government agency and government contracting communities. We have three working teams … Continue reading

10 years of Ideas, Talent, & Insight

Preface This year, Mediabarn turned 10 years old. Our official incorporation date was January 1, 2004.  Some days it seems like that was 2 years ago, while some days it seems like it was 20. Being in business for 10 years has forced us into a tough task: self examination. We have been taking a look at ourselves in order to figure out what went right and what went wrong to allow us to stay viable for far longer than most small businesses. Our obvious goal for this introspection is to repeat the positives and correct the negatives in order … Continue reading

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PSU and Komen: Audience Alienation

   It has been fascinating over the past few months to watch the leadership of two iconic American organizations, with previously sterling reputations, seemingly degrade their brands to their core audiences.  I am talking about the Penn State University Board of Trustees and leadership of The Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.  We all know why both of them have been in the news recently.  While they are very different circumstances, there seem to be some similarities between what they have done and how they have handled their respective situations.  In addition to these brands both having an extremely loyal … Continue reading