David Conrad

Design Leader | Community Activator | Instigator


To me, design is a belief system that can provide order in a world of chaos. As a designer, I believe simplicity is the better option and that you must think about the system you are creating from the moment you start work. I believe pacing is critical to good digital product experiences and you must design with that in mind. I believe you need to look for inspiration everywhere and that every detail is a battle you must fight for. I believe design is about relationships and relationships are endlessly fascinating.

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 help direct design thinking about the product and manage a small team of designers to support the product and engineering teams. I also work with the Azure Portal Framework team, leading a v-team effort to create toolkits for designers to use.

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 mentoring and advisory roles as well as organizing and hosting CreativeMornings in Seattle.

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