Darren Mills

Hello, I'm Darren Mills

Design Strategist. | UX Designer. | Entrepreneur & Leader.

@DarrenMills
San Francisco, CA

Darren Mills

Design Strategist. | UX Designer. | Entrepreneur & Leader.

Skillset

UX Dev & Design
Project Management & Exec Roles
Startups & Brand Consulting
Branding & Marketing
Visual & Graphic Design
HTML / CSS3
Javascript / JQuery

Professional Profile

I'm a branding and UX guru with the rare hybrid of IT & design expertise. Over the past 7 years I've founded two startups, raised funding, gained priceless leadership experience and consulted for dozens of happy clients. I'm a knowledge junkie, science geek and life-long learner. I believe in always moving forward, constant progress and having strong intrinsic motivators. I spend my free time PC gaming and volunteering my design prowess to my favorite crypto projects. Entrepreneurship will always be a huge part of what I'm about.

If you share any of these passions, or just want to have some great conversation, we should grab coffee!

Social Profiles

I'm currently available for consulting & freelance.

I've recently relocated to San Francisco from Seattle! I'm currently exploring new opportunities as I discover the west coast. I have many very happy clients & I'd love to show you what I've done for them.

Contact me


Apps Built to Market

+

Years UX & Design

Recent Heartrate

What I can Do

Here's some of the ways we can work together.

App Design & UX

Designing a great UI and UX for web or mobile requires an understanding beyond what looks pretty. Having a firm grasp on both UX principles & coding limitations is what helps me translate my design choices into both coding architecture and user experience. I've designed multiple apps in a senior design role for both web and mobile.

C-Level: Projections, Analysis & Reports

Learning to communicate from the data & research at hand is an incredibly powerful tool for startup founders and executives alikey. As a founder of two investor-funded startups I've taken a lead role on both written & designed financial projections, market research reports, executive summaries and investor updates.

Lead Product Design

Designing a product for a growing market, and managing the team to do it, is no simple task. As a founder of multiple startups I've taken a lead design strategy role on the design of multiple flagship products. By working closely in tight feedback loops with expert teams I know how to fail fast and rapidly achieve product-market fit.

Web Design & Front End

I've built many websites using a variety of tools from Wix, to Wordpress and Bootstrap. I have a solid understanding of how to write and edit HTML, CSS, and JQuery, as well as some basic Javascript. My web design experience is always done through the lens of UX, so no matter the tool, I can deliver a fantastic web experience.

Print & Advertising Design

In the past I've been trusted to design materials using official city or university brands. Design work like this is seen by thousands and must represent an established & trusted brand. Working with long-standing brands means understanding how to design in a way that communicates their values. I've worked with Adobe CS tools for a decade and I consider myself an expert.

Brand Identity & Graphics

Branding work is at the heart of every good designer. Your company media should communicate what your brand is about in a way that contributes to your business goals. I am truly passionate about creating a brand identity that connects with your mission and customers.

Portfolio

Work & artifacts. Click any project to learn more. Additional work available upon request.

SHOW ALL
APP UX/UI
IDENTITY
DESIGN STRATEGY
GRAPHIC & PRINT
WEB DESIGN

Mobile App UI/UX

Founder - Citizen Sync

Web Design, Design Strategy

Freelance - Strengthsbase.com

C-Level Artifacts & Reports

Founder - Citizen Sync

Web App Design UI/UX

Design Strategy, UX - Yours Network

Mobile App UI/UX

Design Strategy, UX - Accela / Citizen Sync

Branding & Identity

Design Strategy, UX - Yours Network

Branding & Identity

Freelance - PracticalVR

Marketing Graphics

Founder - Campus Shift

Social Media Marketing

Design Strategy, UX - Yours Network

Advertising & Print

Design Strategy - Various Cities, US

Web App UI/UX

UX Design - Hack the Commute 2015 Finalist

Branding & Identity

Freelance - Storm Dragon Racing

Web Design & Design Strategy

Design Strategy, UX - Yours Network

Resume

Education, experience, honors & awards, volunteer.
Downloadable version below.

Education

Visual Communication Technology

VCT is an innovative program focused on creative & technical problem-solving. VCT majors use print, photography, video, and interactive multimedia as problem-solving tools for real world business scenarios. With solid preparation and study in each of these areas, the major is complemented by a core of business and design classes, which differentiate BGSU’s program from most others of its kind.

Bowling Green State University

2007 - 2010

Experience

Freelance

Since 2007, I have worked independently as a freelancer that specializes in both Branding and UX, as well as the occasional organizational management. Working with many clients, and often taking short contracts, freelancing has provided me with consistent work, income, and endless lessons in how to run a business. This freedom has allowed me to start multiple companies while traveling throughout the country. Previous to 2012, I offered my services under the name Digital Shift.

Various, Self-Employed

2007 - Present

Co-Founder, CIO, Head of Design & UX

Citizen Sync works with local municipalities to develop a white-labeled, customized and branded mobile app. The app connects residents, visitors, local merchants, and the city administration on one mobile platform to engage citizens. As a founder and design lead my role has been to build and maintain our brand in all aspects. This includes the design and UX of our mobile app, website, marketing materials, investor presentations, sales documents and more. This position has been fast moving and required me to learn a long list of new skill sets that have proven priceless.

Citizen Sync

2013 - 2016

Founder & VP of Branding

Campus Shift provides solutions to the runaway cost of education by developing a platform that connects businesses to our highly social, loyal network of college students. When I joined the team my first major task was create a new brand and streamline existing products under one look. I created all of our marketing pieces, presentations, banners, reports and more. Another piece of my role was finding software solutions, like Bootstrap, that would help the team leverage their strengths.

Campus Shift

2011 - 2013

Creative Director

Originally hired as an intern, I quickly found myself at the center of the Quasimoto design and brand. Piece by piece, I filled the shoes of a vacant Creative Director position and took the lead on a complete website redesign, all print projects, and the Quasimoto brand maintenance.

Quasimoto Interactive

2007 - 2008

Student Partner

As the Microsoft representative to the campus at Bowling Green State University, I coordinated the marketing plans taking place on campus for past Microsoft product launches such as Office Live Workspaces and Zune Social!

Microsoft

2007 - 2008

Awards & Honors

2015 Seattle 'Hack the Commute' Finalist

The City of Seattle and Commute Seattle hold an annual hackathon that invites data analysts, developers, designers, and other innovators to design user-centric tools to improve the commute. Our product, Work Orbit, helps new residents of Seattle find the right neighborhood with an experience that encourages informed commute choices driven by data.

City of Seattle

March 2015

NEXTOhio Startup Competition Grant

Citizen Sync is awarded first place and $3,000 in the NEXTOhio Startup Competition. NEXTOhio is an Internet Startup Conference held in Akron, Ohio for entrepreneurs, business owners, investors and VCs. It features a series of rapid fire talks and pitches followed by audience voting.

NEXTOhio & Thompson Hine

April 2015

Ohio Innovation Award

Campus Shift receives type "A" award of $25,000 from The Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund, founded by the Lorain County Community College Foundation, is a regional fund focused on supporting technology-based entrepreneurial endeavors and emerging technology-based businesses.

Ohio Third Frontier

Feb 2012

YBI 'Inspire' Award

Campus Shift receives $15,000 Inspire Award from the Youngstown Business Incubator. The YBI helps accelerate emerging businesses by providing an array of invaluable services. Facilities, equipment, resource networks, entrepreneurial counseling, networking opportunities - all critical elements to successful business development.

Youngstown Business Incubator

May 2012

Volunteer

Branding & Web App UX Lead

Formerly known as Datt, Yours is a community where content can be rewarded, even with tiny amounts of money. Yours leverages the latest technology Bitcoin technology that allows for two-way off-chain payment channels. I helped by taking lead on the UI/UX and brand identity, in addition to providing graphic design for marketing.

Yours Network

2016

Project Management & Development

A group of passionate Arma 3 players & developers have gathered to form a community pursuing it's own custom modification of the popular Bohemia Interactive game. I helped manage developers, designers and our community volunteers along a crowd-sourced set of feature requests.

Indie Game Dev

2015

Guest Speaking

The City of Oberlin invited the Citizen Sync team to The Bridge to speak about mobile app technology to a group of Middle & Highschool students. Students learned the basic technology behind mobile apps and had the opportunity to make their own updates to the City of Oberlin's mobile app using Citizen Sync's CMS & platform.

Oberlin Tech Bridge

July 2014

Guest Speaking

While growing our startup, myself and fellow partners have traveled to numerous universities to speak to entrepreneurship majors and organizations. Having pursued entrepreneurial paths right out of college we are able to tell our own stories in a way that connects with college students on a practical level that reveals how entrepreneurship can be a viable option. Our speaking engagements included the University of Wisconsin, the University at Buffalo, the University of Virginia, Akron University and more.

Various Universities

2013-2014

Clients & Feedback

"Darren is a highly talented UI / UX / Design guru. He follows the necessary steps in order to get work finished in a timely manner. The fact that he is a knowledge junkie does not hurt at all. Seriously, ask him anything, he will have a very educated response."-Zac Sebo, Entrepreneur
I've worked with many clients, small and large. As a startup founder in the the government IT space I've had the opportunity to work with well respected, long-standing brands. Some of my efforts have earned me some press as well.

Contact Me

Drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you.

  • @DarrenMills
  • San Francisco, US