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  • Chris Merkel

    Director of User Experience

    Washington, DC

I am a design leader with 14 years of design experience in web sites, application interfaces, print, and visual identity. I have served such clients as Microsoft, Xerox, Yahoo, and Ask.com. My drive is to lead multi-disciplinary teams to develop innovative solutions to user experience design challenges.

Work Samples

  • Windows Server 2008 Certification

  • SpikeSource Virtual Management Center

  • Certified Solutions Program

Work History

Christopher Merkel Principal User Experience Designer Alameda, CA Daytime: 510-377-7329 | Evenings: 510-337-9679 | christophermerkel@yahoo.com | Portfolio: www.krop.com/chrismerkel | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chrismerkel OVERVIEW I am a design leader with 14 years of design experience in web sites, application interfaces, print, and visual identity. I have served such clients as Microsoft, Xerox, Yahoo, and Ask.com. My drive is to lead multi-disciplinary teams to develop innovative solutions to user experience design challenges. SKILLSET - Art direction — Creative team leadership, branding, attention to detail - Cross-discipline communication — Designing for web, software, print design - Adobe Creative Suite — Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver - Pitches and proposals — Presentations, demos CAREER HIGHLIGHTS - Microsoft: My user experience design for Windows Server 2008 pilot program was so successful and game-changing that the company is expanding the program in 2009 - Xerox Corporation: My 2005 and 2006 redesigns of Xerox.com saw an increase of 40% in traffic and up to 25% in user actions and sales leads - Yahoo! Inc: The "Real People" campaign of Yahoo! Personals that I produced was the first of its kind at Yahoo to be developed around real users of the product EXPERIENCE SpikeSource Inc. - Redwood City, CA - Nov. 2007 to Present Staff User Experience Designer Responsibilities: - Creating and managing the visual presentation and user experience design of all products' user interfaces, internal and competitive analysis of product offerings, and direct user research - Defining UI specifications and translating business needs into design requirements, and creating functional prototypes and templates to hand off to development teams - Leadership of a small virtual UI team of front-end developers Client work: - Software certification, development and automated testing tools for Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 testing pilot program user experience design, and the world's largest chip manufacturer Xerox Corporation — Palo Alto, CA - Nov. 2004 to Nov. 2007 Creative Lead Responsibilities: - Lead visual design teams for Xerox.com worldwide, and for DocuShare marketing in North America - Coordinated with corporate branding, sales and marketing groups, internal overseas and third-party development, external partners, and direct customers Major projects: - Xerox.com: 2004 and 2006 global site and brand redesigns, use-cases, personas, architecture, design and usability testing - Xerox DocuShare: 2007 design refresh for online, print, and tradeshow events Accomplishments: - 2005 and 2006 redesigns saw an increase of 40% in traffic and up to 25% in user actions and sales leads - 2006 Xerox Achievement award Convergys/Digital Think (contract) - San Francisco, CA - Aug. 2003 to Sep. 2004 User Interface Designer Responsibilities: - Creation of web-based interactive courseware, focusing on training managers in a variety of tasks and procedures - Developed usability goals and objectives, created task analyses, designed screen flows and navigation model - Execution of UI prototypes using Illustrator, Flash and Photoshop Accomplishments: - Set a new standard in e-Learning for Convergys managers - Moved learning from paper and large class sizes to self-driven courseware Clients: - DigitalThink e-Learning, Convergys Learning Solutions Yahoo! Inc. (contract) - Sunnyvale, CA - Dec. 2003 to May 2004 Producer Responsibilities: - Coordinated with Marketing, Writing, Engineering and QA teams across networks and partner sites - Produced the “Star of Sunset Boulevard” site, including live and archived video - Participated in all user experience design meetings related to Personals advertising - Maintained corporate and affiliate design & UI standards for Personals Marketing Accomplishments: - Produced the first photo shoot for seasonal Yahoo! Personals campaigns - “Star of Sunset Boulevard” billboard ad viewed by millions of drivers on I-280 Clients: - Yahoo! Personals, Yahoo! User Experience and Design, HotJobs Synergy Technology Solutions (contract) - Santa Clara, CA - Nov. 2002 to Nov. 2003 Senior Web Publisher Responsibilities: - Redesigned user flow of the Research and TCO websites for more intuitive browsing and ease-of-use by researchers and universities working with the world's largest chip manufacturer - Designed and produced animated presentations for use on web and trade shows - Coordinated QA testing and content writing, adjusting sitemap & UI design Accomplishments: - Increased page views and search engine referrals by 14-20% for busy researchers - Lead visual redesign to standardize all screens into corporate visual and coding standards, and simplified site construction for future producers Clients: - Research, Capital, TCO, divisions of the world's largest chip manufacturer Ask Jeeves, Inc. - Emeryville, CA - Aug. 2000 to May 2002 Senior Artist Responsibilities: - Lead artist on site interface design and creation of online and print advertisements - Coordinated with Engineering, QA, Marketing and Sales teams Accomplishments: - Expanded the Ask Jeeves brand identity with a larger color palette and a redesign of the company’s logo & lettering - Created the first internal branding and design guidelines resource for all in-house, affiliate and customer visuals, including print, online and video uses - Developed a new ad solution for realizing full-page advertisements on homepage - Designed 2001 annual report and other print collateral, coordinated with printers and content writers Clients: - Microsoft, Dreamworks, AT&T, Travelocity, McDonald’s, Nissan Montclare Technologies, Inc. - Oakland, CA - Jun. 1999 to Aug. 2000 Art Director Responsibilities: - Lead artist for customer website UI design, involved in all initial customer consultations - Production of customer websites from initial sketch through prototypes and UI sitemaps to final production - Creation of online and print advertisements and data sheets for the company Accomplishments: - Designed and produced corporate annual reports for 1999 & 2000, including press checks and art direction - Principal designer on Montclare corporate rebranding campaign, 2000 Clients: - Softbank, IPivot, Movesite Greensboro News & Record - Greensboro, NC - Jun. 1997 to Apr. 1999 Website Designer Responsibilities: - Lead artist on customer website design: user interface and planning of site structure - Lead designer and producer on internal news site designs and special projects - Consulting with custom website clients for questions and support - Production of websites from initial sketches to functional HTML pages - Training and teaching non-technical staff in the process of editing webpages Accomplishments: - Creation of the Blackbeard Lives! website, including integration of live audio and video feeds during site launch - Pioneered the design and user experience of the paper’s first online media - Successful custom website design increased the paper’s revenue by 35% over subscriptions and advertisements Clients: - Starmount Company, Greensboro Coliseum, Metro Travel, Triad Careers, Landmark Communications MEMBERSHIPS Interaction Design Association - A member-supported organization committed to serving the needs of the international interaction design community. - www.ixda.org Boxes and Arrows - A group devoted to the practice, innovation, and discussion of graphic design, interaction design, information architecture and the design of business. - www.boxesandarrows.com EDUCATION BFA in Visual Communications - Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD - 1996 - BFA in Visual Communications (Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Creative Writing, Art Direction) - Presidential 4-year Scholarship, Dean's List - National Art Honor Society CONTACT ME - Daytime: 510-377-7329 - Evenings: 510-337-9679 - Email: christophermerkel@yahoo.com - Portfolio: www.krop.com/chrismerkel - LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chrismerkel


Maryland Institute College of Art



Interaction Design Association (ixda.org), Boxes and Arrows (boxesandarrows.com)


- 2006 Achievement Award, Xerox Corporation - Green Belt, Lean Six Sigma