Chris Mismash, Designer in Greensboro, NC, United States
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Chris Mismash

Verified Expert  in Design


Greensboro, NC, United States
Toptal Member Since
September 1, 2017

Chris is an innovation-driven product design leader with over 20 years of experience. He has a proven record of driving success for enterprises and startups alike. Chris builds and leads award-winning teams and is skilled in human-centered design, UI/UX, and product management. His entrepreneurial mindset and expertise in process optimization ensure product improvement. Chris holds advanced degrees from NC State, Cambridge, and Utah and has spoken at TEDx on design thinking.


Work Experience

UI/UX Designer

2019 - PRESENT
Caterpillar - CIG - Excavation
  • Managed product design across three core initiatives targeting aftermarket growth, contributing to a $4 billion revenue target. Supported and enhanced the productivity of a cross-functional team of 30+ engineers, QA, support, and project managers.
  • Orchestrated the design and user experience of a global-scale parts and service platform (36+ million records), leading to improved key performance metrics, including user adoption, growth, uptime, and user satisfaction.
  • Developed an extensive Figma-based design system, which is used as the primary collateral for the development team. Rolled out globally across all regions and languages.
  • Facilitated cross-functional team collaboration involving planning, ideation, workshops, and customer engagement, resulting in being named a leading digital innovation initiative for 2023.
  • Tackled global rollout challenges, achieving successful localization across multiple markets, which enhanced user accessibility and compliance.
Technologies: User Experience (UX), User Interface (UI), UX Design, UI Design, User-centered Design (UCD), Wireframe to Product, User Journeys, Responsive Web Design (RWD), Web Design


2015 - 2019
  • Founded and led a venture studio specializing in early-stage startup support, including product and concept development, market development, lean business model canvas creation, market valuation, and capital fundraising.
  • Led and managed a cross-functional staff, which included analysts, strategists, designers, and software engineers.
  • Empowered over 30 startups, providing critical guidance and support that led several to secure follow-on funding in the range of $500,000 to $2 million, highlighting the studio's pivotal role in their growth and development.
  • Orchestrated a comprehensive support ecosystem for startups, leveraging human-centered product design and lean methodologies to ensure market fit and scalability, fostering innovation and entrepreneurial success.
Technologies: Adobe CC, Figma, GitHub, Visual Studio .NET, Pitch Books, Pitch Decks, Excel 365, Basecamp, HubSpot, Technical Project Management, Web Design

Management Consultant, Product Strategy and Go-to-market

2017 - 2018
  • Led a holistic repositioning, branding, and launch initiative that included product design, packaging, branding, marketing, pricing, and go-to-market strategy.
  • Managed the brand, packaging, marketing, and eCommerce teams.
  • Established a strong eCommerce presence by creating a subscription and online purchase model.
  • Delivered increased retail sales by adding new price point products, growth from $1.5 million to $5 million.
  • Led product team, including delivery of new vision to the board of directors, successfully securing $2 million in additional venture funding.
  • Repositioned the product segment, doubling product price point and average revenue per user.
Technologies: Adobe CC, Sketch, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Ads, Squarespace, Information Architecture (IA), Industrial Design, Web Design

Management Consultant, IP Development and Product/Market Fit

2016 - 2017
  • Led engineering and design team for a new mixed-reality device, including hardware (sensors), software, and user interfaces.
  • Managed the machine learning framework, computer vision, and interaction engineering teams.
  • Moved product from raw IP to functional prototype hand-tracking input device in under eight months by re-platforming sensor and computer vision systems.
  • Established hardware and software roadmaps through strategic planning and capabilities assessment.
  • Directed user experience and product design efforts, including software interface, hardware, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) teams in engineering gesture recognition, object recognition, and handwriting systems.
Technologies: Electronic Sensors, Sensor Data, Unity, Python, Device Interaction, Web Design


2013 - 2015
  • Led product from 20 million to over 50 million monthly readers and 200,000 to 500,000 users across over 50 countries worldwide.
  • Managed cross-functional staff of software engineers, designers, and business development and marketing experts.
  • Managed key aspects of the platform, focusing on software design, product design, and business strategy efforts.
  • Raised $2 million in venture capital and cultivated multimillion-dollar partnerships with Verizon and Verisign.
  • Built and directed a team exceptional team of software engineers, designers, and product leaders.
Technologies: Adobe, Java, Ember.js, React, Basecamp, Technical Project Management, Project Planning, Web Design


2012 - 2014
Contravent Media
  • Hired and directed a world-class management team and staff of 50 members to maximize business effectiveness and delivered expert-level leadership guidance to the team, achieving desired goals and profitability growth.
  • Led the company from $0 to $5+ million ARR, including successfully landing the 1st major retained clients.
  • Held specific ownership of the design, digital strategy, and software engineering teams, ensuring the delivery of dozens of client projects on time and within budget.
  • Cultivated key clients, including Century Link, Avaya, and Atlassian.
Technologies: Adobe,, Axure RP Pro, Visual Studio .NET, Basecamp, Technical Project Management, Wireframe to Product, iOS, Responsive Web Design (RWD), Web Design

Vice President of Digital Strategy

2009 - 2012
McCann Worldgroup
  • Established and led the west digital strategy office for the nation's largest advertising firm, assessing and capitalizing on opportunities with a $50 million portfolio.
  • Built a high-performance digital strategy and user experience design practice, delivering expert guidance and supervising global client projects ranging from $1 million to $20+ million.
  • Managed cross-functional project-focused teams, which included design, software development, strategy, and account services of 5 to 15 members.
  • Led digital strategy for premier clients, including Verizon, Intel, Red Hat, General Electric, and Cisco.
Technologies: Adobe, Axure, Visual Studio .NET, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, UX Strategy, C#, InVision, Marketing Strategy, Digital Strategy, Project Timelines, Responsive Web Design (RWD), Web Design
2019 - 2024

Doctorate in Design Thinking

North Carolina State University - Raleigh, NC, USA

2017 - 2019

Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship

University of Cambridge - Cambridge, England, UK

2006 - 2008

Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing

University of Phoenix - Phoenix, AZ, USA

2002 - 2006

Bachelor's Degree in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology

University of Utah - Salt Lake City, UT, USA


Microsoft PowerPoint, Figma, Sketch, InVision, Axure RP Pro, Trello, Airtable, Basecamp, GitHub, Adobe CC, Visual Studio .NET, Adobe,


Axure, Mobile, iOS

Industry Expertise

Travel & Leisure, Banking & Finance


C#, Python, Java, JavaScript, HTML, CSS


Communication, Startups, Product Management, Product Design, User Experience (UX), Information Architecture (IA), Wireframe to Product, UX Strategy, Product Strategy, User Journeys, SaaS Design, User-centered Design (UCD), Design, Digital Strategy, Project Planning, Project Timelines, Technical Project Management, User Research, User Interface (UI), UI Design, UX Design, Design Thinking, Innovation, Responsive Web Design (RWD), Web Design, App Design, Device Interaction, Surveys, Market Risk, App UX, Marketing Strategy, Healthcare Software, Industrial Design, Geolocation, Community Management, Prototyping, Apps, Instant Messaging, Social Media Integration, SMS Marketing, SMS, Mobile Payments, Data Visualization, Analytic Design, Wireframing, Payment Gateways, Fintech, Strategy, Consumer Applications, Designing for Data, Web UX, Mixed Media, Digital Publishing, APIs, API Design, IA Strategy, Data, Booking, SaaS, App UI, OCR, Branding, User Workflows, UX Engineering, Validated User Research, Strategic Design, PowerPoint Design, Microsoft 365, Azure DevOps, Ethnography, Research, UI Research, UX Research, Research Methods, Data Governance, Entrepreneurship, Lean Startups, Venture Capital, Finance, Web Marketing, Advertising Design, Business, Behavioral Design, User Behavior, Human Factors, Cognitive Psychology, Pitch Books, Pitch Decks, Excel 365, HubSpot, Google Ads, Squarespace, Electronic Sensors, Sensor Data, Unity, Ember.js, React, eCommerce UI, Design Systems

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