Raquel Breternitz
🙂

Raquel Breternitz

Designer in ATX + Remote Everywhere, she/they

Additional projects and portfolio on request.

10 months ago

Designer + strategist, creative director, and leader. I maintain a unique blend of research, UX, leadership, and brand skills.

Among other things, I am passionate about: design systems, accessibility, ethical tech, creativity, developer ecosystems and open source, systems-thinking and service design, creative and innovative brand and visual design, enterprise design that serves the worker, and civic technology.

My work is connected by a passion for accessibility and inclusion, research-driven design thinking, and a knack for tackling complex problems. I believe in strong, empathetic design leadership for diverse, empowered, and creative teams.

I speak internationally on topics spanning design and research, accessibility and inclusion, design systems, comics for design and mindfulness, and design in politics.

Twitter

Work Experience

2023 — Now
Austin, TX

Founding design lead spanning UX and brand. Modern ERP systems for Shopify brands.

2022 — 2023
Staff Product Designer, Design System at Shopify
remote

Led design for the App Design Guidelines and worked on the Polaris design system team contributing visual design, research, and strategy.

2020 — 2021
Head of Design at Aperture Health
Remote

Built up a design department to integrate user-centered design principles within product software teams. Directed internal rebrand. Aperture Health was acquired in 2021 by Verisys.

2020 — 2020
Lead Product Designer at The New York Times
Remote

Led and managed designers on the high-priority internal CMS running the nytimes.com front page. Supported homepage design system and visual updates.

2020 — 2020
Founding Designer at Geometer
Remote

Brief product incubation and consulting. Design lead running a quick-turn project to drive voter turnout for the 2020 election.

2019 — 2020
Boston, MA

Hired up and led a team across graphic, UX, motion design, and illustration. Owned creative strategy, visual approvals, and art direction with projects spanning everything the brand touched: web and digital, social media, ads, email, fundraising, merch, print, data viz, and literature in a fast-paced, rapid response environment. Pitched and developed brand projects across channels.

Our work was awarded 1 gold and 2 silver awards in the Graphis Advertising Annual, 2021.

2017 — 2019
Staff Product Designer at Pivotal Labs
Washington, D.C.

Led design from research to brand and front-end polish. Coached client designers, primarily in government, in lean research and user-centered design principles. Led an a11y redesign for the global design system. Led design for the Pivotal Cloud Foundry Apps Manager software.

The "Global case processing system" was awarded the USCIS Director's Cornerstone award.

Founded the Rainbow@Pivotal ERG for LGBTQIA+ employees and co-led the grassroots DC DEI group.

2017 — 2017
Visual Design Lead, Teacher Advisor at IBM Watson
Austin, TX

Led visual design and co-led UX for Watson Teacher Advisor. After our redesign, this project was a 2019 Webby Honoree for Education Website and Best Use of Machine Learning.

2015 — 2017
Product Designer at IBM Design
Austin, TX

Contributed across various roles based on division needs. Work included visual design, UX, facilitation, and design research across orgs including Analytics, GBS, and Watson Education.

2022
Online

Panel: Our data shows that queer designers of color make up significantly larger percentages of those that reported low incomes versus high incomes.

With Leslie Xia and Ritesh Gupta

2020
Guest Lecture: Inclusive, Accessible Principles for Product Teams at NYU Entrepreneurial Institute
Online
2020
If It's Not Accessible, It's Not Viable: How to Build an Accessible MVP at Debug 2020 Summit
Online
2020
Guest Lecturer: Comics for User Journeys at University of Texas at Austin | Sketching for Thinking and Communication
Online

Projects

2021

Logo + colors and branding for a new site showcasing media that builds worker power in the U.S.

2021

Logo + brand work for a tech cooperative for the progressive movement.

2020

Led the design team and assisted in content design for an interactive storytelling piece on Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax plan.

2019

Led design for a years-long USCIS Asylum project, which saved the USCIS Asylum program $10MM annually and reduced the security check processing time by 92% (from 24 hours to 2 hours) by decommissioning the mainframe system, as well as reducing manual data entry by 60%.

This work won a USCIS Director’s Cornerstone award.

2019

Led an accessibility redesign for Pivotal UI, the global design system for Pivotal, based in a redesign of Pivotal's Apps Manager

2019

Led a visual and co-led UX in a redesign for Watson's Teacher Advisor, a product for teachers to align lesson plans to common core standards. After our redesign, this project won two Webby awards.

2021

The On Deck Designer Fellowship is an eight-week remote program for ambitious designers who want to hone their skills, increase their impact and grow as leaders.

2017

LWT fellows will spend the day learning about different issues and breaking into teams to come up with ways to solve specific problems facing Americans. Fellows will continue to work on team projects from now until September 22nd, where team leaders will present their projects on the stage, in person, at the Lesbians Who Tech + Allies New York Summit.

Partnered with Tegan & Sara Foundation to create MNTOR, an LGBTQ+ focused mentorship app.

Awards

2020

Awarded to the "Toaster Video" created for Warren for President

2020

Awarded to the "John Legend South Carolina Poster" created for Warren for President

2020

Awarded to the "Blue New Deal" video created for Warren for President

2019
Director’s Cornerstone Award from USCIS

Awarded to the Global Asylum Case Management Software

2019
Honoree, Education Website from Webby

Awarded to Watson Education Teacher Advisor

2019
Honoree, Best use of Machine Learning from Webby

Awarded to Watson Education Teacher Advisor

2018
Design Honoree from DC FemTech

Features

2021

In our community Q&A feature, Raquel Breternitz shares her insights and experiences around building accessible products, designing an inclusive political campaign and more

2021

Blue State, the firm behind the Warren campaign, shares the story behind the brand for the first time.

2020

Sharing curated moments for several of the 2020 campaigns that have ended as a way to document much of the incredible design work that has gone into these campaigns and by supporters.

2020

The skirmishes have been fought and a victor has emerged in our 12-candidate single-elimination contest. (Spoiler: it's Warren's)

2020

In 2020, American elections have never been so bitter – and the campaign merch never better.

2020

Political design trends have historically been influenced strongly by winning campaigns, but designers who worked with some of the Democratic primary’s more out-of-the-box visual identities believe a new era of expressive and experimental campaign design is here to stay.

2019

The most diverse field of presidential candidates ever is also pushing the color of campaign branding like never before.

2019

How can you best serve your full customer base when your customers are developers? How is designing for inclusion an essential part of the developer experience? I chat with Jennifer Riggins on The New Stack.

Education

Bachelor of Arts, American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Design at The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX