Ben Sykes

User Experience Strategist (UX, IXD)

My experience design career started in the kitchen designing edible interfaces. Little did I know my fine dining experience, coupled with my desire to tell great stories, would turn me into the experience designer I am today. I'm a "hands on" dev/design hybrid with 15+ years experience designing / dev'ing human experiences.

Specialties: o User Interface Design o User Experience Design o Agile Experience Design o Design Leadership & People Management o Usability Testing o Information Architecture o Visual Design o Product Design o Interaction Design o Mobile User Experience Design o Product Strategy o Product Management o Facebook, Mobile & Web 2.0 Application Development o Hypervideo & Chroma Key Design o Neuromarketing Design Practices o Front End Prototype Development o AdWords & Online Advertising Strategy

Persuasive User Interfaces O'Reilly Authors: Ben Sykes Coming July 2013

Advisor at Punchlime February 2013 - Present (2 months)


Senior User Experience Designer (GDP) at Google March 2012 - December 2012 (10 months) • Self-service dash boards, backed by a unified data warehouse. #bigdata #plx -- (Wired Article) Google's Dremel Makes Big Data Look Small • Google Help & Feedback and Innovative Customer Support Systems. -- URL: 1 recommendation available upon request Senior User Experience Designer (AdWords) at Google March 2011 - March 2012 (1 year 1 month) AdWords • Help Genie (AdWords Help - Launched) • Campaign Bid Simulator (Launched) - • Display Ad Builder • Opportunities for Sitelinks (Launched) - • Display Targeting Tab (Launched) - • Remarketing Changes (Launched) - • Opportunities & Alerts (Launched) • Ad Status & Policy (Launched) - --------* Filed 1 patent application related to AdWords * Contracted for 4 months prior to being converted to FTE. 2 recommendations available upon request UX Design Strategy Consultant at Interactoid January 2009 - September 2011 (2 years 9 months) Some Clients include:


• StyledOn ( | Business & interaction strategy. UI Spec. (Launched) • YouSendIt's NEW workspace UI | Product vision & UI Spec. (Launched) • All For Good ( (Launched) • The Craigslist Foundation • Clark Walker (Launched) • • Sean Lawlor Artists Trust • (Launched) • Samesurf ( | Product Design & UI Spec (Launched) • Motion Picture: Now Here 12 recommendations available upon request Experience Design Contributor at All For Good (Our Good Works) June 2010 - December 2010 (7 months) Advanced search design Founder at Semper Help Inc. 2010 - 2010 (less than a year) Semper Help, Inc. is a California 5013c dedicated to help translate prior military personnel & leadership skills into the private sector. Our services are focused on education & private sector management training. Manager of User Centered Design at Cisco Systems 2008 - 2009 (1 year) • WebEx & WebEx Connect • Cisco Unified Personal Communicator • Enterprise Instant Messaging Clients • Web 2.0 Management Portal 7 recommendations available upon request Product Manager - User Experience Lead - GFS MSN Live at Microsoft 2006 - 2008 (2 years) • GFS/MSN Ignition Portal - Microsoft Sharepoint (Launched) • TSP Plug-in for Visual Studio (VSTF) (Launched) • Microsoft Online Suite (saas) 3 recommendations available upon request American Idol - Associate Creative Director at Fluid Audio Networks September 2005 - August 2006 (1 year) • 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 at United States Marine Corps October 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 : at 2004 - 2005 (1 year) • Search engine: • BlogSource - Social blogging platform 1 recommendation available upon request Lead UI Design - Sr. Web Developer - Services at Digital Evolution January 2001 - January 2004 (3 years 1 month) • 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 at Superfly Industries LLC March 1995 - 2004 (9 years) • 200 + client base • Warner Brothers Music • Oracle • 5G Wireless UCLA Portal • Siderean • NASA • NSA • Many More 1 recommendation available upon request Camera P.A. - AMERICAN BEAUTY at Jinks / Cohen Company December 1998 - February 1999 (3 months) • 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 at Murder In The First - Warner Brothers Pictures December 1993 - January 1994 (2 months) • Director: Marc Rocco • Production Company: Three Marks Productions • Northridge Crew Assistant Production Coordinator at Melrose Place - Spelling Entertainment June 1993 - August 1993 (3 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 at 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

English (Native or bilingual proficiency)

Experiment : Flash based 3D space (Launched) 2007 to 2007 Members:Ben Sykes Using an object randomizer and and z-level plugin I was able to replicate an endless astroid field in space. Experiment : RFID Proximity Tweeting (Launched) Members:Ben Sykes Using the home automation software (Homeseer) coupled with the iAutomate RFID plugin and some low-level c# code, I was able to auto tweet randomized messages when I was within a set proximity of the RFID antenna. e.g. "Ben has left the building" etc. Experiment : Interactive Desktop (Launched) Members:Ben Sykes Based on my research, when a user looks at a picture of chocolate cake, they can infer taste, texture and a whole host of other types of data based on previous experience. All of this is done without the cake being present. In addition, it is clear that "brain does not know the difference between what it sees in its environment and what it remembers, because the same specific neurons fire." Nevertheless, the goal of this experiment was to track memory, using photo and physics realistic objects as an interface. The assumption was that due to increased and realistic interactions, the user would create a stronger memory (neuro pathway association) and ultimately have a more memorable experience.


Experiment : Interactive Video Widgets Members:Ben Sykes Think Eliza/SIRI for video. This concept "module minis" was conceived in 2004. The idea being video & voice xml mapped to user entered or spoken keywords ultimately creating a seem-less human to video based human avatar interactive experience.

Neuromarketing, Interactive Advertising, Prototype Development and Filing Patents!, SCUBA, Paint Ball, Video Production, Chroma Keying (green screen post), Fine Dining.

Skills & Expertise
Adobe Creative Suite Team Building Web Design Visio MS Project XAML WPF Usability Testing Heuristic Evaluation Contextual Inquiry iPhone Design User Interface Design Interaction Design Human-computer Interaction Agile Project Management HTML + CSS User Experience Rapid Prototyping Google Adwords User-centered Design OmniGraffle UI testing Social Marketing Google Analytics


Ben Sykes
User Experience Strategist (UX, IXD)

27 people have recommended Ben
"Ben was a great mentor to me while I was working with his team (GDP) as a 20% UI designer. Whenever I needed help or feedback, Ben was always gracious with his time. In particular, Ben helped me in learning to articulate my design decisions to engineers and PMs and feel confident in my choices. I appreciate that Ben was truly interested in helping me find my way in the field of user experience design." — Lisa Ding, Blogger Community Manager, Google, worked indirectly for Ben at Google "What's really stood out about Ben's work on AdWords has been his enthusiasm about the product and his willingness to go the extra mile. When he joined the team, he not only learned the product basics, he became a serious advertiser in his own right. Moreover, he conducted in-depth experiments with most of the competing products in the space and put together a detailed overview to share with the rest of the team. I've enjoyed working with him." — Geoff Davis, Staff Quantitative User Experience Researcher, Google, worked directly with Ben at Google "Ben joined my team at a critical time and quickly got up to speed. He brought with him expert domain knowledge of online advertising and was able to have immediate impact on projects large and small. He's very capable of handling everything from conceptual product strategy to the finest details of the finished design." — Neil Ramshaw, Design Manager, Google, managed Ben at Google "Ben Sykes is a creative, friendly, highly organized consultant. He would be of value to anyone wanting a really strong web prescence. From content to visuals he is simply among the best. While working, Ben also instructs, with both patience and understanding. In essense, he makes the experience 'user-friendly' and of sustaining value." — Neeli Cherkovski, was Ben's client "Ben Sykes is a technology leader and cutting edge professional in the UI/UX space. I represented him for a Senior UX consultant role with a Software Development Company in San Francisco. They were very impressed with his skills, abilities, projects and scope of his experience and expertise. Ben was patient and understanding and exhibited an exceptional level of professionalism that helped with the interviewing, salary negotiation and eventual hire process. He is an excellent team player and an effective communicator who


doesn't know the meaning of the word 'No or Challenge'. He is determined and resourceful and was recommended by previous managers. He would be an asset to any team that brings him on board." — Michele Sloan, Sales and Recruitment Manager, Originate Resources/Originate Labs, Inc., was with another company when working with Ben at Interactoid "Ben is an insightful and talented UX Designer. He understands the user experience as just that, a chance to create a great experience for the user. He has a real knack for marketing as well. It was a pleasure working with him." — Phil Young, Sr. UX Designer | UI Designer | Visual Designer, Backbase, worked directly with Ben at Interactoid "Ben has a great visual understanding of how the web is viewed. When building my website, he applied that knowledge to include functionality and ease of use. He took my original design layout to the next level. My website is one of the best designed sites on the internet. Thank you, Ben." — Clark Walker, was Ben's client "Ben helped us remain objective when considering our ideas of what users needed in a collaborative file sharing system. He formulated our first wire-frames and later, high-res mock-ups published to the engineering group. He also wrote a first and second draft of our functional specification for a large web-based enterprise app. When user interaction discussions reached an impasse, no one in the room understood better how to deconstruct, analyse and consider the available options and possible implications for users, helping us weigh the best first course for development focus. Heuristics and Human Factors can be hard issues to sort, even when considering apps in a well-known space with years of tradition. Finding new original ideas to inject into the market-place was where Ben was able to help us the most." — Jeff Papineau, Web Dev Staff Engineer, YouSendIt, worked directly with Ben at at "Ben worked on a project as our graphic artist for us at west coast cigars. we were really impressed with his ability to be prompt with his timelines and also the integrity of his work. He did exactly what we asked of him and made our product even better than we were expecting it to be. He was an invaluable resource for us and we will continue to use him in the future on other projects. In addition to his help on my own personal computer was amazing. His knowledge of what was the problem and how quick he was able to diagnose it and fix it was great for me." — Frank Bellavia, was Ben's client "Ben is professional and creative. Give Ben some creative freedom and the results will surprise you. His will deliver the product on time. I recommend Ben highly and will work with him again." — Kevin Shenk, was Ben's client "Ben has helped me with complex (nearly imposible) computer problems. I would recomend Ben highly."


— Thomas Volz, was Ben's client "It was a pleasure to work with Ben. Ben is a very energetic manager with a keen eye for detail who possesses exceptional talent for motivating and inspiring his designers as well as the people he works with. Ben is EXTREMELY knowledgeable in the study and practice of User Experience Design and always pushes the envelope to create innovative yet user friendly user experiences with the end result of increasing customer conversion." — Michael Simonson, Creative Director Consulting - Americas / Sr. User Interface/User Experience Design Consultant, Backbase, reported to Ben at Interactoid "There are key qualities of delivery Ben carries. His diverse experience background helps deliver quality products on time and definitely always going beyond expectations. A few of the key areas I saw Ben really shine: - his ability to think way beyond the traditional and go into a leading edge mentality - decipher complex User Experience problems and be able to craft a strategic capability that maximizes user interaction and experience - Excellent presentation skills and highly capable of closing deals with C-level stakeholders I also had the chance to be a speaker with Ben at a Retail Banking conference. The ability for Ben to convey the importance of UX to various levels in the organization (from C-Level to the Business User) is extremely important and he succeeds confidently in this area. His designs and rapid prototype sessions were excellent. I recommend Ben for those that need his help. I can confidently say he will deliver and go beyond expectations." — Milan Dave, Solutions Manager, Backbase, reported to Ben at Interactoid "Hands down Ben is the best UX Designer in the industry. Ben couples a keen eye for detail with a kind disposition - a combination that's integral for a positive, healthy, and efficient creative design process. Ben was hired by samesurf ( in January 2010 to develop functional specifications for the Company's applications for Mac, PC, and Linux. His work product was extraordinary and his work ethic just blew all of us away. The team and I at samesurf wholeheartedly recommend Ben to perform any design or online related task for your company. Ben's simply the best!" — K. David Pirnazar, was Ben's client "Ben Sykes is one of the few I would entrust to bring a proposal through to fruition. I would have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in recommending or hiring Ben again and fully intend to in the near future." — Joe Garde, was Ben's client "Ben kept us ahead of schedule and maintained everyone's spirits in the face of daunting odds and unrealistic expectations. He brought so much knowledge of communication client and browser-based design, and has a passion for creating interactive products that reveal the best in human nature, that the design discussions just aren't as deep as they used to be. I hope the interactive video world is appreciating you, Ben!" — Alison Ruge, Sr User Researcher, Voice Technology, Cisco, worked indirectly for Ben at Cisco Systems

"Ben was a great manager to work for. He has great people skills. Ben is a great motivator, and has a very positive attitude which is contagious. Ben works very hard to insure that the people working for him have what they need to be successful in their roles. He was very knowledgeable about the systems we worked on, and had a deep understanding of how our products worked. I would gladly work for or with Ben again in the future." — Jim Tomasko, Technical Leader, Cisco Systems, reported to Ben at Cisco Systems "Ben brings to the table an insatiable appetite for detail orientation and the skill set to lend relevant progress to any interaction space, all with a great personality to boot. Taking on several projects rife with political intricacies and complex specifications, he expertly injected an immediate sense of order and adhesion to fundamental principles of user-centered design. I extol Ben's work ethic and dedication to doing things correctly the first time. I am not alone in highly recommending him." — mateo nares, User-Centered Design Engineer III, Cisco, worked directly with Ben at Cisco Systems "Ben did an outstanding job of bringing order to a chaotic project where product requirements and the technology stack changed daily! He managed difficult personalities with tact and grace. All the while driving crisp decisions with an authoritative yet easygoing style that brought out the best in the entire team. I would work with Ben again in a heartbeat!" — David Abkowitz, IDSA, Principal, Snap!, worked directly with Ben at Cisco Systems "Ben has been a wonderful hiring manager to work at Cisco!! His approach to has been diligent, but friendly and easy going. I can appreciate the quick feedback on candidates that I have sent to him recently especially since he has been managing the 9 hour time difference between us. The contractor I have already working with his group has given him the thumbs up and is enjoying working with Ben's group too. He gets accolades from all sides!" — Kelcey Stone -, Sr. Technical Recruiter, Adecco @ Cisco, was a consultant or contractor to Ben at Cisco Systems "Ben is quite simply a fabulous designer to work with! I've greatly enjoyed his passion for designing the best digital experiences. He brings a refreshing innovative flair for the extraordinary, grounded in his research into the biology of human experience, as it pertains to human computer interaction. He speaks confidently and frequently around the world on this novel powerful approach, with superb understanding, benefitting both novices and experts alike. Ben is a knowledgeable force to be reckoned with, with an infectiously affable personality and drive to communicate profound concepts easily, to help everyone design better products. He has a tremendous wealth of ideas and insights to share; thus I recommend him for any speaking engagements or design projects that he pursues." — Uday Gajendar, Sr Interaction Designer, Cisco, worked directly with Ben at Cisco Systems "Ben is great to work with. He is calm, considerate, humble and effective. He understands the big picture and


reminds me that users are humans too. At the same time Ben doesn't shy away to resolve the tiniest details of a task flow. If you need to get it done and want a thorough design that is easily implementable and highly usable, I recommend working with Ben." — Hans von Sichart, User Interface Designer, Cisco, worked directly with Ben at Cisco Systems "Ben Sykes is a person who stays up-to-date on web technology and is innovate as he leveraged web 2.0 technology and successfully used widgets within a sharepoint site which this site is critical to the success of GFS. Thanks to Ben’s creativity and innovation, our online tools enable us to better serve our clients within GFS by offering audit tools, estimators, and exciting creative advertisements to educate our clients on the services we offer. His passion for user experience spawns incredible ideas which he used to help to improve user experience by making our tools more intuitive and easier for our clients to use, thus improving excitement and energy for the tools offered to our clients. Ben’s efforts and knowledge has promoted GFS’ web presence within Microsoft and has raised exciting ideas and goals for the future of GFS. I highly recommend Ben Sykes as he will be a great asset to any group he joins." — Daniel Ekberg, Program Manager, Volt Professional Services, worked directly with Ben at Microsoft "Ben brought solid process management skills in gathering team requirements for our portal site. Our mission was to create a portal for new and existing clients to discover our services and view details on their accounts. Ben gathered our requirements, managed development of a visually captivating portal and offered some very creative, exciting ideas for marketing the site which I hope are carried on as his role is transitioned." — Trevor Parkinson, Operations Solutions Manager, Microsoft, worked directly with Ben at Microsoft "He is one of the "Top talent at Microsoft" I really enjoyed working with him. His depth and breadth of Web / UI expertise has made significant difference in our projects quality and deliverables." — Sam Chughtai, Executive Management Consultant, Microsoft Corporation, managed Ben at Microsoft "Ben's determination on working hard had helped Oversee grow to it's potential. I remember coming to work one monday morning at around 7 AM finding him at his desk. He had spend an entire weekend coming to the office because precision of his work was so important to him. I admire Ben's courage and creative mind. I recommend him to any company/team who is only looking for solid growth and development." — George Shemtov, Lead Senior Graphic Designer,, worked with Ben at "Ben quickly grasped the concept and developed an extremely user-friendly interface that met all of our client's requirements. I wouldn't hesitate to hire Ben again for a complex web application like this one." — David Edwards-Zoars, was Ben's client

Contact Ben on LinkedIn


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