Silka Sietsma

Silka Sietsma

Product Designer in New York, She/Her


Product Designer • 20y+ Exp • Specialized in 0→1 • Designer who codes(ish) • AI Expert

Side Projects


Generative AI technologies are revolutionizing the creative process. To explore how these technologies can unblock writer's block and inspire new creative directions, I gathered a group of talented creatives. Together, we delved into the business opportunities in the gaming industry and developed a prototype application we dubbed the 'Unblock Machine'.

Work Experience

2017 — 2022
Senior Product Designer at Adobe
San Francisco

2020 - 2022
Adobe Emerging Design, IC

Silka drove product innovation across the company as part of the Emerging Design team. She collaborated with cross-functional partners from early ideation through implementation. Some of the key initiatives Silka contributed to include:

Photon: Enabled 2D to 3D animation without 3D expertise.

Gravity: Streamlined AI implementation across Creative Cloud.

Playground: Reimagined creative learning for kids during COVID.

Smart Create: Empowered creators through AI-enhanced tools.

2017 - 2019
Adobe Design Lab Manager

As a design leader of Design Lab, Silka focused the team's efforts on new augmented reality, virtual reality, and AI features for Adobe Creative Cloud.

Directing Adobe's Design Lab, her team delivered innovative AR for Photoshop Camera, spatial editing in Premiere Pro, and AI workflows in XD. They established frameworks for AI & AR product design and prototyped many ideas like motion transfer, assisted audio editing, 3D film editing, and more.

Silka then formed Adobe's first dedicated AI Product Design team within Design Lab, which eventually spun out into its own department.

She was grateful to collaborate with a talented team that delivered some of Adobe's first AR, VR, and AI creative features.

Adobe wide projects

Sensory Design Language project: Established a team of AI, UX, and game research experts to explore a design language for spatial computing. She consulted with industry design leaders on this emerging area.

Mentor: Artists in the AR Residency program for three years, Students in the XD Accelerator program, and designers and researchers throughout Adobe.

M&A: Evaluate and connect startups, leading to acquisitions.

2017 — 2017
New York

Contract Work - Led a team in creating the first augmented reality (AR) social app, collaborating closely with the phenomenal team at FrameStore.

2016 — 2016
Infinity Arms
San Francisco

Contract Work - Designed the web and mobile app for the launch of Infinite Arms, an innovative toy-to-life shooter game developed by top talent in the industry.

2014 — 2015
San Francisco

Successfully led a team designing an innovative Mixed Reality & VR product, exploring the entire product stack from advanced display hardware to content creation.

Designed multiple wearable form factors and input accessories for ergonomics and usability in collaboration with top scientists and industrial designers she hired. The designs received positive responses in user testing.

Built prototypes to test concepts for display, interaction, social collaboration, and business aspects of the MR/VR experience.

Partnered closely with engineering and PM to balance an ambitious vision with technical and business constraints.

2010 — 2014
San Francisco

As the first VC-backed startup to commercialize augmented reality, our team pioneered new ground. As head of product strategy, planning, and execution, I oversaw all aspects of design and research. This led to the creation of the first-ever multiplayer AR game.

Silka designed novel interface systems and modalities for blending physical and digital interactions. These interaction paradigms proved highly effective, and continue to be used today across many AR applications.

2009 — 2010
Amsterdam, Netherlands

As a lead designer at Layar, Silka evolved the Layar AR app across mobile platforms, enabling wide adoption as one of the first AR apps.

2006 — 2009
Sydney, Australia

Silka designed the mobile UX for News Corp's award-winning mobile news site, improving engagement through a streamlined interface.

She also led end-to-end design for TrueLocal, envisioned as the "Yelp of Australia." Crafted seamless experiences across the web and mobile.

2005 — 2007
Sydney, Australia

Working with an elite design team, we built core digital services for Fortune 500 companies in Australia.

Clients included: ANZ Bank, Freedom Furniture, Medibank Private Insurance, NSW Businesslink (Gov), Qantas, and Telstra.


New York

Transcript is coming.

New York

Silka was a guest lecturer at NYC's Steinhardt Department of Media, Culture, and Communication.


Silka was a guest at Stanford for lecturer Zio Ziegler exploring the frontiers of storytelling.

San Francisco

When we stop thinking about designing in 3D or 2D, then we will have entered a new era of computing, spatial computing.

San Francisco

Now is the time to look beyond the technology of AR/AI and invest heavily in the underlying design framework and best practices that will shape humanity as a whole.

New York

Spatial Computing reverses today’s UX paradigms with a new approach called, Sensory Design.



Silka contributed to this book. It provides designers with the tools they need to harness the potential of machine learning and put it to use for good through thoughtful, human-centered, intentional design.


Silka contributed a chapter to help developers, artists, and designers looking to enter this field today have few places to turn for expert guidance.


2022 — Now
New York

Silka mentors artists who work at the intersection of design, technology, and entrepreneurship.

2022 — Now
New York

Silka loves supporting designers to grow their careers.

2019 — 2021


Sydney, Australia

Completed MS 1st year with high distinction.