Faz Besharatian

Collaborative Team Leader — Design Evangelist — Creative Problem-Solver
Living in Washington DC, wandering everywhere.

 

Faz is seasoned UX design strategist and educator. He instructed GA DC’s first User Experience Design Immersive course. He started his migration away from print design in 1996 and has been building digital experiences ever since. Throughout his design career Faz has worked for AARP, AOL, US Airways, USWeb/CKS, and others. Today he is a consultant, leading product design for companies big and small.

 


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Professional Experience:

General Assembly

[User Experience Instructor, 2014-Present]
Instructor for the 10-week, full-time course that turns career-changers into UX designers, product designers, researchers, and empaths. Responsible for educating 140 (and counting) new UX designers 
in the DC area with the best practices they need to be at the top of their field. Students have been hired by companies of all size, from startups to Fortune 500. Additional responsibilities included:

  • Facilitate a dynamic and collaborative classroom community
  • Mentor students, provide job placement assistance, serving as account manager for client projects
  • Curriculum development, leading the instructional team through building of a standardized process
  • Inspire students to persevere through the challenges of solving user experience design problems

GustoWorks

[Principle/Owner, 2011-Present]
Design consultant and strategist, focused on product design for companies big and small. Working in collaboration with mixed teams of clients and contractors.

  • Consultant, working with clients to identify direction and approach
  • Entrepreneur, partner with founders and startup teams in early stages
  • User Experience Designer, collaborating with product teams inside the development cycle

ThinkVoice

[Co-founder, 2012-2016]
Helped launch a company focused on messaging products and contact center solutions. Created both business model and user interactions to connect businesses and their customers seamlessly without 
the waste and expense of traditional on-premise or virtual solutions. Responsibilities included:

  • Requirements gathering and product definition
  • Interface design and front-end development for both internal and client products

Welocalize

[Sr Product Manager, 2011]
Developed business requirements, and prototype solutions, for a translation service company’s next-generation of products. Drove strategy & provided user experience oversight. Responsibilities included:

  • Creating business requirements and UI specifications
  • Establishing time lines and drafting design documents
  • Identify and prioritize existing usability issues and define solutions to address them
  • Converting requirements into actionable items that can be implemented in a user interface
  • Develop, oversee, and polish all UX project deliverables

AARP

[Design Director – 2007-2011]
Established the tone for AARP.org’s creative direction. Guided the digital strategy and user experience for the 40 million member Guided the digital strategy and user experience for the 40 million member organization. Established the tone for AARP.org’s creative direction. Managed the user experience team – Web Designers and Information Architects – and collaborated with product, development and editorial teams towards enhancing the AARP’s online engagement with its members. Responsibilities within product design business unit included:

  • Helping shape the business unit road-map and thereby AARP’s digital strategy
  • Translating strategy to feature development during the agile sprint cycle
  • Collaborating with business development and sales groups to stay on track with revenue goals
  • Selecting platforms and working with partners during initial content integration
  • Working closely with product managers, developers & quality assurance professionals
  • Reporting to top management on progress and performance

AOL

[Principal Designer – 2005-2007]
Designed prototypes and high-fidelity models that explored potential design directions well before production. Worked with program managers and business stake-holders to drive future product direction and business strategy. Teamed with Information Architects and User Interface professionals on numerous concepts, mood boards, screen mocks, visual specs, and design requirement documentations. Collaborated with – and gave direction to – design agencies and internal product teams.

Corcoran College of Art + Design

[Adjunct Faculty – 2004-2008]
Instructed semester-long college courses, covering web design fundamentals, information architecture and theories of interface design. Inspire students to learn more digital medium and pursue a career in interactive or web design.

US Airways

[Design Manager – 2004-2005]
Established creative direction for a transportation/travel web site. Drove corporate design and brand standards and worked closely with outside agency on redesign effort. Designed and conducted usability tests and other research with representative users. Provided user interface and usability consultation to product management and development teams with specific increased sales revenue goals.

Terrapin Systems

[Art Director/Web Designer – 2003-2004]
Developed and managed projects ranging from identity systems and collateral materials to multimedia. Conceptualized, planned, designed, and produced for a wide range of web-based channels; including websites, micro sites, emails, online applications and rich media.

Independent Designer

[Art Director/Designer – 2001-2002]
Conceptualized and implemented designs for a variety of projects, such as identity systems, collateral materials, ad campaigns and web sites. Worked under both direct contract and freelance arrangements.

marchFIRST (USWeb/CKS)

[Art Director - 1999-2001]
Art directed the design and implementation of high profile client projects, including: on-line banking site for PNC Bank; kiosk design for US Airways; identity development for Capital.com; promotional CD-ROM for US Airways; web site design for Shop@AOL commerce channel.

Low + Associates

[Senior Designer - 1997-1999]
Created and developed design concepts. Implemented design direction. Directed photo shoots, direct mail, and ad campaigns. Coordinated with printers, photographers, programmers and other vendors to ensure quality control. Served such clients as the National Science Foundation, UPN20 WDCA, Houston Technologies, Federal Occupational Health, National Health Service Corps, and Price Waterhouse.

Snyder Communication

[Graphic Designer - 1995-1996]
Created ads, presentations and direct marketing collateral for a direct-marketing firm and its clients, which included Proctor & Gamble, American Express, Kellogg’s, Kodak, AT&T, and MCI. Designed quarterly public-service publications and direct mail pieces in conjunction with such organizations as U.S. News & World Report, National Child Care Association (NCCA), American Heart Association (AHA), American Diabetes Association (ADA), and Arthritis Foundation.

Maryland Media

[Graphic Artist - 1993-1995, part-time]
Implemented design direction of print collateral, publications and periodicals. Designed advertisement layouts for newspaper. Prepared design layouts for press.


Education:

Yale, Yale School of Management [2010]
Certificate, Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders

University of Maryland, College Park, MD [1995]
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic/Advertising Design


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