Andrew Robertson

Sr. UX Designer

I am a problem solver with a passion for great experience design. I work across interaction, visual, and technical fields, and I am as comfortable with owning creative direction as I am with development and production. I am a big picture thinker.

I lived and worked in Seattle for the past 25 years, most recently as a Senior HCI Design Engineer at HBO building next generation digital offerings, frameworks, teams, and relationships. Please have a look at my portfolio. It's a collection of projects and career details from the past decade+ that illustrate common threads and principles informing my work. Enjoy.

What do I mean by "Sr. UX Designer"?

 
 
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I design with solid UCD process

Whether holding the title of Design Engineer, Art Director, Interactive Content Director or whatever*, my primary role has been to understand strategic and tactical design goals and to focus teams on achieving them in proper order. I leverage process to remove as much uncertainty and subjectivity as possible, and process again to collaborate, critique, and deliver. I follow user-centered design process when creating new products and features and guide junior designers following UCD process while managing them. 

I’ve included here a section explicitly about my typical process followed by a few examples of projects illustrating how I applied those principles and framework.

My Process

No two projects are alike, and their solutions rarely emerge out of a moment of genius or inspiration. Instead, I meet each new challenge armed with a pretty standard set of UX design tools and then trust the process.


PROJECT: Cauze App

A small startup is having difficulty getting people to engage with their mobile giving application — even when accounts are seeded with someone else’s money.


PROJECT: Atomic Design

As HBO's streaming applications move onto more platforms and there's pressure to constantly upgrade and add new features to them, we need a more efficient type of software development process. 


PROJECT: Peggle Redesign

Can a beloved but underperforming casual game reach its potential with a re-design?

 

*In the games industry, where I worked for many years, the term "design" is reserved for the discipline creating game mechanics (eg- Game Designer, Level Designer, etc.). UX/UI work falls within the "art" ladder; so while I have held the title of Art Director, Lead, and Manager my expertise and day-to-day duties have always been UX/UI centered.

I tell stories with information

It's often not enough just to have the best solution. You have to get others on board with you, which can be hard when there are different communication styles across an organization. I found it valuable in scaled Agile development (SAFe) to create hybrid versions of flow diagrams, where the emphasis is on displaying what is known, assumed, and proposed. These aid cross-discipline conversations and can be iterated on quickly to capture new decisions as they're made. They are most useful when illustrating core concepts understandably, cataloging all use cases in a complex experience, or exposing issues and gaps in a direction.

I build teams & culture

I've experienced many corporate cultures in my career and by far the most creative, effective, and enjoyable versions fostered a critical but supportive environment. A place where feedback is encouraged but must be truthful, fair, and constructive. I believe collaboration gets you much further much more quickly than heads-down individuals working on their own, and that happens best when team members trust and respect each other.

As I said goodbye to the 45-member Design team at HBO recently, I realized I had a role in hiring roughly 40 of them (three of the others had proceeded me). What I look for in a candidate regardless of discipline is whether they are better or different than who is already on the team, and will they make the team and studio better in some way? In this way we continue to build culture as we add skills and expertise to a team.

I manage projects at a team level. I recruit and hire. I set up intern programs and relationships with schools to feed the intern programs. I create useful team gatherings where information is exchanged in informal settings. I have managed many teams and individuals (although I would not consider myself a natural manager). When faced with a tricky design problem it is reassuring to know some combination of the talent you've gathered, following good process, will unlock the answer.  

Project demo day for 2017 summer design interns

Design working session

Weekly design critique

I ship software

I've spent my career in fast-paced environments working to tight deadlines using both Agile and waterfall methodologies. I've designed UI/UX at large companies and small startups, and worked on high profile titles and apps as well as on more experimental projects. I've held most roles between and including individual contributor to Director within publishing. I've shipped software for desktop, mobile tablets and phones, consoles and smart TVs, and VR devices.

The logo images below link to descriptions of my role at each company. Taken together I believe they show the growth and evolution of me as a designer with both a creative point of view and principled work methods. I have also created this graphic illustrating that point.

Truckstop
Cauze
Dynamic Range Labs

HBO GO
HBO NOW

Peggle 2

Galacticos Football
Franchise Football
Franchise Baseball
Franchise Basketball
Dynasty Hockey

Mixxer.com
3Guppies.com
Mobilizer
Moblog

Evil Dead 2: Regeneration

Sudeki
Jade Empire
Dungeon Siege 2

FIFA Road to the World Cup 98
FIFA World Cup 1998
FIFA 99
Bass Championship
Ultimate Hunt Challenge
Motor City Online
NFS: High Steaks
NFS: Hot Pursuit 2

Contact me

Thank you for taking the time and visiting. If you'd like to get in touch please email me.

And here's my resume.

Finally, I'll just leave this here:

Drew Robertson is a tall, deliberate man. He has the air of an academic and speaks with the slightly distracted effortlessness of a fine artist. When he looks at you, it’s as if he’s looking for your essence, what makes you different, spiritually, from everyone else.
— Polygon

The above is an admittedly silly bit from the Polygon article The Making of Peggle 2.