Alan Underwood

I'm a socially-conscious product designer working at the intersection of AI and UX . I have worked with and learned from some of the world's greatest design leaders and entrepreneurs to bring AI and Machine Learning into their products.

Last year, I left the enterprise design space to start my own non-profit. Since then I have been on a leadership journey that began on the streets of Oakland and took me all the way to the United Nations. Now it's time for me to bring what I learned about social good and bring it back into the technology industry!

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Recent Work

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  • Webby award
  • ADDY award
  • Society for New Communication Award
  • STC Award
  • Moz Award

Professional Experience

$O$ Nonprofit
Job Title Dates Employed
Executive Director 2019 - Present

$O$ is a non-profit startup designed to collect better data on homelessness and help as many people as we can to become self-sufficient, or at least to eat for a day.

$O$ Case Study   |

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  • Managed a team of over a dozen people and lead the first board of directors
  • Developed an AI/ML based back-end solution to collect information via text messages
  • Designed a marketing campaign to collect donations and developed a funding model

Skills: User Centered Design, AI, Machine Learning, NodeJS, Kubernetes


Job Title Dates Employed
Chief Technology Officer 2020

COVIDxNOW is a community of entrepreneurs dedicated to stopping the COVID-19 pandemic. COVIDxNOW as an organization facilitates a community of leaders through a community website, social media, email, and other channels. My role has been to handle IT, development and marketing for the organization.

Website   |   Report   |   Community

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  • Developed and cultivated an online community for entrepreneurs and business leaders
  • Designed and published the COVIDxNOW Community report, a "best of" summary of the work that COVIDxNOW has been doing

Skills: Wordpress, Data Visualization, Mobile First Design


IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software
Job Title Dates Employed
Product Design & Prototyping Lead 2015 - 2019

IBM Cloud combined with Cognitive Software to provide an integrated cloud and AI experience. My role was to bring prototype thinking and design thinking together, and find new ways to integrate cognitive services into existing products.

API Connect   |   Lift and Shift   |   Microclimate   |   Tekton

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  • Designed two open source products and two internal products while overseeing and coordinating with development teams for implementation
  • Worked closely with user research team to ensure product goals match user requirements
  • Demonstrated ML and cognitive capabilities for product teams with prototypes and examples
  • Mentored junior and associate designers in design thinking, taught cognitive and unconscious bias by leading evangelization efforts and designing a deck of cards and a matching card game

Skills: Design Thinking, Information Design, Product Design, AI/ML, Microservices, Kubernetes


Job Title Dates Employed
Principal Usability Designer 2013 - 2015

Progress had a directive from the board to re-invent themselves by writing their own software instead of relying on acquisitions as they had done in the past. Easyl, Rollbase, and D2C formed Progress Pacific, a new suite of development tools.

Pacific   |   Rollbase   |   Easyl

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  • Helped shape the strategy for a unified user interface across all Progress products.
  • Led the Progress Pacific redesign as well as designing multiple product interfaces
  • Prototyped everything — from napkin sketches to super high-fidelity and full functionality
  • Led the Progress Community redesign to give Progress users a better voice and facilitate a deeper, more meaningful connection to the company

Skills: UX Design, Design Management, Prototype Thinking, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Mobile (native, web, and hybrid), Augmented Reality, Accessibility


CA Technologies
Job Title Dates Employed
Sr. User Experience Designer 2011 - 2013

Designer for an in-house agency tasked with working with product teams to standardize the user experience across the company. My role was to see the design through from start to finish.

CA Process Automation, Before & After

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  • Standardized UI design, end-to-end, across all phases of design
  • Application mapping, card sorting, personas and traditional information architecture tools
  • Wireframing, prototyping, and implementation

Skills: User Experience Design, Information Design, Information Architecture, Prototype Thinking, Accessibility


Notecards and String
Job Title Dates Employed
Founder & CEO 2010 - 2011

Notecards and String was the first product I ever built on my own. Originally conceived as an information architecture tool, it quickly expanded to become a popular consumer app with over 1,000 users.

Notecards and String

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  • Designed, prototyped, architected and implemented the entire product
  • Managed a small team of people in a startup environment
  • User testing, market research, and responding to test results with product updates

Skills: User Centered Design, Product Management, Information Architecture, Entrepreneurship, HTML, CSS, JavaScript


IBM Smart Business
Job Title Dates Employed
Human Factors Engineer 2007 - 2011

IBM Smart Business was a self-healing all-in-one server solution for small business. Self-healing autonomic repair processes ensured uptime, reduced IT overhead, and cut maintenance costs.

IBM Smart Business

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  • Comprehensive user experience across all Smart Business product UIs and web properties while maintaining consistent branding style, and interface guidelines and design patterns
  • Paper, wireframe, HTML, PDF, Balsamiq & Powerpoint prototyping to support team initiatives
  • Reporting to executives and decision-makers, coordinating with multiple product teams
  • User research, mapping, testing, and analysis

Skills: Human Centered Design, Prototyping, Design Standards & Pattern Libraries, User Research


Job Title Dates Employed
Design Lead 2005 - 2007

iConctact is a social media and email marketing application serving SMB, Mid-sized and Enterprise customers.

iContact Rebranding

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  • Led company wide cross-functional initiatives to improve the user experience, while meeting the objectives of stakeholders from executives to venture capitalists.
  • UX evangelism, UI design, user research, usability testing, and user advocacy
  • Grew our userbase by a full order of magnitute, from 5,000 to 50,000 users in one year

Skills: User Experience Design, User Research, Visual Design, Branding, Marketing, HTML, CSS, JavaScript


Job Title Dates Employed
Interactive Lead 2001 - 2005

Koroberi is a full service B2B digital marketing agency. My role was to lead a small team to produce and maintain web sites and applications, while integrating with other departments such as public relations, print design, and media planning.

Work Samples

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  • Award winning web application design, prototyping, and development
  • Search engine optimization, click through rate testing and conversion optimization
  • Online marketing, and multimedia campaign integration

Skills: Design Management, Interactive Design, Visual Design, Marketing, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL

Job Title Dates Employed
Information Architect 2000 - 2001 was a small digital agency focusing on city portal sites and websites and applications for local entertainment, small business, e-commerce, and franchise clients.

Work Samples

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  • Managed the company's city portals: large, ad-supported, locally focused portal sites.
  • Worked directly with clients and designers to develop corporate, franchise, and e-commerce websites to customer specification
  • Web application UI design and conversion testing, and user research

Skills: Information Architecture, Branding, UI Design, Web Design, Front End Development


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