Ian Armstrong | UX Design | Creative Leadership
Ian Armstrong | UX Design | Creative Leadership
I design and deliver ideas for a better world and I develop people who do the same.


UX Design & Creative Leadership

At this time I am a Principal UX Designer at Dell's Digital Marketing Studio. I am responsible for human centered design on two different teams along with training duties with more junior designers. My bachelor's degree is in advertising with a focus on account planning. I have specializations in qualitative user research, design thinking, creative strategy, information design, interaction design, agile methodologies, and UX leadership. I have a broad range of secondary skills ranging from visual/graphic design to web programming.


Featured Articles


The Evolution of UX Process Methodology

The UX process is confusing, even to most designers.


Scaling Design as the Company Grows

The nine pillars of creating a design culture that grows
and evolves with a company.

How to Intake a New Project

Creating consistent and repeatable intake process for your team


Designing From a Creative Brief

Unlike traditional brief formats, a UX Brief challenges what is possible

Soft Skills in UX Design Leadership

Technical skill is what makes a designer proficient.
Greatness is found in the soft skills

Actionable User Insight

How to go from raw data to actionable user insight


Silicon Valley UX Lives in the Future

Most cities are stuck in an older era of UX, we're the vanguard



   UXPlanet Profile




Virtual Dell Technologies World

This was the third version of our hybrid desktop/mobile web application, allowing users to experience the scale of DTW from the comfort of a computer or small screen. The application is the direct result of multiple design sprints and an ongoing iterative human-centered process, which has required contributions from multiple enterprise teams.  Also, if Maestro IO didn't model themselves after our work, I'll eat my socks 

You can visit the archive version here


Previous Work


Dell EMC Subcategory

After completing the largest tech merger in history, Dell EMC had an opportunity to redefine our product purchasing journey. Voice of Customer research suggested over and over again that our users wanted clean, consistent designs and efficient tools to help them make IT purchasing decisions. They didn't want us over-selling to their needs, and they didn't want irrelevant promotional content.

The subcategory template project was taken on as a way to service a user who recognizes that they have a broad need (storage, servers, virtualization, etc) but they don't yet understand how the needs of the business might fit within our dizzying portfolio of hardware and services.

The current design utilizes a taxonomy-based approach to the customer journey. Current user research is examining the fundamental nature of the assumptions that lead to this model. The next phase of design thinking has some really exciting implications.

More to come soon!


Dell EMC Use Case

The average purchase at Dell EMC is around $800,000, so unlike the rest of our strategically aligned businesses we aren't a transactional enterprise. Everything our company does is strategic and deliberate. Almost nobody buys a storage server the size of a Viking refrigerator on a whim.

Over the course of a product buying journey, somewhere between problem recognition and commitment to a solution, comes the most important question of all: "is this solution going to work for me?"

The use case experience was designed to provide answers to a thousand different scenarios. It opens with a modern take on the hero - which is to say we begin with an emotional promise. That promise is immediately authenticated by 2-4 value pillars before getting into the details of why they are true. A use case doesn't try to sell the customer's impulse, it tries to match their speed. Only then does it move ahead and ask "hey, perhaps you'd like to take this up with one of our engineers?"


Dell EMC World - Virtual APplication (2017)

After the success of our internal web application, which allowed over 150,000 employees in over 80 countries to take part in the Dell EMC merger, my team was asked to re-invent the virtual experience for Dell EMC World. Our target would be closer to 40,000 viewers but the stakes would be much higher in the public-facing arena.

Because we didn't need to worry about conforming to AEM module standards or SEO compatibility, my team was able to get very blue sky on a pure JavaScript interface. We unpacked several weeks of research as part of a modified Google Ventures style design sprint and built the entire experience, end-to-end, in under six weeks.

The platform went on to power our Internet of Things announcement and makes appearances wherever virtualization of a live event is crucial to its success.


Cru - Meet-ups are about negotiation

Between late 2016 and mid 2017 I worked with a local group of entrepreneurs on an app that viewed negotiation as the key to a successful personal group planning experience. Unlike professionals, casual social groups don't revolve around micromanagement. Details are floaty, which is why most of us still set up brunch or happy hour via group text instead of a Facebook; even though everybody on earth despises being stuck a group text.

Cru was an initial attempt to disrupt the space from a different point of view.


Dell Technologies merger celebration

The Dell EMC merger was the single largest in the history of tech with multiple businesses converging under the banner of the newly formed Dell Technologies. The celebration in Austin, Texas was live-broadcast to dozens of countries and hundreds of locations. In addition to handling the interactive broadcast, my team was also tapped to create a celebration finder & registration system.

We created a geo-aware JavaScript-based web app that converted the latest list of available locations into JSON and interfaced the call to action with a third party registration system API.

The entire project was completed in less than four weeks.


TEn miles in the snow, Both ways!

I'm adding this deprecated morsel just to remind anyone who reads this far  down the page that things weren't always this easy. This is what application flows looked like before InVision changed the prototyping game forever (thanks guys).

VERY occasionally I'll still get asked for one of these things, but there's not much need for them anymore unless a dev team is doing waterfall development with a design freeze + handoff.

UX is process.

Process evolves.

Where will evolution take your business next?