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Meet Chad

We’re proud of the team members that make up Slide UX and want to give you a chance to meet them. Our Meet a Slider series continues with Chad Currie, our creative director.

Prior to joining Slide UX, Chad co-founded Smith & Robot, a creative technology agency building digital-first brands for ThoughtWorks and National Instruments. Prior to Smith & Robot, he was VP, Group Creative Director at T3. We were thrilled to announce that he joined the team in 2015. With his expertise, our capabilities expanded into brand development and concepting. 

Name: Chad Currie

Specialty: Branding & Concept

Start Date: August 2015

There was a cheer heard 'round the watercooler when it was announced you decided to join our team. What drew you to Slide UX?

After a career detour in the marketing side of the design business, I’m excited to work in software and UX again. Applying data, research, and real user behavior to drive design decisions is the most rewarding way for me to spend my energy at work. I feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives by contributing to useful software.

Everyone at Slide UX is motivated by client success above all. That sounds, literally, incredible even as I say it. But I see it in action all day. Some agencies seek the status of big brands or hip industries, regardless of the project. Others just want to build a portfolio of cool-looking stuff. I like that Sliders get most excited about any opportunity to affect the client’s business for the better. The status and portfolio will follow.

“Everyone at Slide UX is motivated by client success above all. That sounds, literally, incredible even as I say it.”

— Chad

Chad introduces the importance of feelings in visual design during a work session in Tucson, AZ.

Chad introduces the importance of feelings in visual design during a work session in Tucson, AZ.

As our creative director, you’ve helped establish and implement processes. What do you feel is the most powerful part of our design process?

To me, building a customer persona is the most transformational part of the process. That’s when we stop focusing on how great we think our product is and start getting real about how it fits in the customer's life. It can produce some disorienting and even sobering realizations at first, but it feels good to create a shared understanding of the customer. If we do that part right, the rest of the project runs on rails because we have a clear north star.

It is hard to be “creative” on demand. How do you stay inspired?

Volume. I admire plenty of other designers, but looking at other work does not help me power through a design problem. I shoot for lots of options and edit down. I’m not the kind of designer or writer who can work linearly from idea to production and expect it to be great. For every one design I show the client, I probably make three and kill two. Producing in volume keeps me from getting too attached to an early idea or over-polishing something that’s just not that good. Some of my most successful ideas have come when I forced myself to add a late 4th or 5th idea to the stack.

Fun fact: Chad has too many pets.

Fun fact: Chad has too many pets.

What does your typical day look like?

On “idea days” I may riff in a text editor to get some broad directions for a narrative. I'm in Sketch (the app) a lot. I really don’t remember life before Sketch. I’ll switch to Illustrator for logo and icon design because I still find Sketch awkward for that stuff.

On really fun days, I get to present concepts to a client and facilitate the critique. Other days I’m doing high fidelity production designs where each pixel counts. Those days can be nice because I get to put on podcasts and just nerd out in the details as the hours fly by.

What advice would you give to people who are interested in user experience as a career?

For anyone on the same creative and content track as me, I suggest simply getting lots of practice. I’m a believer in the 10,000 hour rule. Become an expert by generating lots of designs, or words, or code, or whatever your craft may be. The more you can make the execution of your art a reflex, the more mental energy you’ll have for strategic thinking.

Lightning Round

  • Do you have any hidden talents? Not so much hidden as forgotten. I used to compete in BMX and play in bands. My adult talents are more modest. I can make almost any baby laugh because I have a nose like a muppet.

  • Cat or Dog? Both. My vacuum canister is full of fur.

  • BBQ: sauce or no sauce? Sauce. Lots of sugary sauce.

  • Hot Dog Toppings? Mustard and Relish

  • Favorite coffee shop: Epoch Coffee. Their espresso has “it” and they are friendly.

  • How do you like your coffee? I like my sugar with some coffee and milk.

  • Who on the team would you want to be stuck on an island with and why? I’m guessing Travis and I would have the same priorities: brewing some island hooch and building a dark place to drink it.