Alex Turnwall designer + developer

Designer, developer, tinkerer.
Seeking collaboration.

I build interactive experiences for organizations that view design as an integral strategic asset. Work with me if you want an experienced partner that’s invested in the success of your project.

Consulting

Flexible Consulting

I aim to work in a flexible capacity that’s right for the client. This can mean delivering a specific project from end-to-end, working on retainer for a specific period, or being embedded on the team full-time to meet a milestone.

Because of this approach, my availability varies a good deal. I also regularly work with a network of talented consultants to call upon, so I can build a team around a complex project. Sometimes I’ll refer you to another professional that might be the best fit for you. A quick intro conversation is the best way to start. Check out up-to-date availability below.


Areas of Expertise

UX Design

Make a product or service more compelling by implementing best practices, user research, and usability testing.

UI Design

Polished interaction design for software experiences on any screen size.

Brand & Identity

Graphic design of identity and collateral that move organizations’ brand strategy forward.

Data Visualization

Custom data visualizations and infographics to tell the story of your data. Possibly interactive, always engaging.

Design Systems

Systematized design tools to enable your team to move faster with greater consistency. Can include front-end code assets.

Front-end Development

Implementing design projects or design systems for production. (Currently liking TypeScript, React, JSS, Sass.)

Website & CMS

Extensive experience designing and developing marketing websites, blogs, and microsites. (Sometimes JAMstack, though I still like WordPress.)


Strategic Consulting

Product Strategy

Helping organizations bring products to market, or "fail faster" to understand what their market really wants.

Brand Strategy

Work on a process to hone the authentic brand that’ll help you reach the right audience.

Design Sprints

Guide organizations though intensive design sprints to explore new product offerings in one week or less.

Building Teams

Working with organizations (especially startups) to figure out how to structure their product and design teams for operational success and scaling.

Inspiration is for amateurs—the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

Chuck Close

Experience

I’ve helped launch businesses,
scaled startups,
worked at a studio (and started one),
taught at a university’s design school,
consulted with organizations of all sorts.

I design and code.

I've spent years driving design and technical projects from start to finish on a variety of very different teams. I've managed and contributed to projects for universities, large international corporations, startups, medical and research institutions, and government agencies.

I teach.

I’ve taught courses at Northeastern University, now I volunteer to help young designers and entrepreneurs learn through design and technology. I've spend a good deal of time thinking about design in the classroom. This strengthens my practice just as much as client work impacts my teaching.

I’m an entrepreneur.

I've been involved in entrepreneurship for over a decade. I’ve helped start a venture accelerator, co-founded a design studio, been on founding teams, helped startups scale through multiple rounds of VC funding, and most recently am working to bootstrap a new venture.

Check out my portfolio for some specific examples.

All knowledge is spendable currency, depending on the market.”

Maya Angelou

Approach

Passion for technology, design and making a positive mark on the world.

My approach is culled from a joint background in design, business and marketing, (plus a somewhat boyish excitement for new technology). These are things I believe, which influence all of my work:

1

Design is a measurable strategic asset.

Good design can contribute directly to an organization's bottom line. According to multiple studies, organizations that value design consistently perform stronger on virtually all financial measures.

2

Good design can make life better.

From life-saving procedural instructions, to an easier-to-read ballot, to a more ergonomic product: design that we interact with everyday has the potential to make people's lives better (or worse). It is not simply an aesthetic treatment.

3

Diversity in collaboration yields the best results.

Our audiences are global. We live in an interconnected world where no one person has all of the skills to make most of the products we use everyday. We need to work with partners who are diverse in background and discipline to create better products, services and organizations for the future.

4

Technology should feel easy.

Every user is different and one size should not fit all. The goal of interaction design is to create products or interfaces that will work best for an intended user. That means it might have to work equally well for many users with many different technologies—today's tech has to be flexible and adaptable.

5

Marketing can be a force for good.

Understanding consumer behavior and knowing how to learn what a customer wants can work towards the promotion of a social campaign just as effectively as it can promote a product. Harnessing that power for the right reasons is a worthwhile endeavor.

6

Brands are not lipstick.

You can't throw together a logo, some type and a color and call it a brand… that is, in fact, an "identity" for a brand. Branding goes much deeper—it touches every facet of an organization and is reflected in everything an organization does. It's constantly evolving.

7

Trusting relationships produce better work, faster.

You trust me, I trust you; enough so that we both give honest opinions. This is how iteration produces better results, faster. Without this trust, it's hard to produce meaningful results. Trust takes effort, but it's worth it.

Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.”

Paul Rand

The right fit

Startups, Universities, Non-profits, Agencies:
Does this sound like you?


You believe in design.

Organizations willing to invest the time into the design process will value the input of a designer who's interested in learning about them in-depth to create the best solution for their own customers, users or audience.


You don’t want a supplier.

You want a partner. You don't come to me with all the answers, you come to me with a problem to solve together. You don't try to micromanage the design.


You have a mission.

I want to work with organizations that have something interesting to say, make the world a better place, enrich people lives, and want to tell a compelling story.


You are commited.

Your project is important to you and you give it the time and resources it needs to get done.

The output of my work may change, but the foundation stays the same: solve a problem of design.

I like to work on interesting and worthwhile projects for clients that are completely invested in their ideas, take the time to challenge me, and encourage me to challenge them.

Contact

Shall we?

I still prefer that good old-fashioned face-to-face approach, but email is the best way to reach me due to my fairly erratic schedule. Shoot me one and let’s grab a coffee or drink?

alex@turnwall.com

Currently open to conversations for projects starting May 2021 or later.

As always, I’m happy to chat about non-consulting-related opportunities like speaking, teaching, and writing engagements.