Sr UX Designer with two decades of hands-on experience delivering products to market for fortune 500 companies.
When I first began designing on the web, it looked kind of like Atari meets Netscape -- banner ads, Jpegs that had to max at 4KB because of broadband limits, and foosball wasn’t even a hip thing yet.
I believed in the web as a design medium then, and I believe it still today. I’ve been continuously employed in design on the Web since 1995, or since some of my coworkers were in diapers. Does that make me better than everyone? No! It just makes me more seasoned, experienced, and fully aware that web design needs to embrace the next change before it’s even identified. Our interaction with content has become tighter, faster, and more integrated. The bottom line: companies that succeed have Visual and UX designers who understand how to best engage with the target audience, and can connect the message, product, or service to the consumer while cutting through the noise.
For the past 20 years I have worked on b2b and b2c initiatives in the following categories: product marketing and branding solutions, direct interactive email campaigns, mobile services, SaaS applications, iOS apps, Android applications, Windows Phone core features, and big data application.
These are my favorite projects from the last 10years as a designer working in tech.
“UX is the intangible design of systems that bring us to solutions.”
Since 2016 I have enjoyed managing a small but dynamic team that has made many positive impacts on the company. I have been leading the efforts of the Small Business team to reframe the small business digital application process and have found an appreciation for and obtained a mastery of complex online enrollment processes. We have improved the customer journey through our process by more than 350%.
I have had the pleasure of mentoring, forming, and leading a team of seven: three UX designers, a visual designer, a research resource, a content designer, and a prototyper. Implementing a leadership style that focuses on frequent feedback, we have increased trust, made our process more efficient, and eliminated bottlenecks.
I believe in investing the time and energy in making things better: the team, the product, and the company. I am a pragmatic designer and leader, passionate about helping others, and I enjoy solving problems without sacrificing project timelines and relationships with other departments.
It was 2012. Putting necessary business and social media in the hands of sales teams as they come into a pitch, was a new concept and the logical next step in hand-held device usefulness in the sales process. At the same time, markets, consumers, and corporations were all talking about Big Data and how it could be deployed in outside sales. I came to Hearsay Social to completely own the visual presentation of a SaaS application, and to use my skills in design and management to work on an innovative b2b product and to build a team that would work hard and build and break things quickly. With multiple social media platforms in use, developing a way to aggregate them all into a single presentation was essential. By 2015, knowing we couldn’t be all things to all people, we narrowed our product for a single sector – insurance and wealth management. This allowed me to concentrate on a more tightly focused application and, as a result, the visual became more modern than we ever expected from a SaaS application.
In detail, I am most proud of the following accomplishments during my tenure at Hearsay Social:
How better to understand mobile services than to work for a cell phone company? From 2009 – 2012 I worked with Nokia as a visual designer, creating the visual language and style for third-party social apps, Facebook and Twitter on Meego and Symbian platforms, and for Nokia Games Services: N-Gage and Ovi Games. While I was originally hired as a visual designer, I adapted as the teams shifted priorities to work on both visual design and user experience projects. I applied brand guidelines and kept a consistent visual style throughout all interfaces - PC Web, Mobile Web, and Mobile Device UI. Working on client-facing projects as well as internal services promotion, I am most proud about having had the opportunity to art-direct and design social networking apps for phones which have shipped, and on an eBooks client for a future product. While at Nokia I have enjoyed working on teams spread across continents and timezones, finding it exciting to work as a part of several international teams.
In Summary while with Nokia:
In August of 2006 I answered the call from Microsoft to be a part of a team dedicated to unifying the fractured social experiences located across the properties in the MSN brand. Basic Web 2.0 staples such as blogging, inline comments, and User Generated Content had never been adopted and integrated in a cohesive suite on MSN. Using my experience and expertise in time-tested web design and fluency in UX best practices, I was the lead designer on this client-facing redesign with global reach and key strategic vision for the company.
While at GQPSF I was a major contributor to several client projects, including the Borland 2006 Advertising Campaign, and Collateral Redesign of Freescale Semiconductor. From day one I was tossed right into the action. I have added value to my projects in the following ways:
I came to World Savings through Aquent Creative Employment Agency. I worked as a contractor for two years, being added to the permanent staff in November 2004. Coming from a fast-paced, client-driven advertising agency, World Savings provided me a chance to see the internal client side of interactive marketing and see my skill set from a different view. I worked within a constant brand, delivering frequent, regular promotions under brand uniformity, collaborating with the account team to give creative solutions on how to structure a campaign for online direct marketing. In 2005, the Marketing Department began to evaluate my direct email efforts against the same parameters used in the print campaigns. In each instance, email outperformed expectations. In the last three years, my average click-through and conversion rates on campaigns is 6.1%.
At FusionDM (acquired by Publicis Dialog, a full-service agency with PR, Media, Branding and Strategic Planning) I was able to translate the skills learned in b2b interactive direct mail to the energy of a larger agency working on Business to Consumer projects. I learned to confidently present my work to clients. I always thought about the bigger picture when working on my piece of the campaign, and designed with strategy and goals in mind. In summarizing the two years I spent with this company:
The history above represents the last 16 years of my career, prior to that, I worked as a Sr. Web Graphic Designer at: AOL/Netscape, 1999, Assistant Art Director/Online at: PCWorld,1999, Sr. Web Designer at: Third Age, 1998 -1999, Gamespot.com 1996- 1999, Zip2 1996, Dimension X 1995.
More detailed information may be provided, if needed.
"Simon approaches his work with a solid sense of what is practical. While i praise this as an important skill for a designer, it forces solutions to swing toward the more conservative side. Simon is delivery focused, and knows that tradeoffs have to be made to ship products, but i'd like to encourage him to dig into at least one effort and really shoot for the fences."
"Simon is one of the most unique, talented creative directors I have had the pleasure to work with in the digital space. Simon introduced me to "user experience planning" as a specialty way before entire agency departments were created for that purpose, and his innovative designs for even the most mundane business services always surprised and delighted clients."
"I have really enjoyed working with and learning from Simon. I appreciate his honest and transparent approach to all things. He is always available and willing to help any way he can.”"
"Simon is incredibly easy to work with. The nature of the work I do is very ad hoc, and Simon is always accommodating in short notice. I can rely on him to provide rational and informed feedback quickly."
"Simon always brings End-to-end product thinking. Simon is always realistic and pragmatic about customer needs. He is not romanced by technology solutions. Simon is a great storyteller. He is great at narrating a design discussion"