International speaker, best-selling author and advisor, Sean is an industry leader that helps organizations on their design strategy, operations, and process to deliver innovative solutions with best-in-class experiences to increase customer loyalty and advocacy that creates sustainable long-term revenue.
Sean lectures at the Rady School of Management, UCSD; is an Advocate for the Design Forward Alliance, promoting the values of design and design thinking for better outcomes in business, education, and government; and is a member of the Advisory Board for Thinking Engines, an IoT company helping organizations monitor environmental abnormalities in properties to help provide real time assurance while mitigating risks.
Sean Van Tyne is the author of Easy to Use 2.0: User Experience Design in Agile Development for Enterprise Software, co-author of The Customer Experience Revolution: How Companies Like Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks Have Changed Business Forever, and a contributing author for The Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge (the ProdBOK® Guide).
Sean is currently working on another book, speaking at events and providing strategic leadership advisement to organizations that values people and long-term growth.
Growing up, we had a Commodore 64 that I played games on. In high school, we had Apple II that I learned basic programming. At that time, programming meant making our own Dungeons & Dragons adventures with IF/THEN statements. In college, we had VAX and after college, we had a Mac.
While doing my grad in the 1990’s, I developed my first website to share pictures of our new baby girl to our family back in Michigan. I thought it was pretty cool that you could instantly share information anywhere for all the world to see. It was then that I made the switch from Art & Education to Technology.
My first tech job was in the IT department at Frazee Paint (ironically) where I did some databased architecture, network architecture and developed Frazee’s first intranet. I still remember my first day… going out to lunch and seeing all the “suites” – and the realization that I was one of them now. I learned a lot about databases, networks, programming, the internet – and the protocol of the business world compared to my old world of art and education.
I never really fit well in the IT world. I remember having the task of renaming the database tables and asking my boss who I should talk to so the names made sense to everyone who was going to use them. He didn’t understand why I needed to talk to anyone – that’s when I knew my people-centric design approach wasn’t for everyone.
Learning how information flowed from databases across networks and the internet got me excited about doing more web development and design so I left Frazee to be an independent contractor and explore what was out there. It was the dotcom boom. I did some e-commerce work and a brief stint at SPAWAR before landing at Medibuy.com, the first real-time, end-to-end e-commerce exchange, where I grew from senior designer to manager to Director of Product Design. It was a crazy time of innovation and free sushi lunches.
After the bust, I joined Mitchell International. I started in the Technology Architecture group as a UX Architect then, using what I learned at Medibuy, grew Mitchell’s first UX department. Mitchell was a great experience but I wanted to go back out on my own again to help other companies grow UX teams. Then with the market crash of 2008, I settled in at FICO. At FICO, I took a handful of designers across the US, Europe and Asia and grew FICO a world class enterprise UX department. I left FICO to help other organizations with their strategies, processes and operations.
I have seen a lot and learned a lot… about art, design, technology… and most importantly, people. I believe my greatest strength is my empathy – my ability to quickly understand a target audience and assess the strengths of a team or individual. It is this strength that helps me deliver great solutions to a market and grow and mentor great teams. propagate great experience and make life better.
That’s my story.