Hello, I'm Neil Kleid; an eighties kid from New Jersey, by way of Detroit. I can draw, I write, I've studied improv comedy and grill a mean burger. As an Experience Designer, I create usable solutions for digital products. As a Digital Art Director, I identify and create teams that craft those solutions by providing mentorship, empathy and candy.
I started in print, but gradually learned I enjoyed thinking about how to better peoples' lives through design, ultimately solving problems via process, methodology, collaboration, iteration and visual kung fu.
I manage visual curation in terms of both a user's and business's needs, bringing them together in elegant harmony. I’ve been privileged enough to do that across several verticals including co-founding, designing and iterating upon a suite of collecting / casual fantasy apps for the Topps Company, helping establish a global digital collectibles market.
I'm most excited to work with a collaborative team advocating for users and create experiences that better their lives, ideally with a mission that means something to me, my friends and family. For example, a financial or insurance app or website that reduces fear of complex processes—like signing up for a credit card, say, or exploring the best life insurance for one's family—and makes it more welcoming and easy to use. Or educational apps / sites to help my kids learn, grow and better direct themselves in their educational journey.
When away from design, I enjoy baseball, food and pop culture, and have engendered a career writing comics, novels and graphic novels. I’m an art director/product designer with experience in mobile/digital design, UX/UI and interaction design, apps, print and digital marketing.
The user's need is your solution's north star, and though the end result may conflict with business requirements, a good designer strives to bring both together in harmony via elegant solutions.
Don't get hung up on where good solutions come from. A good idea can spring from the most unlikely well — whether from the most seasoned or most junior member of your team.
I always consider: "Can my tech-challenged father navigate this without a problem?" The easiest way to find out, of course, is to put a prototype in his hand. But that mindset has never steered me wrong.
You can always learn new things about your process and experience, continuing to iterate based on data, feedback, trends, patterns and audience evolution. Test, evolve, test again.
Design and Development are two parts of the same shared experience. Thinking about one without implications to the other does a disservice to your process and, of course, your product.
I'm never finished growing as a designer, considering new ways to provide elegant solutions for a range of evolving answers. There's always something to learn—but there's no race to learn it all at once. Listen. Learn. Return.