Robert Sens
Digital Product Designer, Strategist, & Art Director based in New York City.
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Expertise

I believe that a dedication to craft, collaboration, empathy and understanding drive impactful design. 

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Drive & Passion

At my core, I am a communication designer with a passion for understanding the factors that influence human behavior/decision making, bringing structure to chaos, and designing systems and modes of interaction in both the physical and the digital world. In recent years, this passion has manifested in my work in several ways:

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Engineering Interactions

A passion for engineering environments, ecosystems, and communities where ideas can be generated, shared, and discussed.

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Making Design Understandable

A passion for making design understandable and actionable to others through collaboration, discussion, and artifacts.

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Empowering Product Ownership & Decision Making

A passion for planning, implementing, and facilitating design and product decision making techniques within teams and organizations. 

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Challenging Assumptions Through Research

A passion for uncovering patterns and insights in research, abductive analysis, and utilizing hypothesis-driven ideation to introduce new thinking and challenge assumptions.


Skills & Expertise

As a designer, I take pride in being a generalist who straddles the line between communication, interaction, and visual design. I have worked within teams and organizations of varying size, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, providing me the opportunity to build a diverse, cross-disciplinary skill set and a gritty, get it done attitude.

I have always had a passion to understand the ‘Who’, ‘What’, and ‘Why’ behind human behavior, perceptions, and decision making. This approach is rooted in the techniques I learned while a student at Pratt Institute – to always balance context and understanding (research and design thinking) with design craft (design execution and prototyping).

Whether the challenge was to design a logo, a poster, a digital product, or a collaborative workshop – the desire to understand the context around a problem has defined my approach to creative problem solving. This approach has given me the experience and ability to move quickly in any design environment and enables me to plan, lead, and execute across all stages of a project - from research and discovery, through development and launch.

My skillset and expertise includes (but is not limited to) digital product design, research, strategy, art direction, branding, visual design, front-end development, and copywriting.


Guiding Principles 

My experience working with diverse teams has allowed me to develop a uniquely personal viewpoint on design and leadership. The beliefs and principles that frame my approach to design and leadership include:

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Facilitation is the cornerstone of product design and development

Fostering ideas, facilitating decision making, and shepherding a vision across an organization of diverse viewpoints is the lion's share of a designer's responsibility.

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Observation, empathy, and analysis are a designer’s key skillset

Making something is easy. Engineering impact by listening, empathizing, and analyzing user needs, emotions and context is what defines a great designer.

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Design is a team sport

Great design rarely originates from the brilliance of a single individual, it is born from the collective input of multiple individuals, cross-functional teams, and diverse viewpoints.

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True insights are derived from observation, conversation, and collaboration

Only by observing, conversing, and collaborating with our humans can we uncover the valuable insights that will shape impactful design.

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To produce great work, we must relentlessly challenge our assumptions

Producing something meaningful is a result of continuously challenging our own beliefs and assumptions, as well as those of our peers and stakeholders. 

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Design thinking should always be balanced with design doing

Abductive reasoning & inference are the tools by which we convert research into ideas. Sketching and prototyping is how we make these ideas tangible and testable.

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Great designers sweat the details

Measure twice, cut once. Whether you are designing a complex interaction or writing copy for an error state – always be thoughtful, precise, and respectful of your craft.


Leadership

As a team leader I strive to foster an environment where collaboration, critique and an exchange of ideas are tightly balanced with individual responsibilities and ownership.

I lead by example – setting clear expectations and a high bar for quality via hands-on collaboration, context setting, and iterative reviews. Additionally, I foster growth through assessment and empathy – first understanding a designer’s strengths, weaknesses and aspirations, then providing them with targeted opportunities to take ownership, excel and grow.


Resume

Check out my LinkedIn profile for an up to date resume.