Q: Who is Dan McKenzie and what do you do?
I’m a multidisciplinary UX designer who works with agencies, startups and
companies to help strategize, design and promote their digital products and
experiences. Throughout my career I’ve held roles as UI designer, UX designer, creative director, product manager and adviser.
Q: What are some of your recent projects?
As usual, a variety of projects ranging in complexity and form. Recently, I worked on an interactive demo for an international datacenter company, a website for a medical device startup, and multiple projects for Westfield Labs. While working with Westfield I had a lot of fun helping them establish the Labs team, reimagine the airport experience, and help provide input and design for a very successful retail-tech co-working community called, Bespoke.
Q: Do you consider yourself a product designer?
Absolutely. I enjoy working on both product and marketing-focused projects. I’m both left-brain and right-brain, so I equally enjoy the challenges associated with designing great products and marketing those products. While I enjoy the complexity and utility of product design, I also enjoy the messaging and emotive qualities of marketing and promoting products and services.
Q: What do you enjoy working on most?
I like to work on all phases of a project and get the most satisfaction working on a project from start to finish. Every phase of a project is critical to its success,
especially the initial phases which set the foundation for what’s to come.
Q: What kind of projects have you done?
I’ve had the good opportunity to work for a variety of industries and on a variety of platforms. I’ve done a lot of work for desktop and mobile, as well as for public kiosks and large multimedia touch screens. My work spans from the complex (checkout flows, mapping, analytics dashboards, backend inventory tools, and
data visualization) to the more marketing and brand-related (corporate, commerce and marketing websites).
Q: Do you also do visual design?
I started my career as a graphic designer and still very much enjoy working with brand elements and aesthetics. It’s always nice to transition from the more cerebral phase of interaction design to the more emotive qualities of visual design. When I get tired of doing wireframes, I look for a visual design project to get involved in.
Q: Have you ever lead a team?
I have lead small groups of designers on certain projects as well as lead large
brainstorm sessions between product and design groups. I have also directed and worked with many big name agencies on internal company projects, such as McKinsey, frog and IDEO, as well as smaller software development teams. I enjoy leading groups but also like to be where I can get my hands dirty. That said, I’ve worn many hats which allows me to lead with confidence and also pick up the slack when and where it’s needed.
Q: What else do you?
In my free time I enjoy designing and building custom heirloom-quality furniture in my home workshop. When I began woodworking, it forced me to cultivate a new way of thinking that has influenced my UX design in many ways. With woodworking it's imperative that you're always thinking 5 steps ahead and in multiple dimensions. Like most activities involving mechanics, woodworking is a process where the success of each step is dependent on the previous one.
For more information, please see my LinkedIn page.