If you are looking for a few words to describe me, it would be something like digital product design generalist. I have a passion for understanding how people interact with technology, and I love to make them better ways to do so. I'm an optimist, and I believe that technology has a powerful potential to help us all do amazing things and move humanity forward.
I believe that design is the act of making something desirable. Good design is familiar, functional, and easy to understand. Great design is impactful and delightful. Success in design is achieved not when nothing is left to add but when nothing is left to remove.
I've gone from spending my days as a sole designer at small startups, to design lead and manager of small teams at mid-sized companies, to head of design in two groups at major corporation... and back again. I'm also the founder of a small, bootstrapped company.
As head of product design and research, my days were divided roughly into three work categories that helped keep our teams happy, healthy, and productive.
- People — taking care of our team day-to-day, coaching, fostering inter-team relationships, recruiting, etc.
- Process — how our team was working, establishing design methodologies, ceremonies, and practices between disciplines, from Design to Engineering to Product Management, from Research to Content Strategy... cross-team relations, empowerment, and DesignOps.
- Purpose — co-create product strategies with Product and Engineering peers, stakeholders, and executives, develop and embed organizational design culture and principles, raise the quality bar, and tell the team's story.
As a leader and manager, the job is to help create conditions where others can make decisions that are better than any you would have made yourself. 💪
Having spent many days as a sole designer at a small startup, I spent a lot of time doing product research, designing interfaces, and coding them. Yes, I'm a designer who codes. You know, the stuff described in the industry as product design. It's a complex (and valuable) mix of UX and UI design with some business strategy, system design, copywriting, creative and art direction, critical thinking, information architecture, and problem-solving.
Regardless of the role, I strive to help companies create the conditions for design to flourish, fostering design culture and vision, refining strategies, and de-risking projects. I love to develop systems, frameworks, and processes so the groups I work with can operate better, be more creative and productive, and feel happier, appreciated, valued, and empowered to do their best work.
An incomplete summary of my skills includes design leadership, organization design, design processes, systems thinking, product strategy, design strategy, product design, interaction design, visual design, creative and art direction, recruiting and hiring, coaching and mentorship, performance management, team-building, cross-functional leadership and collaboration, and software engineering.
I'm a founder too. I built an employee engagement tool called Niko so everyone at any level in a company — from interns to the CEO — can submit, vote on, and respond to questions and suggestions. It helps companies preserve organizational knowledge and expose history and decision-making. I'm an armchair organizational psychologist, so get in touch if you want to talk about that.
I got started in tech running a web design and development consultancy for amazing clients in the restaurant, bar, and wine industries. Before getting into tech, I worked as a geophysicist - no kidding. I'm an all-around nice guy too! I'm a dad, main squeeze, gypsy jazz pompeur, off-piste skier, sailor, skater, pedaler, kook surfer, furniture maker, ceramicist, baker, and cook.