Contact About Writing & Case Studies What I do

Senior design & UX for ambitious software teams

I help companies design better, ship faster, and get traction.

What I do  ·  Writing & Case Studies  ·  About  ·  Contact

My clients are usually software teams with a big goal. They need to build an incredible product fast, but they're hitting the limits of what they can design in-house.

I'm both a product designer and design coach. My first priority is helping my clients build something their customers love; a close second is teaching them to design better on their own.

As design coach

  • Pair with designers to solve problems together
  • Teach modern design tools (Sketch, Invision, etc)
  • Get designers "unstuck" when they've hit a wall
  • Share helpful visual design tricks
  • Give detailed, constructive design feedback
  • Help designers communicate with stakeholders
  • Set a high bar for design quality
  • Build creative confidence

Hands-on design work

  • Rapid prototyping
  • Intuitive UI interactions
  • Minimal, compelling visual design
  • High-level user tasks & flows
  • Branding & logo work
  • Finding and fixing usability problems
  • Code for front-end web (Javascript, React, HTML/CSS)

Design process

  • Write design briefs with clear goals
  • Run inclusive design kickoffs
  • Help teams go broad with lightweight concepts
  • Prioritize ideas based on user impact
  • Set up effective design feedback loops
  • Test features with real users before shipping
  • Build systems of reusable UI components

Product strategy

  • Help founders distill their product vision
  • Visually share that vision with their team
  • Validate product value with the market
  • Get to the root of what motivates customers
  • Reduce feature complexity before engineering starts
  • Create designer hiring strategies and candidate evaluation

Writing & Case Studies

"You're a natural, kid"—How to spot design talent

The four least-teachable traits of great designers


The books I recommend to designers

What to read when you’re learning (or struggling with) design


Using design to make hard life choices

Step one: literally put your priorities in order


Get email updates


Designing a prototype in 15m

A rapid run-through of user journey mapping and minimal UI design

UX design for startups

A glimpse at lean product design methods

Piano hacking and creative flow

Music tools for intuitive improvisation

Just for fun

I like making complex systems simple, adding delightful details, and supporting self-directed learning.


In 2012, I was the first employee of YC-backed FarmLogs. We started as three people on a couch, raised $35MM, grew to 70 people, and onboarded ⅓ of American farmers on our platform.

I led our design, built our brand, and architected our UX from the ground up. As we grew, I became Director of Product Design, hiring a high-performing design team and using design to drive product strategy.

Later, I co-created a design course at the University of Michigan. Our goal was to build practical design skills in our students, who went on to work at Google and other high-growth tech companies.

Before FarmLogs, I created my own Bachelors of Philosophy degree in Human-Computer Interaction. I've also founded local design organizations and served as a startup mentor at TechStars Mobility and other accelerators.


Sam is a UX god. We were blown away by how quickly he broke down our complex goals into a simple, beautiful, intuitive design. Not only did we launch an awesome product on time, but the work went way above and beyond our expectations. He taught us a ton about building great products, and he laid the foundation for our engineers to keep building great designs. Our only regret is that we didn't book more of his time! ”

Jason Corso, CEO, and Brian Moore, CTO
Co-founders, Voxel51 A.I. Platform

Within 5 minutes of Sam starting his talk, I texted my team: 'Damn, Sam is good.' All 250 students in the audience were hooked. His session was a fantastic mix of humor and entertainment, technical information, and emotional vulnerability that gives students the confidence to take a shot... I can't recommend Sam highly enough for anyone interested in creating early-stage products, gathering feedback from potential users, or just learning tips for making it through the emotional grind of startup life. ”

Jeff Sorensen
Co-Founder of optiMize; Director for Social Innovation at University of Michigan LSA

Sam is an incredibly talented product designer and coach. He was instrumental in helping FarmLogs design a product and brand that quickly became recognized for our ease of use, igniting years of rapid growth for our company.

Jesse Vollmar
Co-Founder & CEO, FarmLogs

I had the chance to work with Sam as a hiring manager as I was recruiting and hiring Designers for his team at FarmLogs. He brought a level of deep thinking and reflection that made him a true hiring partner in every sense. He was always thinking strategically about how we could improve our recruiting process and candidate experience.

Lauren Davaloz
People Success Specialist, Aha!


Whether your a founder, product leader, designer, student, or just curious about design—I'd love to hear from you.

Additional case studies and work samples available on request. Email for rates and availability.