avatar of Iris Amelia Febres

Hi! I’m Iris.


My background is in publishing and I possess a knack for developing content for the web.

Scroll for details about me or you can grab my resume here.

I am currently a Senior Digital Content Strategist at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Treasury).

Let’s connect and talk shop!

Iris in a nutshell

I’m a Cuban–American woman with an interest in user experience and design. I realized after working in ebooks for a while that my concerns for the reader were virtually the same as a product manager’s concern for the user. I’m a creative and driven designer and analyst who enjoys research, learning, and teaching. (Also, tweeting.)

While I am a very visual person, I have a knack for explaining and solving technical problems. I love going under the hood and writing code from scratch.Can I mention I coded this website by hand in about a week, with the help of some useful resources? I began with a template, then decided to forego it as I was populating my skills and information. At the end of the day, I love learning & coding. I do my best to understand what makes things tick. I love working on puzzles — almost as much as figuring them out.

What separates me from other people is my work ethic and focus. I want to get to the bottom of an issue in the most efficient way possible, whether that be a functionality bug, a user flow problem, or just an overall content strategy.

On a professional note: I carry 5+ years of experience dealing with digital content, formats, and platforms.

What do you do, exactly?

Excellent question. Honestly, it depends on what you need. I like to wear many hats. My strengths lie in analyzing content for telling the best story, utilizing the medium(s) it’s best suited for, and keeping the audience accessing it in mind.

I like to ask questions. I consider myself to be very curious with a strong desire to learn. Gathering requirements is something I take very seriously, in almost all aspects of my work. I think of outcomes. Results.

In a nutshell: If one “role” could capture my skills, it would be designer. I design great content through its structures, visuals, and meanings.

Skills & Areas of Expertise

Project & Product Management

Deadlines are my best friend. I have experience overseeing high-priority projects at publishers and media companies. In past roles, I have collaborated with offshore developers and vendors, managing quality assurance rounds and confirming requirements. I am used to juggling multiple tasks and prioritizing accordingly.

I have most recently been exposed to product development this past year, within an agile environment exposed to Scrum methodologies. While my experience has revolved around books, my approaches and strategies to executing products can be transferred to virtually any industry. I have a keen understanding of the user from the design and content perspective, given my lengthy tenure in digital book development. I worked with editorial teams and drove design as a product owner for digital books.

User Experience & Interface Design

I am incredibly aware of myself as a user of digital products. I’m a self-starter and have dabbled in user interface design with Sketch. I am learning how to identify and create simple navigation structures, and I am also discovering the ultimate needs for a user.

With the help of BoingBoing, I am taking online courses in mobile development and user experience, and practicing skills in personal projects.

Web Design & Development

My master’s work included web development, which delved into wireframing, risk analyses, information architecture, content strategy, and design. In these courses I created websites by hand through trial and error and online resources. (Thanks, Google!) I am extremely proficient in HTML and CSS and have worked with content management systems (e.g., WordPress). I am comfortable with markup and teaching markup to individuals who may need a hand in getting their content to the web.

Creating websites is a hobby of mine. This very site turned into an approximately weeklong passion project, which was mostly coded from scratch with the aid of some online resources and templates for reference.

Public Speaking & Education

I always tell people I’m a lifelong student. I grew up with the belief that education is the key to success. That said, coming from a family of educators, it seems that teaching is in my blood. When I can, I teach as an adjunct at Emerson College — my alma mater — and give presentations at local events and conferences. I have presented or participated in the following conferences internationally: Digital Book World, IDPF Digital Book (at Book Expo America), AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), PePcon, the Future Publishing & Accessibility Conference, and ebookcraft. I have also completed webinars on technical concepts, such as digital workflows and ebook quality assurance.

I have also organized events that seek to educate the general public on various areas of publishing as well as coding. In September 2012, I spearheaded a day-long workshop with industry veterans that focused on the basics of HTML, CSS, mobile design, metadata, and ebook development. The event had nearly 60 students and was held free of charge.

I chair the education committee at Bookbuilders of Boston, an industry organization dedicated to networking publishing professionals in New England. We have held panels on independent bookstores, freelancing, and other relevant topics.

Ebook Development

The bulk of my professional experience stems from developing ebooks. As a thought leader in this space, I am considered an expert in ebooks and their formats. My master’s project was an EPUB and Kindle file of a graphic novella I illustrated; I was responsible for all content, coding, and QA. Following that, in professional capacities, I have worked on hundreds of ebooks at and with various publishers at all levels of complexity.

Because I have worked on ebooks from concept to distribution, I know how to immediately discern whether content is meant for a digital platform. I am essentially a freelance consultant available to help you figure out how to make a great ebook — or any piece of content destined for the web.

Graphic Design & Illustration

I have been drawing cartoons and comics since I was four.

Illustration has always been a hobby of mine. I am now exploring turning that hobby into a facet of my overall career. Professionally, I was responsible for pivotal character design on a budding animated series. For this show, I drew the initial concept art for 10+ characters.

Recently, I am exploring another casual hobby of mine — sketchnotes — at a professional level. At conferences, I tend to jot notes alongside caricatures and doodles of breakout sessions and keynotes. In March 2016, I will serve as the official sketchnote artist for ebookcraft and Tech Forum in Toronto.

Lastly, on a local level, I am open to any and all opportunities for sandwich board design and illustration in the Boston area.

Editing (Copyediting & Proofreading)

My editing skills (copyediting, proofreading, and plain editing) has been endorsed, collectively, over 150 times on LinkedIn. I am a phenomenal resource for a second eye in reviewing content, teasing out meanings, removing ambiguities, and eliminating errors. I am a proud English major and hold a master’s degree in writing & publishing. I have experience as a writing tutor for both undergraduate and graduate students. And I am constantly silently editing web content. I can perform editing in Adobe Acrobat, XML, or just plain paper with a pen.

Projects and Sample Work

Here are a few samples of my work in product development, web development, design, and illustration:

Product Development

Creating eBooks for publishers and authors has exposed me to the basics of product development and being a product owner — overseeing the creation of a product from beginning to end, from a mockup to a user. In my experience, this has always been books, either in print or digital formats. Later in my career I had a closer hand in driving the development of a particular book product through guidance and knowledge of industry best practices.

The following are examples of eBooks I have developed. There are others, but because they belong to publishers, I cannot disclose those samples here. Please let me know if you would like a reference to a few I have worked on.

Sketch Notes: ebookcraft & Tech Forum 2015

I created all artwork featured in this book, as well as developed the overall layout and design. (Credit for the actual EPUB for sale in the Apple iBookstore is due to Laura Brady of Brady Type.

Sample cover image screenshot from Sketch Notes: ebookcraft and Tech Forum 2015 Screenshot of title page from Sketch Notes: ebookcraft and Tech Forum 2015 Screenshot of book's landing page for sale in iBooks

Undeliverable: A Novel by Rebecca Demarest

A reflowable EPUB with varied embedded fonts and a streamlined CSS document. Features dropcaps and epigraphs throughout the ebook. EPUB is also MOBI conversion friendly. The ebook is available for purchase.

Sample cover image screenshot from 'Undeliverable,' a novel by Rebecca Demarest. Screenshot of title page from 'Undeliverable,' a novel by Rebecca Demarest. Screenshot of copyright page from 'Undeliverable,' a novel by Rebecca Demarest. Screenshot of table of contents from 'Undeliverable,' a novel by Rebecca Demarest. Screenshot of Chapter One from 'Undeliverable,' a novel by Rebecca Demarest.

Looking Back At Lourdes: A Graphic Novella eBook

Emerson College Master's Project, fall 2011. This eBook includes over 100 original, illustrated pages, meant for viewing on the Barnes & Noble NOOK Color or Apple iPad.

Adobe Digital Editions

A screenshot of a page from Looking Back at Lourdes, an ebook project Iris completed in Fall 2011. This image is taken from Adobe Digital Editions, a software program used for reading ebook files. A screenshot of a page from Looking Back at Lourdes, an ebook project Iris completed in Fall 2011. This image is taken from Adobe Digital Editions, a software program used for reading ebook files.

Apple iPad

A screenshot of a page from Looking Back at Lourdes, an ebook project Iris completed in Fall 2011. This image is taken from iBooks on the Apple iPad, a tablet used for light computing and reading ebooks. A screenshot of a page from Looking Back at Lourdes, an ebook project Iris completed in Fall 2011. This image is taken from iBooks on the Apple iPad, a tablet used for light computing and reading ebooks. A screenshot of a page from Looking Back at Lourdes, an ebook project Iris completed in Fall 2011. This image is taken from iBooks on the Apple iPad, a tablet used for light computing and reading ebooks.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Color

A screenshot of a page from Looking Back at Lourdes, an ebook project Iris completed in Fall 2011. This image preview of the ebook's front cover is taken from the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, an ereader.

Reflections: Writing, Service-Learning, and Community Literacy (New City Community Press)

I helped digitize this book as part of a course I took called Cretaing Content for the Web and eReaders. I took source files in Microsoft Word and InDesign and created an EPUB from scratch. This was done with some minor assistance from Sigil, an EPUB creation tool.

Sample cover image screenshot from 'Reflections,' a title from New City Community Press Iris helped digitize into EPUB from Microsoft Word and InDesign source files. Screenshot of table of contents from 'Reflections,' a title from New City Community Press Iris helped digitize into EPUB from Microsoft Word and InDesign source files. Screenshot of XML (specifically, the toc.ncx file) within the EPUB for 'Reflections,' a title from New City Community Press Iris helped digitize into EPUB from Microsoft Word and InDesign source files.

Killing Times

An eBook sample for a book proposal project in my Book Publishing Overview course.

Taken from the Apple iPad, this screenshot features a sample cover image for a book proposal project Iris worked on in her Book Publishing Overview course; Iris created a sample ebook for the project. Taken from the Apple iPad, this screenshot features a sample two-page spread for a book proposal project Iris worked on in her Book Publishing Overview course; Iris created a sample ebook for the project.

Web Development

Aside from this very website, I've worked on the following websites by hand:

HireUsNintendo.com: An attempt at making a viral website to get Nintendo's attention post-job application. (According to Google Analytics, we did!) Also created collateral for website in Photoshop, used on Twitter and the site itself.

Snapshot of HireUsNintendo.com Snapshot of HireUsNintendo.com Snapshot of image from Twitter collateral for HireUsNintendo.com

Design

The following samples have been created with Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop.

User Experience/Interface Design

More samples can be found at Behance.

iPhone app mocks for The Boston Globe newspaper Credit card checkout pane mockup

Posters and Book Covers

A book cover Iris designed (for fun) for the novel The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia. A poster Iris designed (for fun) about Emerson College, her alma mater. The cover of a magazine Iris designed for her Magazine Publishing Overview course. A poster Iris designed for her Applications for Print Publishing course; in this class, Iris designed an invitation and poster advertising an exhibit for Milton Glaser, graphic designer of I [Heart] New York fame.

Illustration

Character Design/Concept Art

Failing Upward, copyright © Gary Trimarchi. Animated webseries in development.

An illustration of the entire cast from Failing Upward, a potential webcomic or webseries for which Iris has completed character desighs and concept art. An illustration of a scene from an early version of the pilot for Failing Upward, a potential webcomic or webseries for which Iris has completed character desighs and concept art. An illustration of a Janine Cassidy 'JC' Burton, one of the protagonists from Failing Upward, a potential webcomic or webseries for which Iris has completed character desighs and concept art. An illustration of a Cody Palmer, one of the protagonists from Failing Upward, a potential webcomic or webseries for which Iris has completed character desighs and concept art. An illustration of Piper Burton, a character from Failing Upward, a potential webcomic or webseries for which Iris has completed character designs and concept art. An illustration of Rory, a character from Failing Upward, a potential webcomic or webseries for which Iris has completed character designs and concept art.

Webcomics

Illustrated a guest comic for Gordon McAlpin's Multiplex.

A comic Iris illustrated for Multiplex, a webcomic by Gordon McAlpin.

Contact Information

Thanks for wanting to connect! Please use the links below to reach out to me. Email is preferred.

Email: iris.febres@gmail.com and/or iris@irisamelia.com

Twitter: @epubpupil

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/irisamelia

Skype: irisamelia