Austin is an experience design leader and product design specialist.

Over my 20+ year career in design, I've worked with multi-disciplined design teams of varying sizes, interviewed thousands of designers, and studied how design operates and matures within companies worldwide. The thing I've noticed most is the lack of education supporting design storytelling, nurturing individual growth, and modern design recruitment.

My role as a leader, mentor, and designer is to balance opinionated guidance with diverse levels of empowerment to support individual decision-making. Working with me means working inclusively and transparently, sharing in-progress work early and often, and framing problems as opportunities within a set of yet-to-be-understood contexts. I prioritise collaboration over independence. The best way to deliver meaningful outcomes is through shared responsibilities.

As a leader, I focus my energy on achieving unique ideas with proactive action by creating authentic relationships that encourage deliberate measurable outcomes. If a team I'm working with fails, I don't see such situations as finite or defining but, instead, see failure as a chance for us to learn something and adapt to what we achieve next.

 

I strive to build a respectful yet playful culture determined to discover patterns and trends, push for minimum-viable solutions to see ideas come to fruition, and praise curious questions about how something fits into the big picture.

I believe support comes from helping connect ideas, projects, and individuals or providing nudges on varied or alternative outcomes. I align myself with company values by routinely using them as tie-breakers or evaluation methods.

My strengths are primarily in having and encouraging a growth mindset based on self-awareness, creating a work-life balance where ideas can incubate and thrive, encouraging creative thinking, and acting authentically in everything I do. These strengths are my own, and what I work to incorporate into the teams I work alongside. Through this, I hold my team big while supporting them ruthlessly to achieve success.

I've championed the coexistence of product, design, and engineering throughout my career, using agile processes and lean UX methodologies. Through partnerships with executive-level stakeholders, I have helped mature design within companies and deliver value in unlocking innovation through design.