In addition to her current Adjunct Faculty position at IIT Institute of Design (ID), JoEllen Kames was an ID Adjunct Faculty member from 2005 to 2008. She served as guest lecturer at MIT (2009–14) and at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (2011–15). JoEllen received a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor’s of fine arts in communication design from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Industry Experience

JoEllen is Director of Product Design at Narrative Science, a Chicago software company she joined in 2019. Powered by artificial intelligence, Narrative Science is redefining the future of data analytics with products that write stories from data to drive understanding and results. Prior to that, JoEllen was Portfolio Lead and Vice President at Northern Trust. There, she built new research and design capabilities and led a multidisciplinary team in defining a framework for meaningfully measuring digital experience metrics using a variety of data sources (2016–19). Before then, JoEllen was Senior Director of the Human Centered Design Studio within the United Healthcare Innovation Center of Excellence (2014–16), where she led ethnographic research + interaction design projects focused on population health. JoEllen was at Motorola from 2005 to 2014, ultimately serving as Senior Principal, Research + Design Strategy, Motorola Mobility.



Kames, JoEllen, Frank R. Bentley, Rafiq Ahmed, Rhiannon Sterling Zivin, Lauren Schwendimann. 2010. “Contacts 3.0: Bringing Together Research and Design Teams to Reinvent the Phonebook.” In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.