My name is Knut Graf. I am a designer.
I care about making things better. In my work, I care about making software better, from concepts to details to shipping the product. This is as much about getting the basics right as it is about making compromises along the way, sticking to core principles in the face of realities. I enjoy complex, ugly problems, where simple solutions fall short, where beauty and delight can manifest in unexpected ways.
In December 2012, I left the world-class consultancy Frogdesign, where I was a Principal Designer, after 15 years. Since then I’ve been contracting at Dell, doing advanced concepts in the Experience Design Group, and then enterprise software design for Dell Software Group.
In parallel to working at Dell, I have been teaching myself to become an entrepreneur. I completed a VentureForth track at Tech Ranch Austin, developed a business concept around software for handling aerial imagery from UAVs, designed and built a beta product with a remote team in Ukraine, and explored SBIR funding.
I provide team leadership and direct practice, in concept development, Information architecture and interaction design, for web applications, mobile software, and also desktop applications. I help stakeholders identify requirements and make strategic feature choices. I practice constraint-based design, from the idea to execution, so designs are always buildable. I have a background as a programmer since age 12, which helps me understand software better then some designers do.
Beyond the immediate practice, I help my client to integrate design thinking into their practices, to benefit from the efficiency gained from the increased focus it provides: Focus resources on the right target, based on actually knowing what serves users best, instead of guessing.
Design is about making things better. For consumer products, this often means making things simpler and more beautiful, to create a joyful, successful experience. Beyond consumer products, embracing complexity is often called for, providing users with better access to deeper insights, and with options to act on these insights. The result is a different kind of joy and beauty.
For design to matter, it must be buildable, by the resources available, within given timelines. I have a track record of making design a better partner to development, for the sake of end results that both reflect good design intent and do so under acceptable economic parameters.
My perspective on Design is heavily shaped by the “inside view” of my long tenure at Frogdesign, and by extended engagements with software teams in the trenches.
A detailed portfolio is available upon request. I respect the confidentiality of my past and future engagements, so I do not publish an online portfolio.
Thank you for looking.