Ian Spangler, Designer in New York, NY, United States
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Ian Spangler

Verified Expert  in Design


New York, NY, United States
Toptal Member Since
November 10, 2017

Ian is a UX/UI designer, educator, and startup coach with over 12 years of professional experience designing and developing web and mobile products for high-profile and emerging brands. From his tenure as an entrepreneur wearing multiple hats, he has honed a broad, multifaceted skillset that enables him to take projects from concept to launch. Ian holds an MFA in interaction design from New York's Parsons School of Design, where he now teaches.


Work Experience

Adjunct Professor (Part-time)

2019 - PRESENT
Parsons School of Design
  • Taught a course in professional development, including portfolio-building, to graduating students in strategic and integrated design.
Technologies: Apple Keynote, Canvas, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop

UI/UX Designer and Creative Director (Consultant)

2017 - PRESENT
Ian Spangler Design
  • Led and executed on digital projects with the agencies Designity and Toptal.
  • Defined strategy and architecture for brand-elevating website overhauls, managed designer workflows, and provided constructive iterative feedback.
  • Collaborated closely with clients, estimating scope and cost, providing regular progress reports, and delivering on key business objectives.
  • Laid down the foundation of UX design thinking for an education platform, conducting market research, surveying users, and wireframing solutions.
Technologies: JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5, Balsamiq, WordPress, InVision, Sketch, Adobe Photoshop

Principal Designer (In-house Consultant)

2016 - PRESENT
  • Worked cross-functionally with C-level leaders, engineers, marketers, business developers, and content editors as an integral one-man design department within a high-growth media startup.
  • Designed and iterated on CTR-optimized website designs for six editorial and news brands receiving 60+ million visitors per month.
  • Defined or elevated visual identities of ZergNet-owned-and-operated properties across multiple channels.
  • Devised CSS-driven spec systems, annotations, and brand guides for interdependent sites that help ensure accurate translation of designs.
  • Designed traffic-growing widgets for Rolling Stone, Thrillist, New York Post, Hollywood Reporter, and other sites.
Technologies: CSS3, HTML5, Adobe Illustrator, Sketch, Adobe Photoshop

Co-founder and Director of Product (UX + Tech)

2013 - 2016
The Imagine Film List
  • Co-designed, and built from scratch, the premiere social platform for promoting books as movie and TV shows, attracting 300+ best-selling authors.
  • Translated complex business requirements into a UX architecture scheme and onboarding flow that helped spur an 11% average conversion rate with 100,000 users registered in the first nine months.
  • Devised a series of innovative, intuitive forms that inspired users to publish hundreds of thousands of story and casting ideas.
  • Facilitated a collaborative design process that included research, user scenario definition, wireframing, prototyping, and user testing.
  • Defined visual styles and micro-interactions for the application UI based on branding and input from co-founders.
  • Assembled and led a team of two full-time developers and contractors to expand and evolve rich custom features and admin tools.
  • Prepared user activity reports from Google Analytics data and SQL queries to inform on progress and actionable plans for improving user engagement.
Technologies: CSS, Web Technologies, Google Analytics, JavaScript, HTML, Adobe Photoshop, OmniGraffle

Interactive Designer

2011 - 2013
Townsquare Media
  • Worked as a UI/UX designer with product managers, art directors, and developers on a vast suite of national music news and radio station websites.
  • Devised wireframes and user flows for mobile sites, a streaming music player, and an online auction system for an eCommerce website.
  • Designed themed versions of entire sites plus interfaces for editorial features, onboarding, loyalty programs, and a flagship mobile application.
  • Helmed a design system that successfully transitioned 300+ websites to a responsive, mobile-friendly framework.
Technologies: OmniGraffle, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop

Interactive Developer/Designer

2007 - 2011
True North, Inc.
  • Served national clients such as Disney, ABC, Glamour, and Toys ‘R Us as a creative technologist and digital art director in a mid-sized agency.
  • Crafted custom-coded media websites, microsites, animations, desktop widgets, Facebook apps, and games.
  • Planned, led, and managed the execution of internal web applications from UI/UX planning through development, QA testing, and launch.
  • Provided key contributions to three ECHO-award-winning campaigns.
Technologies: CSS, Unity3D, PHP, OmniGraffle, jQuery, HTML, Adobe Photoshop, Flash

Interactive Designer and Developer (Consultant)

2006 - 2006
Sanborn Media Factory
  • Designed and hand-coded front ends of marketing sites and emails for high-profile publishers including GQ, Architectural Digest, and Bon Appetit.
Technologies: CSS, Flash, HTML, Adobe Photoshop
2005 - 2007

Master's Degree in Design & Technology (Interaction)

Parsons School of Design - New York, NY

1998 - 2002

Bachelor's Degree in Film

Vassar College - Poughkeepsie, NY


UX Designer

Interaction Design Foundation (IDF)


Microsoft Office, Balsamiq Mockups, OmniGraffle, Sketch 3, Photoshop CC, Zeplin, InVision, Google Analytics, Sublime Text, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Figma, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Flash, Sketch, Balsamiq, Adobe InDesign, Canvas, Apple Keynote, Photoshop CS6, Principle, Adobe Experience Design (XD), Adobe After Effects


HTML, JavaScript, PHP, HTML5, CSS3, CSS

Industry Expertise

Media, Advertising, Marketing, Education, Film & Television, Entertainment & Leisure


iOS, MacOS, WordPress


Mobile App Design, Web Design, Front-end Development, Editorial Design, Consumer-facing Product Design, Product Design, B2C, User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX), Responsive Web Design (RWD), WordPress Themes, Usability, Interaction Design (IxD), On-page SEO, UI Prototyping, Web App Design, Information Architecture (IA), UI Design, UX Design, Bootstrap 3, User Research, Heuristic Review, University Teaching, UX Strategy, SaaS, Mobile UI, Mobile UX, UX Audits, Branding, Learning Management Systems (LMS), Project Management, Human-computer Interaction (HCI), Experience Strategy, jQuery UI, Web Technologies, jQuery, Unity3D, Visual Design, Educational Games, iPhone, Content Management Systems (CMS), Research, Movies, Pop Culture, News, Celebrities & Influencers, UI Specifications, Style Guides, Wireframing, User Flows, TV Shows, Sitemaps, Publishing, Books, Adaptive Design, Mobile Design, User-generated Content, Databases, Fluid Design, Usability Testing, Prototyping, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Paper Prototyping, User Testing, Interviews, Rapid Prototyping, Content Strategy, Responsive Design, Corporate Branding, Coding, Graphic Design, Template Design, Typography

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