Ely Duran Morella


My name is Ely (pronounced Ellie), and my relationship with user experience extends back to the early playgrounds of GeoCities. I was born in the Dominican Republic, but grew up in New Jersey in a lively home of five.

From an early age, I was my family’s personal encyclopedia and how-to manual. My love of reading and learning made me a resource before I understood what research was. That passion and reputation stayed with me as I grew, and I began to use my skills in different ways.

Through a combination of HTML/CSS library books and Microsoft Paint, I built my first website in high school, complete with 8-bit background graphics. Since then, I’ve built countless personal and professional websites, ranging from fashion blogs to small business homepages and even national organization multi-sites.

Ten years into a career in architecture, I still found myself working on side projects into the night. While my day job was satisfying, there was always an aspect of autonomy and creativity that was missing for me. I found that outlet through my independent work and decided to support my interests with a formal education in User Experience Design.

Now, I’m excited to pursue a new career supported by my expanded skill set including audience research, information architecture, and user testing methodologies. My non-linear path has taught me that there is always a way to achieve a goal, even if it isn’t obvious.