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Design CV

Luther Thie
lutherthie [at] gmail [dot] com

 

 

 Summary

As a user-centered design director—with expertise in visual design—I lead by challenging, motivating and nurturing creative teams through all stages of the product design process, including ambiguous phases that cause stress. Drawing from 13 years experience directing the creation of web, app, game console and exhibition experiences while collaborating with varied business & product stakeholders, I lead end-to-end creative product thinking. Serving as an empathy advocate for the user and a bridge to product management, I support and encourage designers in crafting delightful interactions while fostering an environment for designers to best explore, communicate and execute their ideas.


Experience

Art Director at Sony Interactive Entertainment, San Francisco, CA

April 2015  April 2017

Directed visual design across PlayStation social network including PS4, PS App 2.0 and Web platforms. Duties included guiding 10 designers, presenting design in quarterly executive reviews and representing design in director reviews with stakeholders from business, product and engineering. I initiated design critique within PlayStation design studio to build trust for designers to share and discuss work in an open and safe environment. In weekly video conferences and quarterly travel to Tokyo, I managed the relationship with Tokyo design team including keeping in sync with manager and lead art director and making sure visual design was consistent across 12 scrum teams based in both the US and Japan.

For PS4:

  • Directed visual re-design for PS4 features including What’s New social activity feed, Live Detail game page, Rich Profile and a system-wide “refresh” of key visual design elements across 6 scrum teams (launched to market in Sept 2016)
  • Oversaw 4 design updates in close collaboration with product and 3 scrum teams
  • Directed the design and launch of Communities on PS4 (released 2015)

For PS App V2 (2017 release TBD):

  • Led “phase 0” UX design process initiative on PS App to improve UX’s ability to inform version 2 product innovation in parallel with typical Agile SAFE production process
  • Led visual design consistency from brand perspective with a team of 4 designers
  • Managed check-ins with San Francisco and Tokyo design teams including keeping visual design consistency with Messages and Communities apps
  • Consulted with researchers and directed production of prototypes for usability testing

For Web:

  • Directed outside agency on initial concepts and UX patterns for web social initiative
  • Facilitated internal kick-off workshop to brainstorm and get all stakeholder intentions clear at outset
  • Led design team of 3 designers for web social toolbar (released 2016) and full experience (2017 release TBD)
  • Translated qualitative usability results into actionable next steps

UX Researcher & Art Director (Sports UX) –  Sony Creative Center Tokyo

April 2014  March 2015

Stationed in Tokyo for one year to work on a series of Sony Sports wearables projects, I served as both a UX researcher and an art director for visual design.

  • Directed visual design in collaboration with outside agency in LeanUX design studio process
  • Directed design of proof of concept prototype
  • Led UX research on sports UX initiatives for golf, tennis and running products. Efforts included biometrics prototypes using Unity game engine, motion capture prototype, field user testing, interviews, video scenarios and guerrilla testing
  • Collaborated with visual designers to craft design system for sports products

Art Director – Sony Entertainment Network, San Francisco, CA

May 2012    March 2014

  • As part of original PS4 design team, contributed to design of Content Launcher, What’s New, Live Detail, Library, Commerce and Video Player (shipped 2013)
  • Directed outside UX agency to design concepts and wireframes for PlayStation Mobile Store – (shipped 2014)
  • Led visual design production for Mobile Store
  • Directed outside agency to create concepts for branded motion graphics and loading indicators. Then collaborated closely with engineer to produce these intended effects.

Founder / Design Director at Acclair

2004  –  Present

Co-founded independent research consultancy to explore ideas regarding the augmentation of everyday life through the design and implementation of Neurocapital services. I direct the concept and design of neuro-aware experience prototypes exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, festivals and trade shows.

  • Founded conceptual vehicle investigating biometrics-based interrogation and valuation scenarios
  • Strategically partner with curators to deeply understand, connect and grow their audiences
  • Directed design of iOS app that connects brain sensors to app and database, and collects user’s brain activity in response to artworks in gallery context
  • Direct design of data collection and visualization systems including on-site video projections

Assoc. Creative Director at Publicis Modem San Francisco

February 2010  –  August 2011

Directed media campaigns for LG Mobile in partnership with Marvel movies and other co-branding projects

  • Managed 2 art directors, 4 designers and 2 copywriters in all phases of creative from concept through production
  • Collaborated with producers to obtain appropriate creative talent
  • Directed actors on set in green-screen and live action environments
  • Directed production process for in-house development of interactive web microsites (Ironman, Green Lantern) that included 3D models, live Street View technology and composited actors
  • Partnered with business strategy to create Facebook specific campaigns
  • Developed the LG Girl brand ambassador

Senior Interaction Designer at IDEO

June 2009  – December 2009

  • Designed a financial instrument for a leading financial institution as a freelancer

Art Director at McCann Worldgroup & MRM Worldwide

February 2008  –  June 2009

  • Concepted and designed interactive display ads, micro sites and application prototypes
    as a freelancer

Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts

October 2008  –  December 2008

  • Artist in Residence – Explorations juxtaposing video and large drawings

Creative Director at Razorfish

December 2006  –  January 2008

Led concept, design and development of digital experiences for WaMu

  • Managed team of 2 art directors, 4 designers, 3 copywriters and 2 creative technologists
  • Articulated creative vision to business stakeholders and clients
  • Shaped brand strategy
  • Led creative pitches for new business
  • Leveraged analytics findings to optimize design to meet client objectives and goals
  • Planned budgets with project manager

Artist in Residence at Montalvo Arts Center

June 2008 – August 2008

Collaborated with art technologist Carlos Castellanos to create “neuro-metric architecture” using brain-scanning and other biometrics embedded in a video projection capsule space. Users were shown a series of visual stimuli while they lay and reacted to yes or no questions and their body’s reactions were measured and visualized in a 3d model animation for viewing by the audience on the exterior of the capsule.

Artist at ISEA International

2006

Won “Emerging Artist” award for Acclair (acclair.co.uk)

Interactive Art Director at Grey San Francisco

2006

Art Directed and designed interactive prototypes and motion graphics media as a freelancer.

Presenter and Exhibitor at CHI 2005

2005

Presented in the Spotlight Session: Safety in a Complex World. The title of my piece was “Acclairism: Questioning biometric technology through an airport security clearance system”. Also exhibited Acclair in the trade show booth area.


Skills & Expertise

Product Design Direction

User Centered Design

Visual Design Direction

Motion Graphics & Interface Transition Design Direction

Social Media UX Design Direction


Education

Interaction Design Institute Ivrea

MA, Interaction Design, 2002 – 2004

Focused on Service & Interaction Design

San Francisco State University

MFA with Honors, Sculpture, Installation, 1990 – 1993

California State University-Los Angeles

Teaching Credential, Multiple Subject, Elementary School, 1987 – 1990

University of California, Los Angeles

BFA, Fine Art, 1984 – 1986

University of California, Santa Barbara

Fine Art, 1982 – 1984