Curriculum vitae

Dawn Russell


  • Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts
    Data Visualization (Graduate-level)
  • Marlboro Graduate School, Vermont
    User experience design, human-computer interaction (HCI), Product management, Front-end development, Content Management Systems
  • MFA Studio Art, SUNY New Paltz, New York
    Emphasis on product design and the history of art / craft from 1860 to present.
  • BA, The Evergreen State College, Washington

    #1 Most Innovative College in the West (US News Report 2021)

    Humanities, East / West Psychology, Science, Anthropology, Art

Design Strategy & Information Architecture

I possess a natural tendency to think and work across disciplines to draw connections that drive business and customer value. This means my team takes a holistic approach to our work. We gather business requirements and form an understanding of user and market needs through a robust research & discovery cycle. From there, we form and articulate a vision and architect information to ensure coherency and clarity. The output is a compelling design strategy that is translated into portfolio-level, agile roadmaps in collaboration with engineering and product.

My interdisciplinary mindset was set on fire as an undergraduate student at The Evergreen State College where I concentrated on behavioral east/west psychology, science, anthropology and metalsmithing. These concentration areas, seemingly unrelated, continue to influence my work and thought process, as they taught me social constructs and interpersonal empathy as well as discipline, patience, and strategy.

I am passionate about transforming the box to break out of the standard ways of architecting products. I consider the context of the products, the larger ecosystem and platforms where they function, to realize interconnections and opportunities for ingenuity. I'm especially curious about devising new ways to engage with technology that are meaningful and relevant. In short, I question convention while considering the underlying business objectives to deliver more than what is expected. I am especially drawn to work with organizations and businesses that steadfastly support innovation in healthcare, life sciences, ecological sustainability, and social justice.

Professional Experience

  • Senior Manager, Design Strategy and Information Architecture

    CVS Health | November 2019 - Present
    • Form, articulate and establish cross-cutting, portfolio-level strategic initiatives through a robust discovery cycle that drive deep value for both customers and the business.
    • Build lasting relationships to cultivate shared understanding in every business area and achieve consensus through the facilitation of cross-functional, inclusive, collaborative workshops founded in design thinking methodologies.
    • Recruit and build a high-performing team to architect information design solutions that flex and scale across the CVS Health digital ecosystem while retaining coherence and consistency for our customers.
    • Accelerate the prioritization of customer-first, omni-channel design strategies by heavily socializing the natural intersections amongst our Healthcare, Health Insurance, Pharmacy, Loyalty & Rewards, and eCommerce lines of business.
    • Notably reduce the time it takes to get different teams from engineering, design, architecture and business on the same page by architecting centralized frameworks to streamline information sharing.
  • Head of Product Design

    Lightspeed HQ (formerly Upserve) | Jan. - Nov. 2019

    Lead 4 cross-functional teams to identify and articulate key customer touchpoints and influence alignment and decision-making by telling the story of what motivates customers. Design elegant infrastructure and UX architecture solutions to improve dozens of end-to-end customer journeys and track results with analytics, surveys and user research.

    • Strategically implement data-driven discovery processes that gather both behavioral and attitudinal KPI's to better understand and articulate user needs and preferences.
    • Extend the reach and impact of the product design team by forming "insight gathering' partnerships across customer success, implementation, and support teams. Devise a data collection tool where these partners would input customer experience insights at every touchpoint. Turn these insights into trends to influence the product roadmap.
    • Craft dozens of targeted user research studies and provide clear direction to the organization with limited resources in an agile, high-velocity environment to influence roadmap planning.
    • Collaborate with product managers, product marketing, and engineers to increase efficiencies in the planning, design, development, and go-to-market processes.
    • Lead the establishment of a working design system in Figma and Storybook.
    • Design complex, systemic improvements to our products across multiple platforms including ioS, Android, Clover, web, and kitchen display systems.
  • Lead Product Designer

    Epiq Global | August 2018 - February 2019

    Lead the product research and experience design efforts for the Data Products Innovation Team with a goal to clarify complex information related to legal matters for Fortune 500 companies to assist with decision making and cost savings. Direct the design efforts for four international scrum teams to create a first-of-its-kind eDiscovery portal.

    • Conduct product research to understand the use cases both within (B2B) and outside the company (B2C). Techniques include moderated interviews, card sort exercises, talk-aloud prototyping, surveys, and company-wide persona development.
    • Setup a searchable user research repository so our product team can search for insights and opportunities across multiple research projects.
    • Establish design ops for the company to centralize our design assets and capitalize design efforts.
    • Work closely with the product manager, business analyst and development managers to drive the design of products that our users love.
    • Prioritize efficiencies within feature enhancements to address our users’ needs and improve their daily workflow.
  • Lead UX Designer

    Mount Holyoke College | January 2017 - August 2018

    Within this role, I had the unique opportunity to participate directly in all aspects of the product development life-cycle in a lean, agile environment including user research, experience design, content strategy, and visual design.

    • Evaluate over 133 enterprise-level software products for usability and craft a strategic, technical plan to optimize three in the first year.
    • Enhanced / overhauled the UI and IA for three major mission-critical digital products in under 1.5 years.
    • Received the Trailblazer Award in recognition of my ability to creatively collaborate and meet a challenge head-on as I advance the College’s mission.
    • Passionate about advocating for user needs across dozens of enterprise-level digital service products.
    • Effectively strategize with leadership and cross-functional teams to architect the experience of our mobile friendly digital products while solving challenging design problems.
    • Delivered a consistent high-quality user experience and standards compliance through the application of user interviews, testing, personas, user journeys, prototyping, content strategy, intuitive navigation, and compelling visual design.
    • Managed five junior developers
  • Creative Director | Product Designer

    Artisan Web and Print | 2010 - 2017

    For this boutique agency, I provided creative brand and digital product consulting for companies across numerous industries.

    • Confident in gathering requirements and user needs to craft innovative, lasting solutions.
    • Responsible for lean UX design and research process, visual design, information architecture, intuitive navigation, and user-interface development.
    • Managed a small product team from idea to deploy while consistently staying within budget.
    • Led the digital and print project life-cycle including intake, execution, and sprints to build products.
    • Cultivated long-term, positive client relationships.
    • Launched an all-inclusive, subscription-based maintenance and monitoring solution for client products to encourage retention and sustain long-term, regular income.
  • Marketing Director

    Scott Jacobson Gallery | NYC | 2008-2010

    Within this role, I crafted high profile marketing campaigns and visual designs to further the acquisition and placement of museum quality studio art.

    • Led all aspects of marketing including photoshoots, exhibition catalog print design, international advertising campaigns, and website design.
    • Worked closely with our sales team and management to design exclusive parties.
    • Facilitated museum acquisitions and assisted with the curation of exhibitions.

Connect with me

I'm currently open to speaking engagements, collaborative exchange, and select, highly creative freelance projects. Please reach out and say hi.