Alan Underwood

My purpose is to make small changes that add up to big differences.

I believe in simplicity, authenticity, and the power of color to bring joy into everyday interactions. I am an award-winning UX designer who specializes in prototyping and loves bringing new products to market. I combine traditional design methodologies and emerging technologies to create inspiring and inclusive experiences.

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Recent Work

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Professional Experience

$O$ Nonprofit
Job Title Dates Employed
Executive Director 2019 - Present

$O$ is a non-profit startup designed to collect better data on homelessness and help as many people as we can to become self-sufficient, or at least to eat for a day.

  • Managed a team of over a dozen people and lead the first board of directors
  • Developed an AI/ML based back-end solution to collect information via text messages
  • Designed a marketing campaign to collect donations and developed a funding model


IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software
Job Title Dates Employed
UX Design & Prototyping Lead 2015 - 2019

IBM Cloud combined with Cognitive Software to provide an integrated cloud and AI experience. My role was to bring prototype thinking and design thinking together to find new ways to integrate cognitive services into existing products.

  • Designed two open source products and two internal products while overseeing and coordinating with development teams for implementation
  • Worked closely with user research team to ensure product goals match user requirements
  • Demonstrated ML and cognitive capabilities for product teams with prototypes and examples
  • Mentored junior and associate designers in design thinking, taught cognitive and unconscious bias by leading evangelization efforts and designing a deck of cards and a matching card game

API Connect   |   Microclimate   |   Dev   |   Tekton   |   Dev

Job Title Dates Employed
Principal Usability Designer 2013 - 2015

Progress had a directive from the board to re-invent themselves by writing their own software instead of relying on acquisitions as they had done in the past.

  • Helped shape the strategy for a unified user interface across all Progress products.
  • Led the Progress Pacific redesign as well as designing multiple product interfaces
  • Prototyped everything — from napkin sketches to super high-fidelity and full functionality

Pacific   |   Rollbase   |   Easyl

CA Technologies
Job Title Dates Employed
Sr. User Experience Designer 2011 - 2013

Designer for an in-house agency tasked with working with product teams to standardize the user experience across the company. My role was to see the design through from start to finish.

  • Standardized UI design, end-to-end, across all phases of design
  • Application mapping, card sorting, personas and traditional information architecture tools
  • Wireframing, prototyping, and implementation

CA Process Automation

Notecards and String
Job Title Dates Employed
Founder & CEO 2010 - 2011

Notecards and String was the first product I ever built on my own. Originally conceived as an information architecture tool, it quickly expanded to become a popular consumer app with over 1,000 users.

  • Designed, prototyped, architected and implemented the entire product
  • Managed a small team of people in a startup environment
  • User testing, market research, and responding to test results with product updates

Notecards and String

IBM Smart Business
Job Title Dates Employed
Human Factors Engineer 2007 - 2011

IBM Smart Business was a self-healing all-in-one server solution for small business. Self-healing autonomic repair processes ensured uptime, reduced IT overhead, and cut maintenance costs.

  • Comprehensive user experience across all Smart Business product UIs and web properties while maintaining consistent branding style, and interface guidelines and design patterns
  • Paper, wireframe, HTML, PDF, Balsamiq & Powerpoint prototyping to support team initiatives
  • Reporting to executives and decision-makers, coordinating with multiple product teams
  • User research, mapping, testing, and analysis

IBM Smart Business

Job Title Dates Employed
Design Lead 2005 - 2007

iConctact is a social media and email marketing application serving SMB, Mid-sized and Enterprise customers.

  • Led company wide cross-functional initiatives to improve the user experience, while meeting the objectives of stakeholders from executives to venture capitalists.
  • UX evangelism, UI design, user research, usability testing, and user advocacy
  • Grew our userbase exponentially, from 5,000 to 50,000 users

iContact Rebranding

Job Title Dates Employed
Interactive Lead 2001 - 2005

Koroberi is a full service B2B digital marketing agency. My role was to lead a small team to produce and maintain web sites and applications, while integrating with other departments such as public relations, print design, and media planning.

  • Award winning web application design, prototyping, and development
  • Search engine optimization, click through rate testing and conversion optimization
  • Online marketing, and multimedia campaign integration

Work Samples
Job Title Dates Employed
Information Architect 2000 - 2001 was a small digital agency focusing on city portal sites and websites and applications for local entertainment, small business, e-commerce, and franchise clients.

  • Managed the company's city portals: large, ad-supported, locally focused portal sites.
  • Worked directly with clients and designers to develop corporate, franchise, and e-commerce websites to customer specification
  • Web application UI design and conversion testing, and user research

Work Samples

Southern Mercantile Web Design & Consulting
Job Title Dates Employed
Web Designer 1996 - 1999

At Southern Mercantile, I worked with a group of former print shop owners to help them transition from traditional printed collateral to a web-based marketing and advertising agency. Together we brought the first internet service provider to Orangeburg, SC.

  • Designed and built web sites and web applications with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PERL
  • Created radio sites with multi-media streaming using Flash and RealAudio
  • Managed the Crescent Hill Post Office a local news, email and information portal

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