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Hi Transamerica — I'm Kris.
I'm a Product Designer and I would love to be a part of your team.


WHO AM I?
Over the years, I've designed products and lead teams as a Sr. Visual Designer, Sr. UX Designer, UX Architect, Director of Product and Sr. Cubicle Hater (so don’t put me in a box 😃). I've had the honor of working at some great companies like BasecampInVision and Citrix.  

I wear a lot of hats. I lead by example. I facilitate. I listen. I iterate. I find the 80/20. I strive to be both idealistic and pragmatic. I believe that we should find joy in our work, and create things that make the world a better place. I really do!

LET'S GET PERSONAL
I live in beautiful Evergreen, Colorado. When I'm not at my computer, I'm outside as much as possible. I love running in the mountains, and drinking whiskey by the fire. My formal education is is in Studio Art and Graphic Design, and I have a screen printing studio in my basement where I print gig posters and t-shirts.

I also enjoy long walks on the beach, etc. 


Here's how I approach my craft: 

  • I wear multiple hats. Visual/UX design, workshop facilitation, stakeholder design critiques, product strategy – you name it. I can wrangle everything from pixels to stakeholders to ensure a projects succeed. 
  • I'm a system designer: At Citrix and InVision I became well-versed in designing for design teams. From style guides to pattern libraries, I've set strategic brand visions and created tools that keep designers and engineers on the same page, and headed in the same direction. 
  • I'm a tool and process junkie: Sketch, InVision, Framer, Zeplin, Agile, Lean, Scrum, Kanban, you name it, I've probably used it. I love experimenting with tools and processes that keep people on the same page, getting meaningful work done.
  • I care deeply about pixel level details. I believe that well-crafted and consistent interfaces inspire trust and satisfaction in customer's hearts, and make or break the product experience.
  • I'm focused on solving real problems. There's nothing worse than coming up with the right solution to the wrong problem. I'm always seeking the big picture to make sure that I am holistically solving the right problem, not just the easy problem.

Resume Highlights

For full resume, please see my LinkedIn profile

  • Product Designer at Basecamp (formerly 37Signals), 2016 – 2018
  • Director of Product at InVision, 2014 – 2016
  • Art Director at Citrix, 2012 –2014
  • User Experience Architect at Citrix, 2010 – 2012
  • Senior User Experience Designer at Citrix, 2007 – 2010
  • Visual Designer at Move / Realtor.com, 2006 – 2007
  • Education: Azusa Pacific University, BA, Studio Art, 2001 - 2005

Case Study: Citrix Suite Harmonization

From 2007 – 2014 I worked as a Sr. UX DesignerUX Architect, and Art Director at Citrix, across the suite of eleven "GoTo" products (GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, Sharefile, etc). I coordinated multiple designer teams and led successful product launches. 

Challenge:

  • By 2014, Citrix had acquired or created a suite of 11 SaaS products, including the flagship products GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, GoToWebinar, ShareFile, and Podio. The products varied in look and feel, which led to brand incoherence and customer confusion.
  • The challenge was to create a harmonic system that created a consistent visual brand across products, while still allowing for individual product personality and flexibility across multiple platforms. And to stop the divergence, as seen below 😀

Process:

  • I facilitated workshops with the design teams to define the common brand "thread" that should weave through every product, and gathered consensus on the elements everyone agreed were critical to maintaining brand consistency, and made the final call on art direction and branding. 
  • The final list included items like typography, product and UI icons, login/splash screens, animations, and buttons.
  • I created archetype screens that defined the look and feel for each element in context, and conducted design critique workshops with the design teams to make sure that we weren't missing any edge cases for the products.
  • To bring it all together, and make it accessible for everyone, I created an internal product design guidelines website where all members of the design and development teams could reference and download the archetype screens, fonts, icons, assets, and brand design guidelines for their respective products. 
  • After initial launch, I conducted follow-up critique sessions with the design teams, providing feedback on work in progress, and updated the product design guidelines site as new platforms and features were added. 

Outcomes:

  • By identifying the common threads that were key for consistency, the pattern library was streamlined, maintainable and easily updatable when new UI components were proposed by the design teams, as their products grew. 
  • This created a living brand guidelines system that was able to adapt to change, whille still keeping all products pulling in the same direction. 
  • By focusing on making the design and development teams life easier, adoption and usage was universal across all product teams, and succeeded in creating consistency across the entire suite of GoTo products.
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In addition to the above, here are some other projects I was responsible for:

UI and Product Icons

I created numerous product and UI icons to use throughout the GoTo products, to ensure that all products had a consistent iconographic style.  

GoToMeeting and GoToManage for iPad

Bringing the GoToMeeting and GoToManage experiences to the iPad was a fantastic opportunity to rethink the interface from the ground up. I worked with the engineering teams to make use of multi-touch gestures and an intuitive sliding divider that allowed webcams and screen-sharing areas to be easily resized. 

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UX Team Pattern Library

As a UX Architect in 2011, I was responsible for implementing a team-wide design pattern library. The primary goals were to increase the design team's efficiency and consolidate disparate product interfaces. Smashing Magazine asked me to write an article outlining my process for creating a pattern library using Fireworks and Evernote. Read the entire article here, or check out the screencast.

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Case Study: InVision V5

As the Director of Product at InVision from 2014 – 2016, I oversaw hundreds of product updates and major feature releases, including InVision V5, a complete overhaul of the app, rebuilt from the ground up for speed and clarity.

Challenge:

  • The InVision feature-set had grown tremendously over multiple iterations and was in need of a strategic unifying overhaul, focused on speed and clarity.

Process:

  • As a Product Manager, my first step was to define the problems we needed to solve in detail. By working with the executive leadership team, interviewing customers and analyzing support dataI identified and prioritized key workflows that were in need of a performance and UX refresh. 
  • I created a roadmap of work, uncovered dependencies, and received approval from the executive team to begin v5. I set a vision for the project with the design and engineering teams to get strategic buy-in, and build excitement and a shared vision.
  • As the teams worked through the 6 month project, I gathered feedback on prototypes from customers, facilitated company-wide demos of work in progress, and provided design feedback to the design and engineering teams.   

Outcomes:

  • The 6 month project launched smoothly, on schedule – hitting all major milestones along the way. 
  • The time it took to complete the most common flows (uploading prototype screens and linking them together) was decreased by 2x, on average.
  • InVision V5 was overwhelmingly applauded by customers, and set the foundation for the next generation of features for the InVision platform. 

In addition to InVision V5, here's a sample of other releases I was responsible for: 

Sketch Integration: Turn your Sketch designs into interactive prototypes. 

DO UI Kit: The most versatile to-do app UI kit you've ever seen.

iPhone 6 Skins: Prototype and preview your designs inside iPhone 6 skins.


You Made it This Far... Let's Talk!

Thanks for taking a look at my work, and surviving all of the bullet points. If you think that I would be a good fit, I’d love to hear from you. I’d also be more than happy to tackle a design exercise to give you further insight into my design process.

Drop me a note: hello@krisniles.me