David Conrad

Design Leader | Community Activator | Collaborator


I’m a systems-thinker and leader with a passion for building customer-centered product design teams and culture.

I started my career during the onset of the web in the mid-90s and have continued to work with clients of all sizes and types. My interest in synthesizing perspectives and requirements to create successful digital products has shaped my approach to designing user experiences.

In 2004, I co-founded Design Commission, a small studio that served the start-up community for thirteen years. Over that time, the studio provided clients with a unique approach to design and development that helped a number of clients grow their businesses to very successful outcomes.

Additionally, while at Design Commission, I helped conceive and launch UI Stencils, a product company focused on tools for interface designers. This provided a first-hand experience with building a consumer-facing product company – knowledge that was applied directly to the studio’s client consulting work.

In 2017, feeling ready for a change, I closed Design Commission and joined the Cloud and Enterprise Data team at Microsoft. Working primarily on Azure Data Factory, a data orchestration tool, I helped direct design thinking about the product and manage a small team of designers to support the product and engineering teams.

I grew in my position becoming a co-director for the Microsoft Data Cloud studio, a seventy-person design organization charged with creating experiences that enable customers to achieve more with their data. In this position, I oversaw design teams working on operational databases, data governance products, and data analytics products, as well as visual designers and design engineers who maintain our common control library.

I value education and have taught at both The School of Visual Concepts and The University of Washington. I also invest back into the community through a number of mentoring and advisory roles as well as serving as the founding organizer and host of CreativeMornings in Seattle from 2011 to 2019.

When not in front of a screen, I enjoy spending time with my wife, two kids, and two insane, but loveable, dogs. Otherwise, you can find me standing in the middle of a river with a fly rod in my hand.