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Shawn Kardell Joins Digitaria Minneapolis

Former space150 UX Pioneer now User Experience Director
Jun 18, 2013

Shawn Kardell, who built the User Experience department at space150 from literally nothing to the city’s most highly regarded UX team, has joined Digitaria’s Minneapolis office as User Experience Director.

With more than fifteen years experience, including five-plus years in personal finance and consumer and corporate health care, among other industries, Kardell has a demonstrable track record for creating best-in-class user experiences and uniting teams of designers, writers, developers and information architects to create digital engagements on the web, mobile web, mobile apps, software, and digital device platforms.

“Shawn is an instigator of change, and a key hire for Digitaria’s Minneapolis office,” said Doug Hecht, the marketing, technology and data company’s president and chief operating officer. “His stellar reputation in the city is hard-earned and well-deserved, and he’s worked with many of the best companies in Minnesota and across the country.”

Kardell’s experience includes directing UX strategy, design, and information architecture for clients including 3M, American Express, Dairy Queen, Buffalo Wild Wings, John Deere, Lerner Publishing, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, OptumHealth, Red Bull, and UnitedHealth Group.

Kardell has an appreciation for many facets of the digital world, originally working as a designer and front-end developer for a small software company. There, he was gradually exposed to a variety of digital disciplines that gave him a direct line to users and customers, which brought insight to their positive and negative experiences. “I was doing it before I had any kind of formal UX title,” Kardell says.

Soon after, Kardell was added to a small UX department, then began building it as a pillar of the business at space150, growing the team from two employees to twelve in roughly 18 months, integrating user experience in every element of the company’s process, and evolving it from a strictly wire frame discipline to one with thirty different services, and taking it from being a step in the process for one client to something that was customary for every client.

“I want to continue to advance UX out of simply wire frames and site maps, and offer our marketing partners a prototype, evidence-based design based on usability testing,” Kardell says. “There’s so much about UX design that’s misunderstood or hardly understood, and it’s up to skilled UX people to be able to communicate in a way that reveals the web, in the end, is just one great big digital product.”

Kardell will report to Minneapolis Executive Creative Director Mike Matheny.