Tamara Olson, Designer in New York, NY, United States
Tamara is available for hire
Hire Tamara

Tamara Olson

Verified Expert  in Design


New York, NY, United States
Toptal Member Since
December 5, 2016

Tamara spent many years at Google, first as a UX manager in Ads, then as a design lead for Classroom. She spent time designing at Apple (apple.com redesign) and co-founded Studio Simpatico, a NYC-based design, and development studio. Tamara is an adjunct professor at FIT (interaction design) and holds a Master’s degree from NYU’s ITP.


Work Experience


2014 - PRESENT
Studio Simpatico (Studiosimpati.co)
  • Founded a business offering user experience/product design and end-to-end web design and development services (specializing in WordPress).
  • Worked with Unilever, Microsoft, Haven Life, M.M.LaFleur, AlleyCorp, Prose Hair, Sailthru, OK! Magazine, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Document Journal, Gensler, Silverline, Ten To One Rum, Hudson Capital, Sapphire Digital, Fireblocks, and AdTheorent.
  • Handled hands-on digital strategy, user experience design, visual design, front-end development, and complex WordPress/WooCommerce development.
  • Recruited and managed a full-time team of six employees. Managed all studio operations, finances, and HR.
  • Managed subcontractor (including graphic designer, front-end, and back-end developer) contracts and vendors for larger-scale web and eCommerce projects.
Technologies: Basecamp, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Sublime Text, InVision, OmniGraffle, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch

Senior Interaction Designer

2010 - 2014
Google (Google.com)
  • Launched Google Classroom to help teachers and students manage classroom workflows.
  • Worked in partnership with engineering/product leadership to contribute UX insights to strategic planning.
  • Managed the design and research team (three designers, one researcher) for DFP by Google.
  • Defined product requirements.
  • Created complex workflows.
  • Contributed to the visual design style guide.
  • Led usability studies with the client.
  • Created fully functional prototypes.
  • Trained in EDGE leadership.
Technologies: Adobe Photoshop, OmniGraffle, Sketch

Lead Information Architect

2007 - 2009
The New York Observer (Observer.com)
  • Led user experience for the 2009 Observer.com redesign. After the launch, Observer.com experienced a 60% increase in pages per visit, a 160% increase in homepage views, and a 455% increase in time-on-site.
  • Earned (for the redesign) a Webby Award nomination for Best Newspaper Site (Nytimes.com was the only other American site nominated in category).
  • Invented concepts and conducted focus groups.
  • Created wireframes and prototypes.
  • Authored requirements.
  • Led the project through visual design, front-end development, and Drupal 6 integration.
Technologies: Visio, OmniGraffle

Interactive Creative Team Intern

2007 - 2007
Apple (Apple.com)
  • Joined the Apple.com team in Cupertino for the June 2007 redesign.
  • Produced an independent project: a prototype for ‘Digital Music 101,’ a site to teach non-digital music users about iPod+iTunes.
  • Presented to the VP of marketing. The project was implemented on Apple.com in December of 2007.
  • Designed the QuickTime page + site map.
Technologies: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop
2006 - 2008

Master of Professional Studies Degree in Interactive Telecommunications (GPA: 4.0)

Tisch School of the Arts, New York University - New York, NY

2002 - 2006

Bachelor of Arts Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Media Studies

Macalester College - Saint Paul, MN

2005 - 2005

Study Abroad Program in Web Design

James Cook University - Queensland, Australia

Collaboration That Works

How to Work with Toptal

Toptal matches you directly with global industry experts from our network in hours—not weeks or months.


Share your needs

Discuss your requirements and refine your scope in a call with a Toptal domain expert.

Choose your talent

Get a short list of expertly matched talent within 24 hours to review, interview, and choose from.

Start your risk-free talent trial

Work with your chosen talent on a trial basis for up to two weeks. Pay only if you decide to hire them.

Top talent is in high demand.

Start hiring