Chris McLay.

Designer. Pragmatic perfectionist. Really useful to have around…

A brief resume

Photo of Chris McLay

This resume is a little different to most. Based on reading a great many designers resumes, I’ve tried to best present important information in a simple, easy-to-read way. If you like this, if you don’t, or if you think I’ve left something out, then please let me know.

What do I do?

For three decades I have helped to deliver great products and services through good design. I have a range of experience in small and large organisations, can hit the ground running, and work comfortably in many different types and sizes of teams.

I enjoy working in a strong team, focused on delivering the best products, and I love finding ways to improve how people live and work.

Ok, but what kind of designer are you?

Design is a broad discipline, and the boundaries are not always clear. I don’t design fashion, or furniture. I don’t do industrial design, or interior design. I help organisations deliver great products and services. This is often through the organisations web site or app, but there’s much more to it than just the digital bits.

On most projects I use many of the following design disciplines:  interaction design;  user experience;  user interface design; accessibility;  copywriting;  design research;  graphic design;  information architecture;  motion & animation;  prototyping;  usability;  visual communication; business strategy;  collaborative design; customer experience;  process analysis & mapping;  service design;  …and more.

Where have I worked?

  • Bendigo Adelaide Bank, 2021 –
    User Experience Design Lead
  • Victorian Building Authority, 2021 –
    Senior User Experience Designer
  • Origin Energy, 2018 – 2020
    Senior User Experience Designer, New Connections Project
  • Seek, 2016 – 2018
    Senior User Experience Designer, NSW Volunteering Partnership
    Senior User Experience Designer, Seek Commonwealth Games Partnership
  • Transurban, 2015 – 2016
    User Experience Specialist, Digital Retail
  • NAB, 2012 – 2015
    Interaction Design Lead, Digital Channels
    Mobile Experience Designer
    Senior User Experience Consultant, Rewiring Risk
  • ANZ, 2011 – 2012
    Senior User Experience Designer, Online Foundation
  • Hyro/ANZ, 2010-2011
    User Experience Architect
  • Hyro/Infosys/Westpac, 2009 – 2010
    Customer Experience Design Lead
  • Symplicit, 2009
    Senior Experience Designer
  • Sensis, 2007 – 2009
    Manager, Sensis Design Lab
    Design Lead, Concept & Design
  • Freelance designer,  2002 – 2007
  • Powerlan, 2000 – 2001
    Manager, Interactive Design Unit
  • Senacon, 1999 – 2000
    Interaction and visual designer
  • Eycon Studio, 1995 – 1999
    Interaction and visual designer, Company Director 
  • Magnetic Designs, 1991 – 1995
    Interaction designer, Cofounder

Whose products and services have I worked on?

I have worked on projects for a wide range of companies including:

  • ANZ Banking Group – Institutional, and Retail
  • BankWest
  • National Australia Bank – Risk, and Online Banking
  • Nestlé Australia – Corporate, and Nescafé
  • Origin Energy
  • SEEK – Jobs, and Volunteer
  • Sensis – White Pages, and 1234
  • Telstra – Retail, and Health
  • Transurban – CityLink
  • Westpac – Online Banking

I’ve also been lucky enough to work with a range of great agencies, including Clemenger, Hyro Digital, M&C Saatchi, and The Royals.

What have I done recently?

Here are a few different projects that I have worked on in the last few years:

  • Explored how people can expand their view of the world. 
  • Made it easier for people to enter new addresses that are not in the databases.
  • Helped customers survive a complex technical migration.
  • Made it easier for customers to spend money, to see their history of use, and to fix issues with their account.
  • Mediated for a vendor and client to help each understand the other, and helped them to improve the usability of the product they were building.
  • Made it easier for people to send money overseas.
  • Helped to recruit 100,000 people for the Commonwealth Games.
  • Developed a clear and understandable framework for accepting and signing contracts online.
  • Made it easier for people to discover the available features of a mobile app.
  • Made volunteering more accessible for the people of NSW.
  • Explored the future of online banking and financial services.

The highlights from my career so far?

I’m sure there are many more, but this is a good list to start with:

  • Working with people who had improved their own health through the use of a new monitoring system.
  • Demonstrating the value of design to an organisation, and being able to establish an internal design practice.
  • Making a very complex financial transaction appear simple and easy to do.
  • Improving the click through rate of a product by 40% overnight, and increasing the use of another product by over 100% overnight, through improved visual design and user experience.
  • Bringing my skills and experience into a tight-knit, customer focused product team and helping them release some great features and improvements to their customers.
  • Overseeing the transformation of the Sensis Usability Lab into the Sensis Design Lab, and watching all the great new work that was done in the new space.
  • Re-designing an online sales form that saw an increase in sales of almost ten times.
  • Stopping White Pages from rendering listings in ALL CAPS on their web site.
  • Reducing the amount of documentation required to run a franchise from many lever arch files down to five small binders and a range of posters, through user needs analysis, tight information architecture, and efficient layout of information.
  • Helping to evolve and grow several non-profit organisation’s websites over five or six years.
  • Helping to double a small business’ turnover in around 18 months, through targeted marketing.
  • Designing and building the first web site for the Nestlé company anywhere in the world.

Where did I study?

In 2006 I received a Bachelor of Multimedia with Honours from Murdoch University, with a focus on human-computer interaction and the use of projection in live performance. My honours thesis, Approaching interaction design, or designing a better way to record personal time use, allowed me to further explore and develop my design theory and practice. I was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence, and received a first class honours.

Anything else?

  • I’m a Scorpio and a passionate perfectionist — that is mostly good, but has its down sides too.
  • I help to start the UX Movie Nights and other UX Melbourne events.
  • I received a $20,000 grant from Nescafé in 1992 to help build my first business.
  • My favourite “designed object” in my house right now is our set of Vitsœ 621 tables.