Ben Sykes is a dev / design hybrid with a focus on interaction (IxD), user experience (UX) and behavior design. He has always had a strong desire to tell stories, and started out in Hollywood working in TV & film on such projects as Melrose Place, American Beauty, and Murder In The First. In the mid 1990's, Ben started a web design consultancy and worked on a variety of projects with Warner Brothers Music, Artisan Entertainment, Digital Evolution just to name a few. In 2003, he joined the Marine Corps Reserves and was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon his return, he continued to design and develop with such companies as : Oversee.net, American Idol Underground, NSA, NASA, & Oracle. More recently, Ben has worked with Microsoft, where he led multiple UX initiatives; Cisco where he managed and built the Irish UX team and helped integrate WebEx / CUPC; and Google where he was a lead designer on the AdWords team and was instrumental in the creation of multiple features such as the DisplayTargeting Tab, Alerts, and Google Help. He then went on to lead the design of the big data visualization of self-service dashboards backed by the Google Data Warehouse. Ben currently serves as a User Experience Design Advisor to multiple start-ups and has been designing & facilitating the curriculum for the Apprentice Program and Job Search Standup for General Assembly's UX Design Immersive students as well as teaching Interaction Design at San Francisco State University.

Work Samples

Work History

  • User Experience Design Instructor

    • General Assemb.ly
    • Jul 2013 - Present (1 year 3 months)

    • Various Workshops
    • Job Search Stand-Up for the UX Immersive class.

  • Advisor - Experience & Product Design

    • TaDaweb
    • May 2013 - Present (1 year 5 months)

    • Pinterest of Small Data

  • Board of Advisors - User Experience

    • samesurf
    • May 2013 - Present (1 year 5 months)

    The ultimate co-browse experience.

  • User Experience Design Strategy Consulting & Training

    • Self Employed
    • Jan 2009 - Present (5 years 9 months)

    Some Clients include:

    • StyledOn (styledon.com) | Business & interaction strategy. UI Spec. (Launched)
    • YouSendIt's NEW workspace UI | Product vision & UI Spec. (Launched)
    • All For Good (allforgood.org) (Launched)
    • The Craigslist Foundation
    • Clark Walker (Launched)
    • Sean Lawlor Artists Trust
    • OnlineMeetingRooms.com (Launched)
    • Samesurf (samesurf.com) | Product Design & UI Spec (Launched)
    • Motion Picture: Now Here

  • Adjunct Professor - Interaction Design

    • San Francisco State University
    • Mar 2014 - May 2014 (2 months)

    Interaction Design

  • Curriculum Designer & Instructor - UX Immersive Apprentice Program

    • General Assemb.ly
    • Oct 2013 - May 2014 (7 months)

    • Designed the core curriculum for the global UXDI Apprentice Program
    • Teach supplemental technical and professional training for working UX professionals.

  • Advisor - Experience & Product Design

    • Ringadoc
    • Aug 2013 - Dec 2013 (4 months)
  • Advisor - Experience & Product Design

    • TeleportHQ, Inc.
    • May 2013 - Sep 2013 (4 months)

    • Re-inventing the way experts, educators, and organizations connect with their clients and partners.

  • Conversion Design Consultant

    • vFlyer
    • Apr 2013 - May 2013 (1 month)

    • Designed multiple pricing and landing pages around various conversion principles : social proof, authority, and commitment.

  • Advisor

    • Punchlime
    • Feb 2013 - Mar 2013 (1 month)

    • Disruptive venture capital

  • Senior User Experience Designer (GDP - BigData)

    • Google
    • Mar 2012 - Dec 2012 (9 months)

    • Self-service dash boards, backed by a unified data warehouse. #bigdata #plx

    • Google Help & Feedback and Innovative Customer Support Systems.
    -- URL: http://google.com/tools/feedback/

  • Senior User Experience Designer (AdWords)

    • Google
    • Mar 2011 - Mar 2012 (1 year)

    AdWords
    • Help Genie (AdWords Help - Launched)

    • Campaign Bid Simulator (Launched)
    - http://bit.ly/adwbidsimulator

    • Display Ad Builder

    • Opportunities for Sitelinks (Launched)
    - http://bit.ly/OppsSitelinks

    • Display Targeting Tab (Launched)
    - http://bit.ly/targetingtab

    • Remarketing Changes (Launched)
    - http://bit.ly/ad_remarketing

    • Opportunities & Alerts (Launched)

    • Ad Status & Policy (Launched)
    - http://bit.ly/keywordstatus

    ---------
    * Filed 1 patent application related to AdWords
    * Contracted for 4 months prior to being converted to FTE.

  • Manager of User Centered Design

    • Cisco Systems
    • 2008 - 2009 (1 year)

    • WebEx & WebEx Connect
    • Cisco Unified Personal Communicator
    • Enterprise Instant Messaging Clients
    • Web 2.0 Management Portal

  • Product Manager - User Experience Lead - GFS MSN Live

    • Microsoft
    • 2006 - 2008 (2 years)

    • GFS/MSN Ignition Portal - Microsoft Sharepoint (Launched)
    • TSP Plug-in for Visual Studio (VSTF) (Launched)
    • Microsoft Online Suite (saas)

  • American Idol - Associate Creative Director

    • Fluid Audio Networks
    • Sep 2005 - Aug 2006 (11 months)

    • Social network for fans and artists separate from the TV show, yet under the American Idol brand
    • Print collateral (Rolling Stone, Music Connection)

  • United States Marine Corps Infantry

    • United States Marine Corps
    • Oct 2001 - 2006 (5 years)

    • Operation Iraqi Freedom
    • Provided humanitarian support.
    • Part of the "21 Days to Baghdad" documentary..
    • Made decisions under extreme pressure and noise
    • Combat Leadership

  • Product Manager User Experience : Information.com

    • Oversee.net
    • 2004 - 2005 (1 year)

    • Search engine: Information.com
    • BlogSource - Social blogging platform

  • Lead UI Design - Sr. Web Developer - Services

    • SOA Software
    • Jan 2001 - Jan 2004 (3 years)

    Under Digital Evolution (prior to name change)

    • Project Director – EMTM (Interactive Training)
    • Sr. Web Developer – Digev Corporate Web Site
    • Project Manager / Dev – Corporate Intranet
    • Sr. UI Designer – Sony APG Intranet
    • UI Designer – Nissan Brand Performance System
    • Flash Developer – The Zenith Insurance
    • Lead Developer – Hewlett Packard CRM Site.

  • Creative Lead & Founder

    • Superfly Industries LLC
    • Mar 1995 - 2004 (9 years 7 months)

    • 200 + client base
    • Warner Brothers Music • Oracle • 5G Wireless
    UCLA Portal • Siderean • NASA • NSA • Many More

  • Camera P.A. - Film: American Beauty

    • DreamWorks Animation
    • Dec 1998 - Feb 1999 (2 months)

    Under DreamWorks SKG

    • Provided all panaflex video monitor feeds for the Director Sam Mendes, Writer: Alan Ball, and producers.
    • Worked closely with the 1st & 2nd A.C.'s and Director of Photography Connie Hall.

  • Property Assistant Art Department - Film: Murder In The First

    • Warner Bros. Entertainment Group of Companies
    • Dec 1993 - Jan 1994 (1 month)

    • Director: Marc Rocco
    • Production Company: Three Marks Productions
    • Northridge Crew

  • Assistant Production Coordinator - TV: Melrose Place

    • Spelling Television
    • Jun 1993 - Aug 1993 (2 months)

    • Filled in during the double episode season.
    • Assisting in managing of the production office, and acted as a fill-in liaison to cast and crew for production team.

  • Motion Picture Casting

    • Independant Consultant
    • 1991 - 1993 (2 years)

    Films Include:

    • Money for Nothing - Dir. Ramon Menendez
    • Blind Spot - Hallmark Hall of Fame
    • The Fire Next Time - CBS Entertainment
    • The Cemetery Club - Dir. Bill Duke - Touchstone Pictures
    • Hoffa - Dir. Danny Devito - Jersey Films
    • Citizen Cohn - Dir. Frank Pierson - HBO Pictures
    • Innocent Blood - Dir. John Landis - Warner Brothers
    • Striking Distance - Dir. Rowdy Herrington

Specialties

Affiliations

AIGA, UPA, ACM SIGCHI, HFES, STC, SIFF, IFP

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