About Ariel McNichol

Hello lovely human!

giphy (80)

I create digital experiences that empower people ๐ŸŒ€

IRL, I tend towards self-effacement, but the purpose this page is to wow you with the wonderful tempest of my career, highlighting how my curiosity and zeal create momentum โœจ and, how many years of experience = rainmaking speed ๐Ÿ—๏ธ  

I began my career as a game designer under brain-plasticity guru neuroscientist, Dr. Michael Merzenich, and been on a quest to design benevolent brain-enriching experiences since. I've mastered all graphics and video software - but these days that's pretty easy to do - what matters is that I have infectious curiosity, endless drive for creating benevolent products, good taste & I make wonderful teams!

I've been honored to speak on topics like how we can use technology to empower diverse communities and boost mental health resilience & how a digital identity layer can offer consumers protection & new business models. I also done a lot of pitch competitions & customer presentations.


Outside of work:  I am a mom of boys and dogs.  My teenager tries desperately to fend off my questions about what’s cool. My 9 year old still lets me exploit his cuteness. I made the video of him below right before Covid lockdown (pre-masks) as part of a sales/feasibility test with a Medicare provider. It made people feel better, got us a new customer and gave my son a sense of mastery during a time when everything seems out of control, hurray!  I love to geek out on behavioral economics, pop-neuroscience, social psychology & trying to figure out how to make the power of stories into therapy.  I had an eclectic childhood with a mom who showed me how to be fearless & determined & build new industries. But, I do fear climate change…but hold strong with belief in human innovation. 

A limited portfolio…

You will only find imagery where I did the vast majority of the work. I’ve done a lot of wireframes, information architecture, specification docs, graphics, logos, motion graphics, social media campaigns and ‘rescue UX’ for companies and orgs like Apple, Disney, ABC, THQ, PBWC.org, The Annenberg Institute, WellsFargo, The Gap…and helped in the early days of some now giant, giant, world-changing platforms.  

MotiSpark: personalized video nudges that motivate people to stick to healthier behaviors and add value to healthcare programs

1st Problem: how come I would just mindlessly scroll on my phone & jump to read comments/likes, but couldn’t get myself to exercise, stretch and go to sleep? How come every mental health & motivational app I tried made me feel worse off after just a few days?

Solution: I created MotiSpark to send me novel video nudges that tickled my mirror neurons & ended with whimsical pushes to do my desired actions…and they started working! So, i made them for friends….and long story short, I brought on a great team and advisors, launched with healthcare providers serving people throughout the US, earned a patent, got a grant, raised some funds and constantly improve our product.  See our corporate site,  learn about our program for seniors or try an experimental version now. Along the way, we found other problems we are fixing like using fun, short-format TikTok like content to reduce the 88% health illiteracy in the US while also building trust by scaling the power of local providers from underserved communities who add video greetings.

And, to end this page, here's a splash OG imagery, each with a story I'm happy to share IRL ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you.