alex m. chong

design consultant & strategist for technology, communities & interactive experiences

www.alexmchong.ca
+1 416 543 2182
hello@alexmchong.ca

Alex is a product & service design consultant specializing in complex problems that exist outside of typical processes or frameworks. 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 consumer and enterprise-grade interactive experiences.

Leveraging a blended approach between design and product management, Alex has been designing and strategizing products with Fortune 500 companies over the last 10+ years; managing, training, and building teams that deliver complex product and service offerings. Alex is a strong 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
  • taught, managed and mentored 200+ adult students across 10+ immersive UX design cohorts (12 weeks full-time) at accredited private career college
  • advanced proficiency in agile software teams; iterative hypothesis-driven workflows, data-driven decisions; fluency interpreting html & css, jquery, xcode
  • co-founded & built fully equipped studio space & community for local artists, designers, woodworkers and fabricators in Kensington, Toronto
  • participated in multiple hackathons including Startup Weekend Toronto (SWTO) 2011, SWTO Education 2013; winning team at Startup Weekend Chicago 2013

workplaces

Independent Design Consulting Services
Product/Service Strategy & Design Operations Consultant
2019 — Present

Aligning product and service design strategies with design processes and operations for organizational transformation towards human-centred approaches. Development of design systems and team management structures, mentorship and training for organizational creative growth. Advanced design problem solving for organizations ranging from startups to international corporations.

  • Reliant Networks (since 2021) – tactical design operations, foresight practices and team structures for the futures of automobility
  • Climastry Inc. (since 2021) – startup consulting for product positioning and brand narrative; team leadership growth
  • QuarterMaster Inc. (since 2020) – product strategy, positioning, stakeholder & internal vision alignment, design strategy advisory
  • Hppy Hour Digital (since 2020) – community network of independent product design consultants, specializing in strategy & production
  • Clickatell Inc. (2020) – cohesive multi-product redesign production support & system design for centralization for assets

BrainStation Inc.
Manager of UX Design Product, CX Strategy & Exp. Architect
Lead Educator
2017 — 2019

Lead and managed Toronto team of design educators and teaching assistants while delivering full-time programming (12-week cohorts) to adult professionals transforming careers. Directed design learning experiences (CX) across different campuses and channels (diploma programming, evening courses & professional workshops). Implementation of systems and mechanisms for product scalability ranging from admission processes, curriculum architecture, performance evaluation management. Validated success of 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

Product lead (interaction & service design, product ownership) on strategic build and implementation of Connected Mall platform (within Kinetic Commerce's PaaS) applied to major malls across Canada. Platform aggregates data to distribute across mobile app and interactive mall kiosks, managing content for marketplace events and sales, smart shopping lists, and indoor positioning systems for customized in-mall experiences (way-finding, parking, in-mall events).

Design team leadership & management, culture building, resourcing and coaching. Strong business acumen, pitching new lines of business opportunities to clientelle on accounts upwards of 1M.

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

Full-stack design (strategic concepts to public release) and product consulting for the world's top Fortune 500 brands ranging in healthcare, automotive, entertainment, retail & finance. Competitor analysis, research, information architecture, wire-framing, prototyping and extensive production support on agile product teams. Support in developing strategic processes for sales 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 the development of interactive content on large-scale touch media devices. Worked across a variety of interactive technologies including multi-touch surfaces, computer-vision applications, interactive television displays and large scale projection units. Managed content development from offshore vendor for clients across North America (incl. Crayola, Sunlife Financial, Grand Marnier, JTI, Atlantic Lottery, and Royal Botanical Gardens Museum).

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.

notable projects

Design Curriculum & Learning Experiences
Curriculum Architect, Educator, Lecturer, Mentor
2017 — Present

Strategic development and execution of customized design training experiences for learning institutes, including universities across China, full-time 12-week intensive accredited Canadian diploma program, and custom public introductory workshops to product design & digital transformation.

UX Career Coaching
Independent & Partnership with RED Academy, HelloFresh
2019 — Present

Professional career coaching with international clients from London, Berlin, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Taipei City. Clients include practicing designers looking to build meaningful career progression by diving deeper into self-awareness, intention of practice, improvement of personal craft, and leadership development.

Makeshift Studio Inc.
Executive Director & Co-Founder
2016 — 2020

Founder of Makeshift Studio – a design collective and studio space that facilitates collaboration between artists, designers and fabricators. Starting with a community operating since 2009, Makeshift Studio opened its doors in 2016 as a co-working studio that houses specialized spaces for physical prototyping, woodworking, fashion/textiles, photo & video production, illustration and ceramics.

@makeshiftcollective | wemakeshift.com

CIBC SmartBanking for Business
Lead Product Designer – at Pivotal Labs
2014

Design lead on full year engagement collaborating between cross-functional teams across CIBC (technology, business, security, services) to deliver forward-thinking banking interactions for business clients.CIBC SmartBanking for Business is a dynamic digital solution that integrates business banking capabilities with industry-leading third-party services to help clients make quick, informed decisions.

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

Independent Freelance & Consulting
Product Consulting & Communication (Brand & Video Production)
2012 — 2019

  • Starkey Architect Group (architecture firm) – project management & content strategy, for website & branding project
  • Mobile Plugin App – product design and development feasibility assessment; product management client workshopping
  • AudioNotch (healthcare) - video production and narrative development for tinnitus sound therapy web software
  • Lio & Associates Inc. (building construction) - video course development for building-envelope design consulting firm
  • Extreme Startups (startup accelerator) - video documentary live-action interviews; marketing content production
  • Interview Media Platform (early-stage startup) - 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

education, training, awards

Master of Design, Interaction & Innovation – 2022 candidate
National Taipei University of Technology – Taipei City

Bachelor of Architectural Studies; Design – 2011
Carleton University School of Architecture & Urbanism – Ottawa

Chicago Startup Weekend, Winning Team – 2013

Youth Entrepreneurship & Business Training – 2007
Ministry of Economic Development & Innovation Canada
Summer Company Program

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