Michael Darius
🥀

Michael Darius

Apple Pioneer in San Francisco, CA

Just started a life with an incredible human and open to what is next for us in the world of product design | darius.cv

2 years ago

About

Apple pioneer, skeuomorph & protégé of Steve Jobs
⌛️TIME Invention of the Year

💿 Platinum for iTunes

🏆 4x reddot award

🖥️ MacOS X HIG (Jaguar—Tiger)

🖼️ iLife v1 & ‘04, 🎸 Garageband v1

💧 WebAqua + 🎛️ WebMetal
🕸️ Web 2.0 Pioneer


(Grandfather of Dashboard + Playlist Sharing)

🍼 #1 Startup Babysitter: darius.design
🥀 Portfolio: roses.foundation

As a veteran of the company, I held a leadership role at Apple developing the design language that defined the ethos of the brand. Working alongside my heroes, I was directly mentored by luminaries like Steve Jobs & intensively trained by CKS.

As a safety-focused activity-centered designer, I design experiences that are both accessible and safe. Apple designers are responsible for identifying security and safety values for rules and behaviors that govern people's daily activities and designing them into accessible and meaningful solutions that can assist a person in their time of need.

I am also data-blind, which means that while I focus on the accessibility of documents, I require language translation assistance to understand the technical details that make a document accessible or meaningful. This ADA-recognized impairment has deepened as I've become more entrenched in the field of document accessibility.

I introduced webmetal and webaqua, pioneering skeuomorphic designs that transformed digital interfaces, solidifying my stance as a thought leader for design systems and standards development.

Under my leadership, iTools and .Mac came to life. I didn't only contribute; I drove the formation of the Human Interface Guidelines. I led key projects such the iTunes Music Store, and the inception of Apple's webmail service.

Music accessibility wasn't just a task; it was a mission I embraced head-on, ensuring a seamless melding of iPod with iTunes. The design DNA I infused is unmistakably evident in platforms like iLife, iWork, Final Cut Pro, Garageband, Logic Pro, and the initial versions of MacOS X.

I stand as the grandfather behind Dashboard and playlist sharing. Both innovations having reshaped the very fabric of digital interactions, especially in music, having sparked a revolution that would eventually lead Apple’s services business to be a $20 billion industry.

With these exceptional opportunities, today I channel my expertise into confronting and solving wicked design problems, especially those centered on social impact. My focus isn't merely to design; but to evoke change, to resonate with a socially responsible ethos. On this journey, I actively seek collaborations that mirror this aspiration, with a shared commitment towards improving upon the human condition.

Each company needs to have a clear understanding of the key emotional connectors that tie audience to product. Michael's techniques have been proven to uncover connectors in order to inform a company’s overall business strategy while strengthening the ties between products, brands and audience for many breakthrough product experiences known to billions.

Michael's approach to humanizing the design process begins with translating unmet customer needs into product strategy. Through synthesis Michael conducts research, designs diagrams, and builds prototypes. Exploring the connection between experience and meaning in an accessible manner allows Michael to shift thinking and focus on meaningful and connected strategies for products and services so that his design work may connect with people in a more visceral way by gathering audience data to gain insights into how people live their lives.

2018

Designed Macy's & Bloomingdales Mobile payment solution for in-store services.

2013

Visual Guidelines and Design System for the Next Generation of Cisco Endpoint Systems.

2003

Most of the HI development for Apple's original calendar app went into these design treatments. iSync was our first attempt to really understand the value of cloud development.

2002

People don’t know how much of my work on iChat went into what we now all enjoy in Messages app and FaceTime.

Eddy took my designs to pitch AOL on a native messaging app with AIM integration which evolved into the desktop messages app.

2000

Don Lindsay was inventor of desktop Aqua. I was inventor of webAqua, webmetal & went on to identify key differences between consumer, productivity, prosumer, pro and web app design languages in order to establish Apple’s first centralized applications design team.

Lickable was the aim.

Side Projects

Ongoing

When I am between design projects, photography is one way that I inform my design process to regroup my understanding of the human condition and reawaken my creative imagination.

Team portraiture, product photography, professional portraiture/headshots, events, cosplay, fashion, editorial.

Worked with Apple's Product Photography Team & Macy's | Bloomingdales Private Label Apparel Photography Studios.
Residencies: Palace of Fine Arts, Fillmore West, The Midway, SFMOMA, SFJAZZ, Berber, Hotel Via, Proper Hotel, AltConf, OneDome, Monarch Catering, Star Models, RAW artists, Naked Music, Dropbox, TechCrunch, Vau de Vire society, SF Mint, Pink Mammoth, Salted Music, San Francisco Symphony, Cascade SF, Clarity (design systems conference), Herbst Theatre, Forbes, Burning Man Project.

Awards

2005

Recognized by the reddot Design Awards, Apple's Panther and Tiger stand as landmarks in the evolution of Mac OS X. Their introduction brought forth a harmonious blend of design and functionality, with features like the Spotlight search transforming user interactions and setting the gold standard for operating systems.

It's important to note that the only time Apple was winning reddot design awards for interface design was when Michael was with the company for three consecutive years.

2005

5 years @ Apple building the Applications design studio and founding member of Steve's Applications design team.

1999—2005 History in the making.

2004

Recognized by the reddot Design Awards in 2004, iLife stood as a beacon of integrated software design. With applications like iPhoto and iMovie, it empowered users to harness their creativity, offering a seamless interface to bring ideas to life.

It's important to note that the only time Apple was winning reddot design awards for interface design was when Michael was with the company for three consecutive years.

2003

How cool is it to be able to say that something you built got your boss onto the cover of Rolling Stone magazine?

2003

The recording industry granted Michael a platinum album for designing the iTunes Music Store.

2003

Before the age of streaming, iTunes revolutionized the world of music. Honored with the reddot design award in 2003, iTunes introduced a novel way to organize, purchase, and consume music, setting the stage for the digital music era with its intuitive interface and integrated store.

It's important to note that the only time Apple was winning reddot design awards for interface design was when Michael was with the company for three consecutive years.

2002
Grammy Award from National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences

National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Technical Grammy Award — 2002 to Apple Computer Inc. as the leading architect in bringing computer technology into the studio and revolutionizing the way music is written produced, mixed, recorded and creatively imagined.

Work Experience

2022 — Now
San Francisco, CA

roses/foundation is a family operated cottage industry product and artist incubator crafted with 🥀 by 🥀.fm/darius & 🥀.fm/ALANA. As witness and facilitator of one of the greatest human truths—music brings people together. We believe music is a tool designed to fulfill the essential human need for community.

Together we pioneered the world's first IP protected, AI-assisted product creation studio tailored to all of your startup needs.

Exploring music identity construction, object narrative and the connected self, Michael designs music applications, helps with strategy and aligns on ALANA’s curated vision for the future with roses/foundation’s unique approach to artist development.

Growing the world's first AI-based artist development and product design firm with my wife ALANA has been quite the ride, to say the least. As the head of product design, I've had to wear many hats and tackle a variety of tasks and challenges. But hey, that's what being a design founder is all about, right?

One of the unique aspects of our company, roses/foundation, is our focus on helping artists and founders design their business logic and evolve out of the ambition-shaming culture that unfortunately still exists in many creative industries. It can be tough for artists to feel confident in their business pursuits, and we aim to provide the tools and resources they need to succeed.

In terms of challenges, there have been many. For starters, the field of AI is constantly evolving, which can be both exciting and overwhelming. Keeping up with the latest technologies and techniques is a never-ending task.

But perhaps the biggest challenge has been finding a balance between my wife's creative vision and the practicalities of product design and development. ALANA is an artist at heart, and it's been a learning process for both of us to find a middle ground between the two.

Overall, though, building this company with 🥀.fm/ALANA has been a truly rewarding experience. It's been a unique opportunity to combine our passions and talents and create something truly innovative and groundbreaking. Snarky but sweet, just like we like it.

1999 — Now
San Francisco, CA

Client list: Apple, Pepsi, iTunes, Cisco Design, NeXT, Adobe, 3com, Sony, Hallmark, Kodak, Eyefi, McAfee, Universal Music Group, BMG, Motown Records, RHINO, Verve Records

An interdisciplinary boutique design consultancy and global research firm based in San Francisco. Using cross-industry measurements darius design partners with founders and developers to create meaningful branded product experiences for unreached communities and international mobile markets. Darius Design exists to champion the strategic and business value of design while serving to investigate the boundaries of art, self and society between sentient beings and tangible objects through purposeful interaction, empathic discourse and ubiquitous learning.

Projects:
Organic growth of boutique firm operations. Established a design research and team resource library for executive coaching and client workshops.
Lead facilitation planning for weekly design workshop ‘I Love Mondays’ developing design economy and coworking accelerator for IxDA chapter experience planning.
Pattern Engineering for Cisco Telepresence Products and Device Systems.
Developed material design language/motion principles for Cisco Symphony design system.
Developed visual metaphor studies, color studies, specification language and prototypes for RelayTV a desktop set top sharing experience for live display interaction.
Teamwork Athletic iPad ProSphere Configurator for Jersey Decorator Experience.
System Pathways and human interaction layer for Eye-fi wireless memory camera card.
WoltersKlewer CCH icon development, workshops and tax desktop software design.
Furnish design vision and design direction to Wearable World, Inc. and Wearable World Labs incubator members while establishing each as design conscious entities within the Internet of Things (IoT) and Internet of Wearable Things (IoWT) ecosystems.
NorthStar by Spime: Developed visual language for location 2.0 mobile application.

2018 — 2019
San Francisco, CA

Built an ethos and design system for the next generation of Macy's App.
Facilitated the establishment of Macy's first Design System.
Performed design research, in-store customer research, design workflows, customer journeys
Designed Macy's | Bloomingdales first contactless frictionless mobile payment processing system.
Designed in-store app features and Store Guide features.
Facilitated workshops with product teams design reviews with design teams.
Designed proofs of concept challenging established definitions for product strategy.

• Designed current and future channel user experience to meet long term and near term business goals and user needs (KPI’s and user success metrics).
• Collaborated with executives, managers, product managers, engineers, and researchers to define, conceptualize, and design user-facing products.
• Partnered with the UX leadership team to define the channel experience and to ensure deliverables are consistent with the user experience design vision.
• Designed across web, mobile apps, and in-store environments, ensuring a consistent user experience across different platforms.
• Worked through channel design problems from beginning to end: conceptualized new products and features, designs storyboards, workflows, interactions, wireframes, high fidelity mockups, and design standards based on business goals and user research.
• Championed user experience design throughout the company and contributed to making design an essential process for improvement and innovation.
• Served as a subject matter expert and thought leader on user experience design across the company as well as the broader design community.
• Mentored user experience designers across the company.

Built upon team quality, team understanding, team morale and team processes in order to create a culture of learning, collaboration, respect and open communication where the best ideas rise to the top and team members feel empowered to contribute their best work and ideas.

2014 — 2016
San Diego, CA

Startup design incubator and founders program for designers.

2014 — 2015
2013 — 2014
San Francisco, CA

Design facilitation and agency growth for Wearable World and Incubator Labs members.

2006 — 2010
La Jolla, CA

Led agency growth and boutique strategy operations. Client management, human interface design, direction, mentoring. Product design facilitation.

1999 — 2005
Cupertino, CA

As a lead feature designer at Apple from 1999-2005, I helped build Apple's first centralized application design team and culture, defining design patterns for pro, productivity and consumer apps. I made major contributions to .Mac, the iTunes Music Store, iLife apps, OS X, and hardware integration. I worked closely with Steve Jobs to conceive iTunes and pioneer Apple's design language. Through prototypes, research, and guidelines, I brought Apple experiences to life and helped shape the Apple design philosophy still felt today.

 1999: I join Apple. Under the leadership and direction of Steve Jobs, I prepare to make a lasting impact.
🌐 1999: CKS onboards me to the Apple brand. The design philosophy begins to take shape.
☁️ 2000: iTools launches. I'm a part of the team that offers online services, an early precursor to cloud computing.
💻 2000: A seminal year. I contribute to the initial Mac OS X Human Interface Guidelines, setting the design language for years to come.
🖌️ 2000: A pivotal moment. I transition into the role of Senior Designer, putting me in a position to influence Apple's design more directly.
☁️ 2001: I work on .Mac service, the next iteration after iTools. It's another step in simplifying online services for members.
🎵 2001: iTunes Music Store starts taking shape. I begin working on a project that would revolutionize digital music.
💌 2001: I design Apple's first webmail system. Email would never look the same.
🎧 2002: iPod and iTunes begin their iconic relationship. I design the software integration, setting a new standard for music portability.
🖥️ 2003: I help develop the visual language for iLife and build the team that would be responsible for iWork, influencing how people engage with productivity and creative software.
🛒 2003: The iTunes Music Store launches with songs priced at 99¢. The day we revolutionize digital music.
🎬 2003: I extend my design influence to Final Cut Pro, Garageband, and Logic Pro. Creative software gains a fresh, unified look.
🐾 2003: I make my mark on OS X Panther. The interface becomes a part of daily life for millions.
💻 2004: iTunes Music Store goes international and comes to PC. I help cross boundaries, both technological, legal and geographical.
🏆: Over the years, I garner four
@reddot
Design Awards, One for one for iTunes, One for iLife, Two for MacOS X (Panther & Tiger), an unparalleled feat. The only years Apple received reddot awards in interface design were the years under my leadership.
🎼: My work advancing the work of musicians earns me a Technical Grammy, a testament to my impact on the music industry.
💿: iTunes goes Platinum. A RIAA Platinum accolade becomes another feather in my cap.
👴🏼: Known as the Grandfather of Dashboard and playlist sharing, my influence extends beyond Apple, shaping how people organize and share content.

Projects included:
.Mac: WebAqua & WebMetal design language, .Mac navigation & Login, HomePage Application & Themes, Bookmarks, AddressBook, WebMail, Virex, Mac OS X Desktop integration (System Prefs, iSync, .Mac Screensaver, content explorations), Quicktime marketing content, (Workflows: Signup & Account), Initial iTools launch UI engineering

iTunes Music Store: Initial conception, design language, feature storyboarding, navigation studies & design templates for content team, music merchandising, PC launch & Globalization, Audiobooks, iMix (Workflows: Login, Signup & Account, Purchase, AOL, Paypal, Gift Certificates, Gift Cards, Allowance, Artist Alerts, Tell a Friend, Pepsi)

Designs reviewed weekly by Steve Jobs.

Features

2023
Thank you.

The following collection of testimonials illustrates the wonderful people I've worked with over the years.
I've done my best to mentor others, tailor solutions to design challenges, and contribute meaningfully. I don't take full credit, but I'm thankful some felt I brought creativity, current trends and a team spirit to our collaborations. My aim has always been to put care into my connections and work. I value the trust placed in me over the years.

2023

"I have spoken at length (hours on end) with Michael about app design for kids. It’s stunning how much thought he has given to the topic. Here is a man that goes as far into the trenches of the internet that he can stomach to see how safety is being structured (or not) into apps marketed to kids. Each layer of interaction and interface design is a series of choices:
—does this serve families or predators?
—does this make the child smarter or waste their time?
—does this delight and entertain or frustrate and confuse?
—where is Waldo? 😜

Michael was on Steve’s winning design team and led the development of KidSafe for a reason, he CARES more than the average human."

2022

"Michael Darius loves design, but hates the way technology turns us into slaves, so he makes it more human. He also loves using his extensive knowledge and skills to be of service and to make life better. He is learning all the time. If you want to work with someone who has over two decades of experience in product design and who strives to stay abreast of new developments, he will bring a lot to the table. Though he is very accomplished, Michael does not approach his work with a big ego, which is refreshing. He is able to have frank, open discussions about the work and is invested in forming positive relationships which serve the business goals of the product."

2022

"The software designers on the iTunes startup team 1999-2002 were cutting edge creators…all to the satisfaction of Mr. Steve."

2022

"Finally, Launch Day! 🚀 The day I can share my latest project with you all! ...huge thanks to @darius. His designs in software have inspired me for the past 20 years or so. Thank you, Michael!"

2022
Puneet Sandu, venue host

"Michael and his friends were awsome . They were very respectful of the space and communicated effectively. I would welcome them back anytime."

2020

"Michael knows how to capture the magic of any performance or live event. His instinctive nature lends itself to getting the moments you don't want to miss, and much more than might even been seen in a live setting. He does an amazing job of making the present moment last forever by capturing not only the image, but the essence, telling a story far beyond words. He is on the ball, highly cooperative and works hard at his craft, which you can tell is his passion!"

2020

"Michael always captured the best moments of me on stage. I love seeing the photos of me and my performer friends being so precise and well done."

2020

"Michael's work truly shows the beauty of live theatre... nonchalant chatter, cocktail shakers... Artist is thinking "okay, nobody is watching. Be cool, do your thing...it's just another poetry reading in a coffee house. Have fun." Then the crowd begins to hush and a "Yeah Girl" is shouted... and then I know we are in it together for the ride.. It is the brain calculating socially while the body is working "death defying" choreography."

2020

“Michael is quickly becoming a staple of the music/art scene in the Bay Area. ...The way that he is able to capture live performance is incredibly rare. Technically perfect, but with an added je ne sais quoi that must be a product of his love of the work he shoots...He captures an intimacy that is quite extraordinary, while seeming to be invisible to the performers. A rare gem and we are so grateful!”

2019
Ken Kinard, Entrepreneur

"Michael leverages his 5 years of personal experience as an engineer and designer at Apple (and other places) to bring you into the world of product design. He showed relevant and inspiring videos, described the process using proven lists and procedures, and told some personal stories of his time at Apple including his work with Steve Jobs. He did a good job of introducing people to this process and provided helpful tips along with way."

2019
Barnette Kinard, Entrepreneur

"Michael is uniquely qualified to teach and share about his years of software design with Steve Jobs and Apple products."

2019

"Michael was an amazing addition to the Serendipia team in providing his lessons learned from his time working at Apple, and design thinking workshops to the team for product design. His dedication to working on himself and updating his skills is what makes him a great team member and advisor for growing companies. I think he has it in him to truly create impactful change in a high level within any company wanting to build the next stage of design that is about making the world better through better and more inclusive products. Looking forward to collaborating again!"

2019

"I have worked with and known Michael for over 15 years. Not only is he a gifted and talented professional, he is also a good friend and genuinely great guy. I am happy to recommend Michael's services to any clients or groups."

2019

"I took my time to get to know Michael and he has time and again proven himself to earn my trust and true friendship. Always cool and collected Michael is the best event photographer in San Francisco. He takes outstanding candid photos of you and is a thoughtful, warm, caring, generous and truly sensitive photographer. A real gentleman. Just WOW! We appreciate you Michael Darius."

2019

"Michael is a fantastic designer to launch any product and an outstanding design professional I would recommend for any team. The keynote he designed for my presentation during the European Business Summit in Brussels was clear, neat and to the point. Each slide had one clear idea and people could focus on what I was saying. He also designed beautiful mockups serving as a proof of concept for the Serendipia mobile app. I have been proud to share his work with colleagues and potential investors. Michael is and remains an icon in the design space and I am excited to further collaborate together on more social impact, UN Sustainable Developments Goals, and blockchain related projects."

2019

"The best photographer in San Francisco."

2019

"Michael is a high level thinker. Always looking across the spectrum to discover ways and means of “the competition” in the broadest sense of the word. As a colleague, he is jovial and thoughtful - a combination I appreciate, because taking ourselves too seriously tends to hamper our ability to think outside the box.”

2019

"I had the opportunity to work with Michael at Macy’s. He has the big picture vision on how the future of a particular product or interaction could be and he is always sharing new ideas, concepts, and the latest design trends with his team. Therefore, I really appreciate having Michael as a Principal, being great guidance and support by always giving us the feedback that helped elevate our design and inspiring us at the same time.”

2019

“I had the opportunity to get to know Michael at Macy’s. Not only is he super knowledgeable on UX design, he is a great mentor. He is up to date on the latest industry trends and new ideas, and willing to share them with the team. It is always refreshing to pick his brain.”

2019

“Highly creative is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about Michael. I had the opportunity of working with him at Macy's. We were asked to deliver a high priority feature design on an aggressive timeline. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. Michael brought in years of product design experience and research background to ensure we build a product that would bring value to the customer. Michael has gained my trust and respect, and any team should be happy to have him.”

2019

"I had a great pleasure and privilege of working with Michael from the first day he joined Macy's, when he was supporting our project. Michael's complete understanding of product creation allows him to provide a crisp and clear experience customers will love. I was particularly impressed by Michael's ability to handle even the toughest and time sensitive tasks—effortlessly. That skill often takes years to develop among customer experience oriented professionals, but it seemed to come perfectly naturally to him. His mobile design proposals were fresh and up to date. Also, need to mention, his outstanding personal skills as a team mate, as well as willing to help engineers to learn more about product design and UX. Any employee would be lucky to have Michael as a team member, and I would love to work with him again.”

2019

"I worked with Michael on several key design projects at Macy’s. He was a very key partner for the product team - and made a big impact in framing some really abstract ideas - particularly with our out-of-box online and in-store user journey in mobile app. Michael was very thoughtful in how he approached his work and really understood the big picture on how to create a mobile hub that will be the gateway for users in-store journey. He was particularly good thinking through longer-term scenarios and usage patterns - something which I find increasingly rare among designers. I'd work with him again in a heartbeat!”

2019

"Michael and I worked together during a pivotal time at Macy's. We were tasked with delivering a future, while making good on the accruing technical and design challenges that accompany periods of change. It's in this context that I'm especially grateful for Michael's leadership. He is constantly immersed in the craft and in the lives of his teammates. In my career there have been few moments someone has made an effort to make unknowns known. His approach fostered a culture of improvement. An invaluable asset as circumstances will never be perfect. I look forward to the positive impact he will continue to have on the design community!.”

2019

"Michael is an incredibly talented and thoughtful designer. He cares deeply about UX and conceptual execution of every project. It is rare to find dedicated professionals who truly care about the user and the team, Michael is that person. He is detailed, passionate and an inspiration, which is what it takes to be an excellent member of any design team. I always enjoy working with Michael!”

2019

"Michael is enthusiastic, creative and a pleasure to work with. He has a big picture point of view and his wheels are always turning, looking for ways to improve upon the status quo. He is a team player and I very much appreciate his generosity in offering his time and support to help my projects in addition to his own!”

2019

“I've worked alongside Michael for about 6 months at Macy's. He solidly knows what he's doing when it comes to UX design, user testing, and interfacing with us, the product partners. Having a great UX partner like him, makes my job so much easier, and I can rely on him for options, and suggestions, when we're figuring out customer facing solutions. I'd gladly work with Michael again if the opportunity arises.”

2019

"I’ve worked with Michael over the past year and have learned a great deal from him in such a short period of time. His knowledge of and passion for user experience has greatly helped me as I’ve grown in my own role. Ive also watched him mentor and help members on his own team. His technical knowledge is peerless and obvious — he takes the time to carefully lay out his process and always weighs in with expertise that is backed up by constant research. Michael has had to report to several different managers due to circumstances out of his control, and he’s handled what could easily be seen as a difficult circumstance with grace. He makes himself available for his counterparts and offers as much support as he can, and his team respects him. I highly recommend Michael for any future UX role, even though I wouldn’t want to see him go!”

2019

"Michael is a passionate designer with forward thinking and a go-getter attitude. He is excellent in interaction design and extremely knowledgeable about many design disciplines in general. He is also a joy to work with. Thoughtful, thorough, and dedicated team player.”

2018

"Michael can create outstanding impressive design. His App Design is detail oriented and extremely user friendly. Michael is always doing his best job and a need for any team!"

2018

"I worked with Michael as a fashion model at a recent runway show. From our time together I quickly discovered him to be an outstanding professional, considerate of everyone involved. He definitely made me feel more at ease."

2017
Dusty Lillo, Customer Experience on rethinkCAFÉ

"Most people would think “aesthetics” when they hear “design.” How something looks or feels. Some might even go so far as to think how something interacts with them, or they it.

Design can go so very far beyond the obvious and Michael showed me that. But it doesn’t have to be infinitely layered. At that is the genius behind his passionate approach. It can be a truly profound experience both for yourself and seeing others experience this for themselves. "

2017

"I met Michael while working with Serendipia (a blockchain-focused Swiss coop). I've been impressed by the sincerity of his dedication and admire his work ethic. From the initial conception of the app to the design of the platform, he organized workshops to solve complex problems and showed great team spirit."

2017

"Michael can create outstanding impressive design. His App Design is detail oriented and extremely user friendly. Michael is always doing his best job and a need for any team!"

2017
Kati Aronson, Connector, ICO/Blockchain Expert

“Michael did awesome design work for us - the logo and brand book for my company Outchain and he organized a UI/UX design workshops for Serendipia and prepared amazing presentation design! Michael feels his clients personality and provides unique design works intuitively - exactly what you need and what matches you.”

2016
Ashley McCartney, workshop venue host

"Michael and his cofounder were great guests! Michael had perfect communication from sending the reservation request to checkout, clean (left the space spotless - honestly not even sure if they used the place it was so clean!) quiet, and considerate - truly a pleasure to have in our space. Would recommend Michael to future venue hosts and would definitely welcome him back anytime :)"

2015
Amy Cheng, workshop venue host

"Michael is a great guest -- communicative, easy going, quiet, tidy, respectful of my space and the neighbors. It was a pleasure to host him and would welcome him back."

2015
Roopa Bansai, workshop venue host

"Michael was an excellent guest. Very personable, respectful of my space, clean and quiet. I would love to host Michael again."

2015
Ernie Thayer, workshp venue host

"Michael stayed with us one night in December 2015. He was a great guest! We'd be happy to host him again and can recommend him to other venue hosts as well. Cleanliness: 5 stars - Communication: 5 stars - Observance of house rules: 5 stars"

2015
Christopher Kahn, Tech Entrepreneur

"Michael is an extraordinary asset for anyone looking to expand the breadth of their design aspirations. Deeply thoughtful, deliberate and collegial, an outstanding critical thinker, patient - and there is no overestimating that virtue - and tapped into the emotional geography at the intersection of passion, function, commerce, and aesthetics. He understands content and presentation at a visceral level. And to top it off, he’s a detailed and constructive pitch coach. I am both thrilled and grateful to be working with him on the advancement of my experience as a CEO and the improved iterations of my tech."

2013

"Michael is a great communicator and a dedicated person. I know him for several years. He has excellent experience in UI / Interaction design."

2012
Tori Signorelli, Global Service Design Director on Farfetch

"Michael is a genuine expert in the field of design. I had the great pleasure of getting to know him these past few years when we worked together in the San Diego design community. As a leader and innovator, Michael is always looking for new ways to challenge those around him and to push boundaries, elevating the practice of design and inspiring those around him to become better and better. His years of experience and openness to share his wisdom, made him a go-to in the community for guidance and inspiration. He is rare talent and a great asset to any team.”

2011
Mrinalini D’Costa, Innovation Catalyst/Lead UX

"Have had the pleasure of exchanging inspiring ideas and techniques to facilitate successful and invigorating design workshops and providing focused start up coaching. He has a novel take on building up startup innovation labs. Learnt a lot from him through his vast experience while at Apple and elsewhere about uncompromising, good design. Would highly recommend this free design spirit!"

2009
Anforia Lien, Business Analyst on RelayTV

"Michael is an extremely creative individual with a great sense of design and style. He has the skill and experience to take a concept and execute it with the attention to detail."

2008
Judith Arrizza, Senior Software Professional on RelayTV

"Michael is a delightful co-worker. Thoughtful and team oriented, he is tireless in his pursuit of knowledge and fearless in his pursuit of excellence."

2008

"Michael sees the big picture. I have seen him courageously dive into to solve human problems through design thinking. I saw him preservere through difficult operational challenges and drive to improve the company culture. He is passionate and knowledgable about the business of design."

2008
Sergio Garcia, Senior Designer on Teamwork Athletic

"There's no denying that Michael is a skilled interaction designer with excellent user experience research and design expertise. It was a pleasure working with him."

2008
Venkateswaran Kasirajan, Engineering Director on Trimble

"Micheal has a good team of design experts that can do a lot of creative designs. We had them to do one of our designs and it came out well.”

2008
Sunshine Makarow, Marketing Director on Teamwork Athletic

"Michael has incredible passion for user centric design, and the ever evolving digital media realm. Never one for a me-too solution, Michael brings a fresh approach to tackling design challenges. It was a pleasure to work with Michael."

2008
Craig Koller, Director of Marcom on CCH

“We hired Michael and his team to take a fresh look at our software application designs, primarily from a branding and usability standpoint. I found him to be extremely knowledgable, and was very happy with the results he delivered. He looks beyond the concrete deliverable and makes you as a client, expand your view in order to arrive at a much more successful and future-proof outcome. I enjoyed working with him very much and would be happy to do so again.”

2008
Chris Hupp, Executive Producer on Monolithworks

"Michael skill-sets are rare and complimentary. Wisdom and insight are his friends. "He got us, and our brand immediately." He enjoys inspiring others. His ability to view the world the way a company wants to be perceived is incredible because he listens with his heart and mind. His solutions reach far beyond great UI and mobile app design because he enjoys listening. Finally please congratulate my brother on becoming a 1st time father!"

2008
Shilpa Shukla, Global UX Manager, on Fair Isaac

"Michael is a pioneer User Experience Designer who has forged a path to inspire fellow or peer designers like my self. I've had the rare opportunity to learn how he applies his design processes and techniques to evolve a product design from inception to manifestation stage. What is rare about his approach to product design is his application of conceptual paradigms and sound cognitive fundaments to build a strong foundation and design framework. In a nutshell, he is inspiring, generous, and exceptionally talented. I highly endorse his work!"

2008
Alex Diener, Principal on Pensar Development

"Michael has a passion for design and market perspective that will help your organization achieve what's next. Look to him for people-centric experiences that will keep customers coming back for more."

2008
Rich Roncaglia, Managing Director on US Bank

"I enjoy working with Michael as he is a creative and knowledgeable individual. Michael has been extremely helpful to our trust and investment team and is a very nice person to share office space with."

2007

"Michael brought a design perspective to a startup in its formative stages. He patiently considered our relationship with the customer and mapped that to tangible metaphors and design ideas."

2007

"Michael has the gift to look at a complex design task and deliver a simple solution that no one thought possible before. He's a pleasure to work with and I recommend him without any reservation."

2007
Dax Lee, CTO on Winning Group

"Michael is an excellent designer that has a bleeding edge grasp of modern design concepts for web, mobile and devices. I highly recommend him as an interface designer."

2006
Dee Rudko, Founder, Seasoned Entrepreneur

“Michael was always an outside the box thinker. Very smart but didn't let you know it unless he wanted you to. Lived in his domain and knew when to laugh and take things less seriously when it needed to be. I recall him to be a great guy back then and from what I hear now as well. Not surprised by him accomplishments and amazing experience.”

2005

While he was at Apple Michael and I worked on the same floor; Michael was the driving force in our applications design group who always pushed the creative studio atmosphere to its highest levels: his knowledge about trends in music across all genres always impressed me deeply. Michael is a great person to work with. I miss his presence at Apple."

2005

"Michael was a key designer at Apple and always delivered fresh ideas with the extraordinary attention to detail. I really enjoyed working with him and would highly recommend him to any dynamic, innovative environment."

2005

"Michael and I worked together on the first generation iTools at Apple, and I was inspired by the passion and commitment he brought to the team. He always had a new and fresh way of looking at a design challenge, even under extreme deadlines. I would fight for Michael in my corner any time!”

2005

"Michael has that singular combination of a highly studied intellect and innate instinct that nearly guarantees that his interfaces and experiences map not to what a project or client asked for, but what they actually needed. Everything he delivers is clean, useful, and most importantly, totally engaging."

2005

"Michael is very honest and hardworking person. I really enjoyed working with him. I highly recommend him for any challenging position."

2005

"Michael is a true visionary. We worked together for 3 years at Apple and have collaborated on many of the early concepts to what is today .Mac, and the iTunes Music Store. Michael posses a unique ability to solve problems and often provides new perspectives on technology."

2005

"Michael is a very talented and passionate designer. He's the guy you want to work with if you're looking for someone with fresh ideas and to look at things from a unique perspective. I'd enjoy working with him again someday."

2005

"Creative is always the right word for Michael. As a Senior UI designer, he's always the reliable resource of unique and fresh ideas. Michael was the lead designer for several key applications in Apple, such as iTunes, .Mac, iApps, etc. And he's very thoughtful and caring as well, a great colleague as well as the friend to work with. Can't forget Michael made my first memorable birthday at Apple."

2005

"Using words to try and describe Michael's work does not do it justice - his design work speaks for itself. In describing Michael, he can be summed up in four words - Passionate, Creative, Dedicated, Sincere. He and I worked quite closely together at Apple and I would relish the opportunity to work with him again."

2005

"Perhaps the most talented designer I've ever worked with. Michael is a true artist and master of pixels."

2005

"I've consistently been amazed by Michael's stunning designs and his true creativity."

2005
Karen Anderson, Web Content Producer on Apple

"I worked on an Apple production team with Michael for more than three years. At one point he was called in to consult on the redesign of a web service I'd been producing. When I saw the design ideas he proposed, I realized that he had spotted key user interface issues the rest of us had missed, and had come up with an elegant solution that addressed all of them. Michael's work is impressive."

2005

"Michael is a very talented and creative Designer who goes the extra mile. His work is of extremely high caliber. Michael has a great work ethic and is easy to work with. He is a team-player and also works well independently. I highly recommend Michael."

2005
Elaine Adolfo, Web Producer on Apple

"I worked with Michael while at Apple on several projects ranging from .Mac design comps to new projects. He is an excellent designer with extensive experience that can be applied to web, print or any type of public presentation. Clean designs with a powerful presence and logical workflow is the type of work he consistently creates. Michael is very passionate about his work and it shows."

2005

"Michael and I worked together on .Mac (dotMac) at Apple. Besides doing great work on user interface projects (such as redesigning Virex, McAfee's anti-virus application for the Mac) he's always bursting with ideas--the kind of guy you want to include in brainstorming meetings."

2005

"Michael is a talented designer. I have been working with him on various .Mac project at Apple for at least 3 years. I was always impress by the quality of the result he produced."

1998
Rene Siegel, President & Founder on High Tech Connect

"I worked with Michael on a high-profile launch (at 3Com). He was reliable and responsive, a true team-player and absolutely a joy to work with!"

Contact

Darius/Design