ACTUAL ATOM

Professional site for James Seaborn, a digital generalist that drives product success through UX, design, strategy, and communication.

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James Seaborn

Experience

What does it mean to be a digital generalist? It begins with curiosity.

I find myself obsessed with design and function of software products. This can manifest in UX design, information architecture, data structures, and product strategy. I have had the opportunity to work with amazing teams as both a participant and leader.

Who I've worked with...

Here is a small sample of the companies I have collaborated with.

Microsoft

Zoom

Abbive

Teva

Amgen

Eisai

Who I've worked for...

Here are the companies that I have had the opportunity to work with. Each of them allowed for unparalleled opportunities to drive innovation internally, as well as with clients and partners.

BlockWave

4thDown

Unified Communications

Actual Atom

The Concept

My work and philosophy are heavily influenced by Brad Frost's Atomic Design methodology. Designed to "help teams think of their user interfaces as a hierarchical, interconnected set of components".

Over the course of my career, I have found the concepts of this work to apply to how I strategize products and designs, but also a north star for team effectiveness. When working on a team I consider myself an "atom" of the overall organism.

It is the interactions between these atoms that result in outstanding products that are a joy to use.

Modal Tester

Design ⦿ Prototyping ⦿ Systems ⦿ Research

Creating exceptional user experiences is at the core of what I do. Here’s how I approach the different aspects of UX design, from initial concepts to comprehensive design systems.

UX Design

Design is where it all begins. For me, it’s about blending creativity with practicality to create user interfaces that are both beautiful and functional.

  • User-Centered Design: Understanding the needs, behaviors, and pain points of users through thorough research and continuous testing. At 4th Down Solutions, I played a key role in project ideation and UI design, always starting with a deep understanding of user needs through research and testing.
  • Innovative Solutions: Experimenting with new technologies and trends to push the boundaries of conventional design. While at BlockWave, I led the UX/UI prototyping for touch-focused “BlockWave Studio” management software, pushing the boundaries of conventional design by integrating cutting-edge technologies.
  • Aesthetic and Functional Balance: Ensuring designs are visually appealing while maintaining high functionality for a seamless user experience.

Prototyping

Prototyping is where ideas come to life. It’s a crucial step that allows me to test and refine concepts before final implementation.

  • Rapid Prototyping: Quickly creating prototypes to test ideas and gather feedback. This iterative approach was key in developing the comprehensive design system at 4th Down Solutions.
  • Iterative Process: Continuously refining prototypes based on user feedback and testing results. While at 4th Down I was able to use rapid prototyping to ensure alignment between Leadership, Development, & Customer teams.
  • Interactive Models: Developing interactive prototypes to simulate real-world use and validate design decisions.

Design Systems

Building design systems is about creating a consistent and scalable approach to design that enhances efficiency and coherence across products.

  • Comprehensive Guidelines: Developing unified guidelines and components to ensure consistency. Even when the frontend layer needs extensive theming, there must be shared conventions for the user to be able to use the application without friction.
  • Component Libraries: Creating reusable components that streamline the development process. At 4th Down Solutions, I developed a comprehensive design system and a React-based component library, ensuring design consistency across the platform.
  • Collaboration: Working closely with designers, developers, and stakeholders to ensure the system is functional and flexible.

Research

Research is the foundation of effective UX design. It helps me understand users deeply and make informed design decisions.

  • Data Analysis: At BlockWave, I conducted market research and competitive analysis to guide design decisions, ensuring our products met user needs and stood out in the market.
  • User Interviews: Conducting user interviews allowed me to gather qualitative data and understand user needs on a personal level, an approach I used extensively during my tenure at 4th Down Solutions.
  • Persona Development: Creating detailed personas ensures that my designs are tailored to meet the specific needs of our users, a practice I have consistently applied across all my projects.

UX

Design ⦿ Prototyping ⦿ Systems ⦿ Research

Creating exceptional user experiences is at the core of what I do. Here’s how I approach the different aspects of UX design, from initial concepts to comprehensive design systems.

UX Design

Design is where it all begins. For me, it’s about blending creativity with practicality to create user interfaces that are both beautiful and functional.

  • User-Centered Design: Understanding the needs, behaviors, and pain points of users through thorough research and continuous testing. At 4th Down Solutions, I played a key role in project ideation and UI design, always starting with a deep understanding of user needs through research and testing.
  • Innovative Solutions: Experimenting with new technologies and trends to push the boundaries of conventional design. While at BlockWave, I led the UX/UI prototyping for touch-focused “BlockWave Studio” management software, pushing the boundaries of conventional design by integrating cutting-edge technologies.
  • Aesthetic and Functional Balance: Ensuring designs are visually appealing while maintaining high functionality for a seamless user experience.

Prototyping

Prototyping is where ideas come to life. It’s a crucial step that allows me to test and refine concepts before final implementation.

  • Rapid Prototyping: Quickly creating prototypes to test ideas and gather feedback. This iterative approach was key in developing the comprehensive design system at 4th Down Solutions.
  • Iterative Process: Continuously refining prototypes based on user feedback and testing results. While at 4th Down I was able to use rapid prototyping to ensure alignment between Leadership, Development, & Customer teams.
  • Interactive Models: Developing interactive prototypes to simulate real-world use and validate design decisions.

Design Systems

Building design systems is about creating a consistent and scalable approach to design that enhances efficiency and coherence across products.

  • Comprehensive Guidelines: Developing unified guidelines and components to ensure consistency. Even when the frontend layer needs extensive theming, there must be shared conventions for the user to be able to use the application without friction.
  • Component Libraries: Creating reusable components that streamline the development process. At 4th Down Solutions, I developed a comprehensive design system and a React-based component library, ensuring design consistency across the platform.
  • Collaboration: Working closely with designers, developers, and stakeholders to ensure the system is functional and flexible.

Research

Research is the foundation of effective UX design. It helps me understand users deeply and make informed design decisions.

  • Data Analysis: At BlockWave, I conducted market research and competitive analysis to guide design decisions, ensuring our products met user needs and stood out in the market.
  • User Interviews: Conducting user interviews allowed me to gather qualitative data and understand user needs on a personal level, an approach I used extensively during my tenure at 4th Down Solutions.
  • Persona Development: Creating detailed personas ensures that my designs are tailored to meet the specific needs of our users, a practice I have consistently applied across all my projects.

Stakeholder

Ideation ⦿ Communication ⦿ Management

Collaborating with stakeholders has been a key aspect of my career, allowing me to drive projects forward by aligning diverse perspectives and interests. Here’s how I approach stakeholder ideation, communication, and management, drawing from my extensive experience.

Ideation

The ideation phase is one of the most exciting times in a project. I believe in bringing stakeholders into this process early to gather a wide range of ideas and insights.

  • Brainstorming Sessions: I have facilitated brainstorming sessions with major clients (including Fortune 100 executives) to deliver solutions that enhanced culture, learning, and collaboration. These sessions allowed us to generate innovative ideas and ensure stakeholder buy-in from the start.
  • Inclusive Environment: I create an open and inclusive environment where all stakeholders feel comfortable sharing their perspectives. This collaborative approach ensures that everyone is invested in the project’s success.
  • Diverse Perspectives: At BlockWave, I collaborated with research centers and entrepreneurs during the ideation phase to explore real-world applications of our products. This diversity of thought led to more comprehensive and effective solutions.

Product Strategy

Effective communication is crucial for maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders and ensuring project success.

  • Regular Updates: At UnifiedCommunications, I kept stakeholders informed and engaged by providing regular updates on multiple products involving multiple teams and external partners. This helped manage expectations and keep everyone aligned with the project goals.
  • Clear and Transparent: I believe in clear and transparent communication, ensuring that stakeholders are aware of both progress and any potential challenges. This builds trust and fosters a collaborative working relationship.
  • Soliciting Feedback: I actively solicit feedback from stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle. This continuous loop of feedback ensures that the final product meets their needs and expectations.

Stakeholder Management

Managing stakeholder relationships effectively involves understanding their needs, addressing their concerns, and ensuring their satisfaction.

  • Understanding Needs: At 4th Down, I worked closely with senior leadership and clients to define product goals and strategy. By understanding their needs and expectations, I was able to deliver solutions that aligned with their vision.
  • Addressing Concerns: I ensure that any issues or concerns raised by stakeholders are promptly addressed. This proactive approach helps maintain strong relationships and keeps the project on track.
  • Celebrating Successes: Celebrating milestones and successes with stakeholders reinforces positive outcomes and maintains their support and enthusiasm. This was a key part of my role at BlockWave, where we celebrated the successful launch of our next-generation Platform as a Service.