Yes, eventually I jumped.

Yes, eventually I jumped.

About Lau

First and foremost I care about people and their experience using technology.

Secondly, I am a goal-oriented UX/UI designer and creative director focused on clean, engaging user experience and visual representation of information that meets business goals and client requirements. I specialize in user experience, cross-brand strategy, synergy of communication as well as leading other designers and creative teams in doing so. I approach my favorite medium, the interactive experience, with the target audience in mind and am not afraid to bring forward and encourage effective and unorthodox ideas, design that resonates with the audience, a clear message, and thrills that bring value to the company & clients. 

My ideal environment is fast-paced and deadline-driven where handholding is not the norm. I strongly believe teamwork, cross-pollination and an encouraging attitude among disciplines is key to accomplishing stellar results. I am not a micromanager, yet I believe perfection starts at a pixel level.


Let's Start With The Basics

Years of Digital Experience:
15+

Authorized to work in US? 
Yes, I am a U.S. Citizen. I am originally from Transylvania.

Education Level?
Bachelor's Degree (See below for details)

Criminal Record? 
None, I'm squeaky clean

Management Experience?
Yes, 6+ years

Presentation Experience?
Yes, 10+ years

Afraid of Heights?
Yes, when standing on a ledge higher than 25ft.

Golf?
Yes, when there is beer involved.

Cat or Dog?
Love both. No allergies. I have a fish. 


Professional Work Experience

Head of Design, Rabbit Inc., Redwood City (SF Bay Area), CA         
2014 – 2015

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENT: Streamlined user experience and interface. 
  • Designed & Prototyped upcoming interfaces and features.
  • Created continuity in the Rabbit brand.
  • Streamlined user interface iconography.
  • Taught engineers the basics of design tools to reduce reliance on creative dept. for asset generation.
  • Created brand collateral to be used in community growth.
  • Developed visual UI style guide.
  • Contributed to seasonal user engagement ideas.

 

Creative Director & Co-Founder, Cognetik Inc., San Francisco Bay Area, CA         
2013 – 2014

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENT: Designed two data analytics apps: Dash & Cognetik and developed their respectively distinct looks. 
  • Active involvement in defining product strategy, and ownership of the Cognetik brand.
  • Collaborated with engineers and stakeholders to push the limits and find opportunities to improve the product experience.
  • Created unique iconography, and documentation defining design patterns and style.
  • Used my understanding of technical limitations to not only solve difficult visual problems, but also researched new solutions that were unknown to engineers and ensured them being put in place.
  • Created the UX/UI for Cognetik, the flagship product that cuts through data noise of eCommerce data.
  • Built the UI/UX for Dash, a native iOS app for eCommerce data. Focused on very user-friendly look & feel. (ask for a demo)
  • Worked nearly exclusively with big data visualizations and focused on making that data understandable as well as actionable.
  • Developed the Cognetik Brand, both visually and “tone-of-voice”.
  • Bootstrapped. ‘nuff said.

 

Creative Director, 140 Proof Inc., San Francisco, CA         
2011 – 2013

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENT: Refreshed the 140 Proof brand and created brand continuity in all external and internal marketing materials.
  • Created branding continuity throughout the sales & marketing materials. 
  • Concepted and produced product videos as well as video case studies.
  • Worked closely with engineers to update the product; social ads.
  • Created numerous ads that were seen in NYC and Chicago in strategic locations to reach desired customers.

 

 

VP of Creative & User Experience, TripAlertz Inc., San Francisco, CA         
2009 – 2011

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENT: Developed the TripAlertz Brand with creative messaging, visual design, a streamlined creative content development process, and creative team management.
  • Organized the creative team, through interviewing & hiring of copywriters and production artists, from a one-person team to a five person team (25% of the company)
  • Led awareness efforts with renowned tourism public realtions firm, YPartnership to improve company profile in the media for all launches and promotions like “Win A Free Trip to Space”.
  • Oversaw social media initiatives, that increased site user-base, and developed communications strategy that led to increased engagement by FB/TW users.
  • Worked closely with product & supply managers and tech team to develop, design & wireframe new features on both the consumer-facing site and back-end supplier site.
  • Spearheaded creative efforts from the company inception through Series A financing to present.
  • Developed a company culture of autonomy and responsibility

 


Associate Creative Director, Brunner Inc., Pittsburgh, PA         
2010 – 2011

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENT: Led creative process and integrated with other creative directors to deliver true, 360-degree engagement mareketing programs while managing over $2mm in creative deliverables.
  • Oversaw various creative teams and ensured adherence to strategy, client requisites and quality of work.
  • Collaborated with multiple agencies for Fortune 500 client GlaxoSmithKline and led the digital work on a global level for Aquafresh and a variety of oral health products as well as OTC (over-the-counter) brands. This included national and international digital creative efforts, localization of programs, social media initiatives, and product launches.
  • Guided copy-writers, art-directors and studio personnel in developing successful digital properties, ideas, and online media. One example of online-media is for Pronamel that set a new benchmark for click-through success across the entire oral care vertical, besting giant competitors like Colgate, Crest and others.
  • Led the visual design team of the newly-formed B-Hive Labs, an in-agency greenhouse think-tank that focuses on cutting edge & experimental projects for current and prospective clients.
  • Managed directly and indirectly a group of 10+ designers, art directors, interns & copywriters depending on project needs and scale.
  • Heavily participated in new business pitches as well as educating current clients on the latest technology and diverse ways of implementing them. 

 


Creative Director, Barkley, Pittsburgh, PA         
2009 – 2010

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENT: Directed the creative team in the redesign and ideation efforts of university and tourism websites using a newly-formed ideation process as the step prior to the design phase as well as managed over $2.5m in creative deliverables and over 15 accounts at any given time.
  • Established an “idea culture” that positioned the ideation-process as a precursor to the design phase. This allows for the messaging, strategy, and discovery elements about clients to be the core elements driving the development of the online experience.
  • Lead a team of in-house interactive designers and copywriters, and establish new processes to improve the creative output. 
  • Strategize account planning from a creative standpoint and estimate resources availability and hours.
  • Present creative concepts to new prospective clients as well as engage established clients with new creative executions and concepts.
  • Attend to daily managerial duties in the creative department as well as work with other group directors to maintain balance between departments while reporting to the president of the agency.
  • Successfully encouraged strong adoption of social media in the higher-ed space. (ex. www.calu.edu)

 


Creative Director, WebHue LLC         
2007 – 2014

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENT: Managed Ketel One Vodka’s first online media campaign execution for M&C Saatchi in EyeBlaster’s newly developed “banner-sync” technology using CGI and interactivity.
  • Managed talent that encompassed a team of designers, developers and copywriters.
  • Planned the use of internal resources and vendors to develop work for Saatchi MC in Los Angeles.
  • Presented and delighted Clients as well as pitched and planned new work.

 


Sr. Ideator and Art Director, Organic Inc, Bloomfield Hills, MI         
2006 – 2009

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENT: “Sold” over $1.5m of creative work in pitches and executable ideas in the first year. Notably, Jeep and the Way Beyond Trail, (an interactive “choose your own adventure” film experience) which went on to be a Cyber Lions finalist at the Cannes Festival.
  • Sr. Designer and Ideator in IG (ideation group), a group dedicated to experimental design and concept generation. Worked on dozens of new web initiatives, while integrating the latest web trends and technologies. 
  • Redesigned Geek Squad’s website. This led to more work from Geek Squad for Organic, as well as greatly improved Geek Squad’s online presence, reputation and customer support.
  • Launched Sebring Convertible with an experience that focused on a Sebring Convertible owner’s journey throughout the day. Roles included the ideation, concept, design and overseeing production.
  • Won Adobe Site of the Day Award (9-20-07) and a Dope Award (dopeawards.com).
  • Contributed to the active rebranding of Chrysler through innovative visual design-oriented experiences.
  • Led other designers (and copywriters too) in various initiatives, and directed their work.
  • Directed numerous photo shoots, that were not only automotive focused but also product focused.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Chrysler.com
Art direction and support for the creative director. My responsibilities include the overall look and creative maintenance of Sebring, Sebring Convertible, PT Cruiser/PT Convertible, Aspen, Crossfire, Experience, as well as the Owner's section.
CHALLENGES: Working with a brand like Chrysler means paying close attention to metrics, analytics, and customer personas. Making usability and information relevant is key, since performance of the site is tracked at every level, and sales can be tracked back to specific clicks.

Chrysler 300 YouTube Challenge
The most recent addition to my portfolio. Created the look and feel of the Chrysler "Spin it Your Way" YouTube Contest as well as used photography from a photo-shoot I directed the previous year.
CHALLENGES: The Client had a hard time grasping the urban need and feel. After many meetings we got what we wanted and this page ranked in the top 15th most subscribed to page on YouTube! A total success!!
 
Geek Squad
In this project I supported the creative director through art direction and leading junior designers in designing the various pages of the site, while tackling the main page and style myself. Special attention was placed on the color scheme and UI to help novice internet users visually recognize the areas they need help in. (like clicking on the EMERGENCY HELP NOW button). Also worked with CP+B on photo-shoots for the site.
CHALLENGES: User interactivity was a priority, so that made good placement, readability and size of site elements a must. The Client loved the site and received much praise from agents and customers alike.
 
Chrysler Sebring Convertible Launch (mini-site)
Art Direction, Creative Direction, User Interface direction, Motion GFX/CGI Direction and Sound Direction. Check, check and check. Developed the story-line (but did not write it, as i am not a copywriter). This campaign was featured on many interactive design sites and forums and also won the prestigious Dope Award and Adobe Site of the Day.
CHALLENGES: The timeline. This project was accomplished in less than two-month's time from start to finish. Organization, clear communication, client face-time and piping-hot coffee played a huge role in delivering this project on time, and in its success.
 
Jeep Patriot and the Way Beyond Trail
I was responsible for the ideation, initial art direction, as well as client pitches (up to selling point) of the interactive choose-your-own-adventure aspect of the mini-site. The project went on to be showcased in various online awards, as well as received a Cyber Lions nominations at Cannes Festival in France.
CHALLENGES: Client reviews and revisions as well as working with BBDO NYC on delivering some of the concept behind it.

 


Interactive Art Director, Young & Rubicam/Wunderman, Dearborn, MI         
2003 – 2006

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENT: Redesigned the Mercury Vehicles Website and increased the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study rating from second to last in 2005 to top 10 automotive website status in 2006. This exceeded client expectation (Ford Motor Company). Special emphasis was placed on site navigation, usability as well as brand messaging.
  • Integrated multiple national & new vehicle launch initiatives (Mercury Milan) into one consistent online presence that was designed to improve the image of mercury. The result was more-than-doubled website traffic for over three months in a row. 
  • Directed and oversaw the conception and creation of a successful online game based on a nationally aired television spot. 
  • Designed & Developed successful online media, of which one piece achieved #1 status on MSN.com for the entire year (2004) across all categories. 
  • Oversaw and worked on new product launches, national-level sweepstakes, photo shoots and post-production multimedia. (Mercury Milan & Lincoln Mark LT)


 

Digital Art Director, Solomon Friedman Adv., Bloomfield Hills, MI         
1999 - 2003

  • Worked on creative projects across multiple industries & disciplines such as: 
  • Television (Accessories & More in Las Vegas), Entertainment (Detroit Opera House), Sports News (Hockey Weekly News), Real-Estate (Beztak Properties), Healthcare (Americare Card), Restaurant Industry (Cucina Leone), B2C (DMAD)
  • Designed Websites that were usability-focused as well as brand-focused.

Formal Education

College for Creative Studies Detroit, MI
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with a concentration in Digital Animation


OG Skills

My design ranges from traditional mediums like painting, drawing, silk-screening and sculpture to a varied range of digital skills like Web Design, Graphic Design, User Interface Design, Flash, Motion Graphics, 3D Animation and Video Compositing. Using the latest digital design tools, video editing applications and animation software, I am ever increasing and broadening my skills to be able to diversify my work and most of all, keep it original.

Applications & Processes I am proficient in include, but are not limited to:
+ Agile Methodology
+ RWD (Responsive Web Design)
+ Sketch

+ Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
+ Flash
+ Adobe Dreamweaver
+ Final Cut Pro
+ HTML, CSS
+ Adobe ImageReady
+ QuarkXpress
+ Adobe InDesign
+ Adobe AfterEffects
+ Adobe Premiere
+ Autodesk Maya
+ Cinema 4D
+ Autodesk 3D Studio MAX
+ Adobe Premiere,
+ Adobe Lightroom
+ Lotus Notes
+ Content Management Systems (CMS)
+ Apple OS X
+ Microsoft Windows
+ Microsoft Office
+ Microsoft Visio
+ Apple Keynote. 


Some Hobbies

Pro-Bono Work with Charity Cup
I serve as a creative consultant on their print and web initiatives, and direct local and international designers in creating the creative content.
http://www.charitycup.com

Visual Blogging
Started a social image-bookmarking micro-blog in which other users and myself submit the latest and greatest in design & web pop culture
http://www.polyesterair.com

DJ-ing & Mixing
A relatively new project that goes with my theory that everyone knows at least one DJ. Now you know me, and my theory is again proven correct.
http://milk.podomatic.com