alex m. chong

product strategist for technology, communities & interactive experiences

hello@alexmchong.ca
1 416 543 2182
skype: alex.m.chong

Alex is a product experience strategist who specializes in interaction & service design. Alex has been designing and strategizing products with Fortune 500 companies over the last 10 years, managing, and building teams that create complex product and service offerings.

Applying advanced systems-thinking to map complex informational environments, he works across the entire product/service lifecycle from research and prototyping, to optimization & delivery, to deliver market-ready interactive experiences. Alex is a strong design leader, mentor, and educator who inspires individuals and teams to produce their best work.

impact

  • lead digital innovation engagements across Fortune 500 clients ranging in healthcare, education, retail, financial and entertainment
  • product strategy & design production for over 10+ products ranging from consumer apps to interactive surfaces; commercial-grade platforms
  • participated in multiple hackathons including Startup Weekend Toronto (SWTO) 2011, SWTO Education 2013; winning team at Startup Weekend Chicago 2013
  • taught, coached and mentored 200+ adult students across 10+ immersive UX design cohorts (12 weeks full-time) at accredited private career college
  • co-founded & built fully equipped studio space & community for local artists, designers, woodworkers and fabricators in Kensington, Toronto
  • advanced proficiency in agile software teams; iterative hypothesis-driven workflows, data-driven decisions; fluency interpreting html & css, jquery, xcode

professional

BrainStation Inc.
Manager of UX Design, CX Strategy & Experience Architect
Lead Educator
Jan 2017 — Jun 2019

Managed and directed design learning experiences (CX) across different campuses and formats of programming (diploma program, evening courses & professional workshops). Designed and implemented systems and mechanisms for product scalability, including curriculum architecture, admissions processes, performance evaluation management and content management.

Lead and managed Toronto team of design educators and teaching assistants while delivering full-time programming (12-week cohorts) to adult professionals transforming careers. Validated success of effective learning strategies through controlled experimentation and live user testing. Oversaw and managed the quality-control of design projects for up to 30 students per cohort, with high-quality output, consistent high educator rating, and successful placement rates.

Kinetic Commerce (formerly Kinetic Cafe)
Sr. Interaction & Service Designer, Team Lead
2014 — 2016

Lead designer & product owner on high-stakes accounts upwards of 1M; user research insights, service blueprinting, prototyping & agile software development, content management, bridging digital and retail together through comprehensive ecosystem strategy. Strong business acumen, pitching new lines of business through opportunities of underutilized touchpoints. Projects ranging from concepts, to prototypes, to betas, to full public releases. Laid foundational work for the Connect Mall offering of Kinetic Commerce PaaS. Design team leadership & management, culture building, resourcing and coaching.

Pivotal Labs (formerly Xtreme Labs)
Product Designer
2013 — 2014

Digital product strategy and full-stack design (concepts to public release) for the world's top-tier brands ranging in healthcare, automotive, entertainment, retail & finance. Competitor analysis, research, information architecture, wireframing, prototyping and detailed production support on agile teams. Support in developing strategic processes for design team to engage new lines of business through pre-build engagements. Data-driven decision making.

GestureTek Inc.
Interactive Design & Content Management
2012 — 2013

Project coordinator for developing interactive content on large-scale digital signage and computer vision hardware. Worked across a variety of interactive technologies including multi-touch surfaces, interactive television displays and large scale projection units. Managed content development from offshore vendor for clients from across North America (including Crayola, Sunlife Financial, Grand Marnier, JTI, Atlantic Lottery, and Royal Botanical Gardens Museum)

Carleton University
Design Research Teaching/Research Assistant
2010 — 2012

Research assistant to Associate Director of the Architecture Graduate Program. Research on design-pedagogy, concept development processes and methodologies. Courses taught: Intro to Multimedia / Intro to Architecture / Design Studio 1.

SaleTag.me / SoCreative Solutions
UI/UX Strategy & Design; Partner
2009 — 2012

Founding partner at start-up company offering a portfolio of creative digital solutions to optimize social-media brand strategies. UI/UX design for a product that allows retailers to develop sales-distribution campaigns through engaging customers by proximity.

education

Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Design — 2011
Carleton University School of Architecture & Urbanism

Intensive architectural design training with deep exploration in building materiality, physical prototyping, research and generative ideation. Study-term abroad at Universität Stuttgart in 2010.

Entrepreneurship & Business Training — 2007
Ministry of Economic Development& Innovation
Summer Company Program

Entrepreneurship/small-business training through the Government of Ontario. Set up registered sole-proprietorship with training from financial forecasting, accounting, hiring/contracting and marketing.

notable projects

Makeshift Studio Inc.
Executive Director & Co-Founder
July 2016 — Present

Founder of Makeshift, a design collective and studio space that brings together artists, designers and fabricators. With a community that has been operating since 2009, Makeshift Studio opened its doors in 2016 as a coworking studio that houses a prototyping lab, woodshop, fashion/textiles studio, photo & video lab, and a ceramics studio.

Connected-Mall Platform, Kinetic Commerce
Lead Interaction, Service & Multi-Platform Designer
2015 — 2016

Lead Interaction & Service Designer on strategic build and implementation of Connected Mall platform (within Kinetic Commerce's PaaS); working directly with Ivanhoé Cambridge in Montreal. Production offering of mobile app and interactive mall kiosks which includes managing content for marketplace events and sales, smart shopping lists, and indoor positioning systems to allow for customized in-mall experiences (wayfinding, parking, in-mall events).

CIBC SmartBanking for Business
Lead Product Designer — at Pivotal Labs
Jan 2014 — Dec 2014

Comprehensive dashboard for clients to can manage their banking, accounting, payroll, and more freeing up time to spend towards running their business. Lead product designer on full-year project engagement coordinating between cross-functional teams across CIBC (technology, business, security, services) to deliver forward-thinking banking interactions for business clients.

Other notable brands Alex has worked with: 
Discovery Channel / Rogers Media / Walmart / Live Nation / General Motors / Crayola / Cineplex / AccuWeather / LCBO / Firestone / ALDO Shoes / Atlantic Lottery Corporation / Temple Street Productions

freelance & community

Freelance & Consulting
Product Consulting; Branding; Video Production; Fabrication
2012 — Present

  • Starkey Architect Group (architecture firm) – project management & content strategy, for website & branding project
  • MyFaceWhen (mobile plugin app) – product design and development feasibility assessment; product management client workshopping
  • AudioNotch (healthcare) - video/advertising assets for sound therapy solution for tinnitus patients
  • Lio & Associates Inc. (building construction) - video course development for building-envelope design consulting firm
  • Extreme Startups (startup accelerator) - video documentary live-action interviews; event photography and headshots
  • Yeye Inc. (social media platform) - interface design and experience strategy consulting for early-stage startup
  • Fidelity Format (video production) - storyboarding, editing, videography, photography, creative and art direction
  • Uken Studios, Inc. (video game industry) – live-action mini-documentary on company culture

UX Career Coach
Independent Professional Career Coach
& Career Coach, RED Academy (part-time)
2019 — present

Professional coaching engagements ranging from junior to senior professionals, to dive deeper into self-awareness and intention of practice and strategically position themselves to the industry.

Exhibit Change
Community Change Maker & Support Facilitator
2012 — 2013

Exhibit Change designs programming to understand landscapes and culture by partnering with community organizations, nonprofits and neighbourhood associations in creative thinking facilitation.

Additional community showcase: alexmchong.ca/community

awards

  • Chicago Startup Weekend — Winning Team (2013)

excellance

Service & Interaction Design
• research and service design mapping
• 
• content strategy

• Concept Mapping & Rapid Visualization of complex concepts
• Emphasis on Human-Centered design
• Systems Thinking, Strategic & Tactical
• Unique cross-roads between stakes of Business / Development / Design
• Design Team Management & Strategies
• Strong hand-craft skills and attention-to-detail

Advanced Prototyping Skills
• advanced spreadsheet formulas
• 3d visualizations and physical prototyping
• communication with developers
• front-end design & prototyping (html & css)

Service & Interaction Design
• research and service design mapping
• 
• content strategy

languages

English – Native
German – Beginner
French & Korean – Limited
Mandarin – Learning
HTML & CSS – Intermediate