About Tanner Christensen

I started designing software as a teenager, then I started creating it too. And I just never stopped.

I became interested in design because it felt magical. The ability to create something from nothing, form from chaos, and function from disarray. I didn't go to school for design but have stumbled my way through many years of experience to learn what I now excel at today.

With a unique blend of design and technical strengths, I've independently designed and built dozens of successful products and top-selling apps. I've also worked in teams at companies like Netflix, Gem, Facebook, Lyft, and Atlassian.

👋 You can follow or contact me on LinkedIn .

My approach to design

I think good design can drive change. It can help clarify problems and envision solutions that allow teams to make reliable, impactful decisions.

Lyft autonomous vehicle software render
Using Blender for exploring designs for how autonomous vehicles can indicate signals to engineers at Lyft.

Ideas start out fuzzy and ambiguous, but our brains are great at connecting the dots and turning them into clusters and networks. Design is unique because it turns ideas into tangible artifacts. My work combines innovative thinking with measurable outcomes, which is harder than it looks. I learn from my failures and adjust my approach. I also get inspiration from lots of sources outside of software.

I tend to think around the spaces of extreme edge cases, patterns used in other industries, and imaginary hypotheticals, which enables myself and my teams to better operate around complex problems and scenarios.

I also support the teams I am part of by connecting ideas and nudging others towards alternative approaches. I value company principles and use them to evaluate decision-making processes. I believe attention to detail is important because the quality of the small things is reflected in the quality of the whole.

Personal life and inspiration

I reside in both California and Illinois with my wife, executive design leader Jasmine Christensen. We live with our two dogs, Bacon and Meatloaf.

I believe there is rarely a single path or solution to problems. And I think inspiration can come from anywhere, depending on how you look at the world around you.

The Creativity Challenge
My first published book: The Creativity Challenge, which provides more than 100 ways for invoking creative thinking.

My ideas have been published in major publications such as The New York Times, Forbes, The New Yorker, TechCrunch. and Wired.

Some fun mentions:

A favorite recommendation of mine, from Eduardo Pretell, former VP of Marketing at HP:

"Tanner is someone who figures out a way to get things done. He is creative, ambitious, and driven... he will do whatever it takes to succeed."
Speaking at Invisible Talks conference
Moderating a creativity panel at In/Visible Talks in San Francisco, California.