Dawn Russell Bio

I have a natural tendency to think and work across disciplines. That means I take a holistic approach with every digital product lifecycle. I gather business requirements, form an understanding of the user needs through myriad research methods, build comprehensive information architectures, craft compelling visual and interactive designs, and develop clean front-end interfaces.

My interdisciplinary mindset was set on fire as an undergrad at The Evergreen State College where I concentrated on behavioral psychology, anthropology and metalsmithing. These three areas, seemingly unrelated, continue to influence my work, as they taught me social construct and empathy as well as personal discipline, patience, and strategy.

I am excited about transforming the box—breaking out of the standard ways of presenting content to find more dynamic ways to engage. I question convention while considering the underlying business objectives to deliver something more than what is expected. I am especially drawn to work with organizations and businesses that foster creativity, ecological sustainability, and social justice.


  • Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts
    Data Visualization (Graduate-level)
  • Marlboro Graduate School, Vermont
    Web development, user experience design, human-computer interaction (HCI), project management
  • 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
    Humanities, East / West Psychology, Anthropology, Art



  • Design team leadership
  • User experience research and design
  • Data-driven metrics gathering, evaluation, and analysis
  • Storytelling
  • Information architecture
  • Design thinking and pattern building
  • Data visualization
  • Interpersonal cross-discipline communication
  • Collaboration within an agile environment

UX Research

  • Heuristic and competitive evaluation
  • Survey design
  • User interviews and diary studies
  • Experience mapping
  • Personas
  • Card sorting / treemap testing
  • User testing (question and task based)

Design Tools

  • Sketch / Invision / Figma / UX Pin
  • Adobe XD / Illustrator / Photoshop
  • Pattern library / atomic design
  • Storybook

Recent Experience

  • Lead User Experience Designer

    Upserve | February 2018 - Present

    I am passionate about working in the space where design engages the principles of psychology to improve the customer experience. My primary goal at Upserve is to lead a team that articulates and designs ways to simplify and improve the customer journey as users navigate across our suite of software solutions and services.

    • Strategically implement discovery processes that are data-driven and gather both behavioral and attitudinal KPI's in accordance with short and long-term roadmap planning to better understand and articulate user needs and preferences.
    • Leverage receptive contributors across the organization (customer success, implementation, sales, marketing, and support) by training them in customer experience / UX methodologies to achieve greater input and outcomes in short timeframes.
    • Craft dozens of targeted user research studies that result in deep insight for the organization with limited resources in an agile, high demand setting.
    • Socialize research outcomes with stakeholders, engineers, and product managers to align on the problem frame.
    • Lead the establishment of a working design system in Figma and Storybook to reduce redundancy and free our designers and developers for new challenges.
    • Coordinate with product managers, product marketing, and engineers to improve planning, design, development, and go-to-market processes while increasing efficiency and fostering collaboration.
    • Design complex, systematic improvements to our products across multiple channels including ioS, Android, Clover, web applications, and kitchen display systems.
    • Communicate effectively with our data science team and customers to craft best-in-class predictive forecasts for restaurant analytics and bring these ideas to life with clever, in-app data visualizations.
  • Senior Product Designer

    Epiq Global | August 2018 - February 2019

    As a leader in UX design at Epiq Global, I coordinated the product research and experience design efforts for enterprise-level eDiscovery and search based digital products within the data products innovation team. I oversaw the synthesis of business requirements, crystallization of user needs through myriad research methods, design of data visualizations, build of comprehensive information architectures, and crafting of compelling visual and interactive designs.

    • 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.
  • Senior UX Designer and UI Developer

    Mount Holyoke College | April 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.