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. I’ve tried to present what I look for in a resume in a simple, easy-to-read way. If you like this, if you don’t, if you think I’ve left something out, or could do something better, then please let me know.

What do I do?

For almost three decades I have helped organisations deliver great products and services through good design. As a designer, I follow a people centric approach to ensure that organisations and their customers get what they need, and hopefully enjoy getting it.

I like…

  • Being part of a strong team that is focused on delivering the best possible products.
  • Finding better ways to get things done that improve the way people live, work, and play.
  • Working on products which have a positive effect on the lives of other people.

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 (IxD);  information architecture (IA);  user experience (UX);  customer experience (CX);  product design;  service design;  business strategy;  design research;  visual design (graphic design);  animation;  copywriting;  prototyping;  accessibility;  usability;  user interface design;  process analysis and mapping;  collaborative design and facilitation;  …and more.

Where have I worked?

  • Orign Energy, 2018 – 2020
    User Experience Designer, New Connections
  • SEEK Volunteer, 2017 – 2018
    User Experience Designer
  • SEEK, 2016 – 2017
    User Experience Designer, 2018 Commonwealth Games Partnership
  • Transurban, 2015 – 2016
    User Experience Designer, Digital Retail
  • NAB, 2012 – 2015
    Interaction Design Lead, Digital Channels
  • Freelance designer,  2009 – 2012
  • Symplicit, 2009
    User experience consultant
  • Sensis, 2007 – 2009
    Design Lead, User Experience Team
  • Freelance designer,  2002 – 2007
  • WA School of Art, Design & Media, 2003
    Lecturer, Design & Multimedia
  • 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 and visual designer / Partner

Whose products and services have I worked on?

I have worked on projects for a range of companies such as:

  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Designed a personalised news service targeted at tablet devices.
  • 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. My honours thesis, Approaching interaction design, or designing a better way to record personal time use, allowed me to further explore and develop both my design theory and practice.

While at Murdoch I maintained a grade point average of 3.571 out of 4.0, and was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence in 2005. I went on to receive a First Class for my honours dissertation in 2006.

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.