Buzz Usborne

Buzz Usborne

Product Design Lead in Australia, He/Him

Hey, I’m Buzz. I’m Product Designer with 18+ years creative experience and a love of creating collaborative business tools. I help designers achieve success on their own terms, build tools that enable teams to work more effectively, and produce creative strategy to help businesses be awesome.

I’m passionate about solving tough customer problems by combining thoughtful research, clever technology and beautiful design — and love working with businesses who believe that design can change the world. I coach designers, I spend my day in Figma and I love being wherever the creativity is happening!

I’m also a dad to two lovely boys, husband to a talented graphic designer and a lover of the outdoors, ocean and motorbikes ✌🏼

Work Experience

2023 — Now

I've been heads-down working with a range of companies, building out design systems, working with engineering teams, evolving existing platforms and creating entirely new products.

While I've been back on the tools, I've also been running workshops, talking at events and advising companies on their creative strategies.

2016 — Now

Through my advisory practice I have coached hundreds of high-performing designers and creative individuals — helping them navigate tricky spots in their career and find clarity and purpose in moments of opportunity. I lead with honesty and humility, and aim to help designers uncover success on their own terms.

In this capacity I’ve had the privilege of coaching design leaders from the likes of Canva, Atlassian, Facebook, Webflow, Shopify, Wordpress and some amazing high-performing startups!

I also facilitate design reviews for small tech teams — collaborating with designers on concepts, ideas and coaching individuals towards producing their best work. I also advise portfolio companies of one of Australia’s largest VC firms — helping CEOs create effective design organizations.

2022 — 2023

Reporting directly to the CEO, my core responsibilities were to enable design success throughout the business — teaching customer-centered tactics and best practice to an engineering-bias organization.

In a leadership capacity I created cross-functional processes for designers to operate in a collaborative and effective way — and support individuals in their craft and professional development. I created career growth frameworks, coaching structures and processes necessary to help designers operate at their best.

On the tools, I created the design system and established the principals and visual direction for strategically important projects. I was also responsible for modernizing the UI and creating the UX and UI foundations for future product growth.

2017 — 2022

My time at Help Scout — US-based customer support tool — was spent as Principal Designer; producing design work for high-impact features, while also producing processes and guidance to help facilitate great work in others.

As a designer, I created a whole new chat product and revenue stream, designed their embeddable suite of tools from the ground-up and produced a number of features aimed at helping support teams operate more effectively at scale. I collaborated remotely with engineers, customers and product leadership to see problems from concept to completion.

Working closely with the founders, I was also responsible for building the ways the fully-remote team collaborate and communicate as a team to design effectively at scale and across borders. In addition to creating the design system and ensuring its company-wide adoption, I worked directly with designers to encourage effective and creative approaches to the work.

2007 — 2018
London / Sydney

In 2007 as a freelance designer, I found there was no great way to share design work, collaborate and gather client feedback. I had a need, so I learned how to code and built my own solution — Prevue.

Through constant progression, iteration, reinvention and plenty of late nights — I took Prevue from an idea to a profitable concept sharing and feedback platform used by over 30,000 designers and agencies worldwide, to share millions of images with their own clients.

In 2018, Prevue was acquired ✨

2016 — 2017
Sydney, Australia

My primary role at Atlassian was to help progress the visual craft standard of the globally distributed design team. This involved mentoring, education, facilitating design discovery and helping designers develop and sell conceptual improvements at a company scale.

I was also responsible for helping large projects find clarity in moments of indecision. In this capacity I was able to produce process, UI and visual direction for a re-launched version of Jira and provide design strategy to Bitbucket, the design systems team and a host of smaller initiatives.

It was my time at Atlassian where my love for coaching, creativity and establishing remote-first practices grew.

2015 — 2016
Sydney, Australia

I joined Sendle — a logistics startup — during their formation to be the voice of design, and establish the systems and visual tools necessary for scale. As a small team, I was also very hands-on in producing the work — operating at the breakneck pace of a startup.

My biggest impact was in creating products and features that had a direct and measurable impact on revenue, volume and reduced churn — whilst also building a more customer-centric focus to the business, and proving that by helping customers be successful, we'd be successful.

2011 — 2015
Sydney, Australia

Over the course of 5 years at Campaign Monitor I held a number of titles on both the Marketing and Product sides of the business. But my first and most significant role was as Head of Design, where I was tasked with building the brand and creating a design team — a dream opportunity for me.

I created and managed a team of high-performing designers, front-end engineers and design-adjacent roles to deliver world-class user experiences to millions of customers. I designed the brand, design strategy, and worked directly with the CEO in guiding the company through its acquisition and billion dollar valuation.

2010 — 2011
Sydney, Australia
2009 — 2010
2007 — 2009
Senior Designer at Story Worldwide
London, UK
2006 — 2007
Graphic Designer at Popcorn
London, UK
2005 — 2006
Junior Designer at Absolute Design
Cornwall, UK
2002 — 2005
Sailing Coach at Royal Navy

During a prolonged period of sponsorship by the Royal Navy (UK), I competed professionally in British sailing events and taught in both the UK and Mediterranean. I've competed with various successes in national competitions, and was featured in a number of industry publications. During this period I also worked as a senior sailing coach — teaching basic to advanced skills and racing to all age ranges and abilities.

In addition to a full set of RYA accreditations, powerboat and instructor certificates, in 2005 I earned RYA 'Advanced Racing Coach' qualifications, making me one of the most qualified dinghy coaches in the UK.


2016 — Now

I provide no-cost coaching and guidance to not-for-profit organizations, students and under-represented groups. Diversity and inclusive practices are incredibly important to me — and through this I ensure my coaching base is at least 80% women and representative of a global audience.

2021 — 2023

Providing the occasional mentoring session and portfolio review to students and emerging talent

2018 — 2021
2018 — 2020

Saving lives... but mostly towing boats back to harbour

2014 — 2017


2002 — 2005



Full web accessibility certification