Experience and Motion Design Studio

Fade

Welcome

I'm a multi-disciplinary design leader based in the Dallas metro area with over 15 years of experience, focused on helping organizations identify opportunities and reimagine their products and services. I have led global design teams in creating solutions across a diverse set of industries including healthcare, education, finance, and eCommerce. 

Most recently I was Head of Product Design & Research at Community, a Santa Monica based startup that has raised over $100 million. I have previously had the opportunity to partner with some of the most recognizable brands in the world including Capital One, Walmart, Disney, and HP.

Design Approach

Great experiences emerge when you ground the solution in radical collaboration, a deep understanding of business and customer needs, and rapid learning and iteration.

Vision & Value

Defining what kind of experience you would like your customers to have and establishing a clear vision of the product or service are the first crucial steps. These issues are tackled through workshops, stakeholder interviews, and ideation techniques, laying a foundation for the project.

Users & Context

The foundation of human-centered design is a deep understanding of the context of use, the needs of users, and their behaviors. By utilizing research techniques such as usability testing and ethnography, we can identify opportunities to craft experiences that exceed user expectations.

Iterate & Refine

Informed by the vision, user insights, and context of use, design concepts for the product or service are created. Working with users, the experience is validated and refined throughout the design and development phases by utilizing rapid prototyping techniques and quick iterations.

Leadership Experience

I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead teams of all shapes and sizes, contribute to the growth of hundreds of designers, and collaborate with so many incredible team members and users.

Diverse Teams

  • Led teams ranging from 5 team members to a studio of 100+, with directs up to the director level

  • Oversight of roles including UX design, qual & quant research, UX writing, marketing design, brand design, and UI engineering

  • Led teams distributed across North & South America, Europe, and India

Coaching & Mentoring

  • Trained ~200 designers, engineers, and PMs in design thinking at Capital One

  • Led UX center of excellence at HPE, defining and codifying best practices for enterprise consulting

  • Accountable for the career development of all team members at one of three major design studios within Walmart

Radical Collaboration

  • Partner at all levels regularly, from coaching interns to co-creating with c-suite leaders

  • Experience co-creating with users with diverse abilities and roles

  • Experience collaborating with a diverse set of cross-functional partners throughout the design process

Leadership Approach

Design leadership can be highly contextual and call on a wide variety of skill sets and approaches. That being said, I find three things to be foundational for both design teams and leaders.

Empathy for All

Developing a deep understanding of the goals, concerns, and perspectives of all internal partners and collaborators, in addition to end users, leads to greater self awareness, more trusting partnerships, and more impactful design teams.

Shared Accountability

With a foundation of empathy and trust, it becomes possible to set high expectations, and develop a team culture where everyone is invested in supporting and encouraging each other to create the best work of their careers.

Focus on Enablement

The impact of even the best design teams can be mitigated when not armed with the right processes, tools, and growth opportunities. A focus on enabling the team and removing friction wherever possible is critical to achieving the best outcomes.

My Role at Walmart Labs

During my time at Walmart my role grew from initially leading the merchandising design team, to ultimately leading one of three major design studios within the organization.

Merchandising

  • Team began with 5 product designers

  • Scaled the team to 30+

  • Included 3 people leaders

  • Focused on creating tools used to operate both the retail store and e-comm businesses

Store Associate Tools

  • 20 team members

  • Included 2 people leaders

  • Focused on creating tools supporting all store associate job roles

Health & Wellness

  • Founded the design team in this area of the business

  • Scaled to 20+ team members

  • Included 2 people leaders

  • Focused on creating end-to-end products and services across channels 

© 2022 Nick Whitlock.

Nick Whitlock

Design Executive