Photo of Zach Alexander

UX & UI Design

I provide design services to companies and nonprofits, from research to prototyping to visual design.

Development

I can build my own designs (or yours) with the latest and greatest web dev tools – and time-tested ones.

Consulting

If you tell me your business goals, I can offer design & development consultancy tailored towards getting you there.

About

Hi – I’m Zach.

Me on a mountain in Connecticut
I’m a self-taught designer and San Francisco-trained web developer. I’ve worked with startups, nonprofits, and individuals, helped design and build software for an award-winning journalism project, and taught students from around the world.

You can hire me. I’m especially interested in projects involving climate change, privacy, media, and human rights.

My main tools are JavaScript, CSS/Sass, React, Meteor, Ruby, Rails, and Hugo. I design using paper, Sketch, and directly in the browser with CSS.

I call New England and California home, by way of Arizona, Ohio, Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts, England, and Manitoba. I’m currently in Connecticut.

You can subscribe to my newsletter at tinyletter.com/zda.

Work

Projects I’ve worked on:

Testimonials

What people who’ve worked with me say:

Zach is a magician. It’s rare to find people who have such technical depth and sophisticated grasp of design. Zach can doggedly debug a complex tangle of JavaScript in the morning with enough time left over to discuss subtle points of web typography in the afternoon. All with candor and energy. We depended on Zach to help us redesign and deliver our flagship product — we shipped on time with higher UI standards than we’d ever reached before.
Chris Blow Design Director, Meedan
As lead developer of the web team at Apportable, Zach took on numerous responsibilities, including design, project management, and writing tons of code. He effectively handled our constantly changing priorities and put a lot of energy into mentoring other engineers on the web team. He works hard and communicates extremely well. I would love to have an opportunity to work with him again.
Collin Jackson Founder, Apportable
Zach joined Meedan to fill a short-term front-end designer/developer position. His role was primarily to assist our lead designer with product design tasks, and also to translate those designs to HTML/CSS. But quickly, Zach carved for himself a place in the dev team by coding the React components directly instead of plain HTML, much to our delight. I came to rely on him to act as the dev team's main design contact point, and to steer design thinking towards feasible and standards-based implementation.

Zach also displayed much diligence with integration and browser testing, by refactoring our testing code and optimizing it. We were so happy with Zach's performance that we hired him for a second contract period. We heartily recommend him for front-end work, both on design and development sides.

Services

Things you can hire me to do:

Web Development

If you already have designs and just need them implemented, I can take care of that. I notice the small details and can translate them accurately – to pixel-perfect if necessary.

I am most experienced in front-end development – JavaScript, JS frameworks (Meteor, React, Ember), and CSS/Sass – and I see “JAMstack” (static sites + APIs) as the best default strategy for most websites. That said, I also know my way around Rails, Node, Meteor, and GraphQL if they’re appropriate for the job or part of your codebase.

I am also familiar with WordPress, but I’ll only help you with it if it’s to migrate your WordPress site/theme into something more sensible like Siteleaf (Jekyll) or Forestry.io (Hugo).

UX & UI Design

Good design is the foundation of a successful product, and it starts with understanding your users and customers. My approach is influenced by the Stanford d.school’s Design Thinking, which involves structured exercises to help generate empathy and insight.

I prefer design projects where I also get to build (or help build) the product, because it’s not uncommon for a design to be lost in translation during the handoff to engineering. Plus, rapid design/dev iteration more often leads to success than waterfall handoffs to begin with.

My favorite roles involve being embedded in both design/product and engineering teams, where I can help each understand the other’s work.

Business/Product Consulting

Although I’m often hired for pure design and development roles, I see both as just means to higher ends – like increasing conversions, or achieving a nonprofit mission. If you show me a graph of a metric you want to go ‘up and to the right’, I can provide advice and/or services focused on making it happen with the tools I know.

Contact

Ways to get in touch:

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