Jump to Content
Small TextMedium TextLarge Text

Michael Robertson
San Jose CA, 95126


Spearhead the design of a successful consumer web experience.


Krillion Inc Mountain View , CA

02.2009-Present - VP, Product

Early in 2009 I was promoted to VP, Product. The change reflects a growing business need to drive execution, manage timelines and direct development towards solution delivery that meets revenue expectations. First success was to accelerate the Krillion release process adding predictability and accountability to a mission-critical program.


Krillion Inc Mountain View , CA

05.2006-02.209 - Director, Product Design

Since joining Krillion as its second employee I've been involved in all facets of the new company's emergence, beginning with the interesting interior design challenges of creating a comfortable, collaboration-friendly "space" for the team on a startup budget. IKEA featured heavily in the process; see our segment on CBS-5.

Working closely with the two founders, Joel and Roger, I've prototyped all of the functionality that appears on the site, and a substantial amount of sales collateral that's in the pipeline.

When it's time to implement the designs, I'm hands on with the development team translating the visual prototypes into working HTML/CSS in the JSP/Struts framework behind the scenes.

To-date I've conducted one involved survey on consumer buying patterns re: the Major Appliance category with more in-depth usability testing to follow our latest release (one that satisfies all the obvious site heuristics necessary for a successful consumer experience).

I've learned a great deal about some new topics, in particular the importance of front-end site optimization and the confusing, often black-art world of SEO.



Lead a User Experience team empowered to produce intuitive, highly usable interfaces that feature exceptional visual design.

Ariba, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA

11.2005-Present - Director, User Satisfaction

Lead expanded User Satisfaction team that includes User-Centered Design Group, Documentation and Curriculum Development teams. The 17-member combined team was established to find creative synergies between three disciplines that all contribute to user (and customer) satisfaction.

Increase focus on field research to improve starting point of agile development methodology. Formalize communication channels between disciplines to better serve end user objectives.

Initiate broader user survey mechanisms including links embedded within Ariba applications to produce actionable data to PM and dev management.

Elevate the presentational standards of documentation and training materials.


2004-10.2005 - Director, User-Centered Design Group

Direct a 5-member team of User Researchers and Interaction Designers. Hire and mentor staff, liaise with all stakeholder groups: product management; development; globalization; QA; and documentation to determine design coverage and testing.

Evangelize an iterative, user-centered design process to executive and dev management. Leverage usability labs to document high-impact usability issues early and often in the design/development cycle. Work to ensure priority issues are addressed and resolved.

Responsible for the Creative Direction of the Ariba application suite (five major solution areas). In countless studies visual design has received praise from end users. Oversee branding issues, typographic consistency and color palette through consolidated stylesheet, ariba.css.

Lead Ariba's effort to comply with Federal Disability legislation (ADA 508) essential to public sector sales. Utilize disabled contractors and test with accessible technologies (JAWS screen reader) to identify gaps. Provide guidance to public sector sales and legal on RFP and contract issues pertaining to ADA.

Innovate on tools and processes including a Movable Type driven blog and online surveys to broaden our customer reach.


2000-2004 - Creative Director, User-Centered Design Group

Art directed and/or created all production artwork: branding, icons, quick tours using Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, InDesign, Strata. Successfully transitioned the visual theme to a cleaner, more contemporary style. Produced extensive comps and prototypes to drive the transition.

Championed structural markup, and educated developers in better HTML and css practice. Introduced doctype declaration, argued persuasively to desupport NS4 and endorse standards-compliant browsers, consolidated app-specific style sheets into a global css standard, ariba.css. This culminated in vastly reduced source code, and cycles spent resolving browser rendering differences.

Initiated investigation into rich client UI that prompted development to create a new class of DHTML widgets including a scrolling table. The exercise also revealed webserver gzip capability that dramatically compressed source code delivery to the browser.

Developed a Filemaker-driven, web-enabled image library connected to the UCDG web site. All new images were posted to this environment providing a source-controlled database for developers to search for existing images before requesting new ones.

Created corporate presentation in FLASH that still runs in the Ariba Executive Briefing Center and lobby. Photographed corporate events, and distributed imagery via image galleries that helped build team morale.

Launched a post-911 effort that ultimately raised $350,000 from Ariba employees and founders to purchase a new fire truck for FDNY Squad 18. In 2002 designed and produced a memorial installation in slate and machined aluminum for the firehouse. The connection with the Manhattan-based Squad continues to this day.


Vector Design, Toronto, Canada

1987-1999 - Owner, Creative Director

Established the studio in 1987 and built a thriving design practice that employed 10 full-time employees. During the first eight years we conceived and produced a broad spectrum of print material for corporate clients including Xerox Corp., Air Canada, The Body Shop and Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. Our efforts garnered numerous design awards for the team. In my role as Creative Director, I was responsible for conceptual development, art direction of my design staff and direction of contracted illustrators and photographers. In my capacity as owner I was responsible for business development, and paid particular attention to hiring and mentoring design talent. My first employee, now owns the business and continues the studio tradition.

In 1997 the studio invested in the personnel and technology to create web sites for our clients. Several months into our immersion we were given a major intranet assignment from Glaxo Wellcome pharmaceuticals. Subsequent projects for Report on Business magazine followed.

In 1999 our proposal to design the look and feel for Ariba's flagship ORMS application won the business, and that began an association with Ariba that eventually brought me to the United States.

In addition to the Vector online portfolio link in the sidebar, an extensive print portfolio is available for review in person.



B.A. University of Toronto


Affiliations & Interests

Design: Member, BayCHI

Certified Scrum Master (CSM), 2005

Design: Member, Association of Registered Graphic Designers

Photography: Canon Professional Staff Member, 1996-2000



Available on Request