About Tanner Christensen
I'm Tanner Christensen (he/him/his), a curious and multi-disciplinary product designer with over 20 years of experience designing and building digital products for web and mobile platforms.
My passion for design and creation started at the age of 16, when I began to teach myself how to code to bring my ideas to life. I became interested in design because of its nature—the process of creating something from nothing, form from chaos, and function from disarray. I did not go to school for design.
With a unique blend of design and programming skills, I've launched successful personal products, top-selling apps, and held various design leadership roles in companies like Netflix, Gem, Facebook, Lyft, and Atlassian.
My approach to design
I believe design can offer a great deal of value to businesses by empathizing with customers and helping teams make better decisions.
My work is guided by a desire to balance innovative ideas with proactive action towards measurable outcomes. Failure, to me, is an opportunity to learn and adapt. I am inspired by diverse sources and patterns.
I take pride in my ability to ask insightful questions and push for minimum viable solutions during the design process. Asking questions around extreme edge cases, patterns used in other industries and realms, and imaginary hypotheticals, enables myself and my teams to better understand complex situations. Pairing back creative ideas by focusing on minimum-viable solutions means the team can balance future design directions with immediate business needs.
I also support my teams by connecting ideas and nudging others towards alternative approaches. I value company principles and use them to evaluate decision-making processes.
Personal life and inspiration
I reside in both California and Illinois with my wife, executive design leader, Jasmine Christensen, and our two dogs.
Through multi-city living and years of global travel I have developed a perspective of the world and people that shapes my approaches to design and problem solving. Namely, I believe there is rarely a single path or solution to problems and inspiration can truly come from anywhere, depending on how you look at the world around you.
I am inspired today by many sources: movies, books, apps, art, architecture, industrial design, futuristic technologies, and anything else that someone else created with intent and care.
My career has helped shape the design and content strategies of major companies like Dropbox, Twitter, and HP. Additionally, my ideas have been published in major publications such as The New York Times, Forbes, The New Yorker, and Wired.
Some notable mentions include:
- From High School Dropout to Product Designer
- This is How Companies Like Facebook Hack Innovation
- Design Genius: The Ways and Workings of Creative Thinkers
In the words of 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."