☰ Ben Sykes - Designing Experiences For Humans ☺


Ben is professional and creative. Give Ben some creative freedom and the results will surprise you. His will deliver the product on time. I recommend Ben highly and will work with him again. November 18, 2010

Kevin ShenkPhotographerKevin Shenk Photography

I attended several of Ben’s workshops while enrolled as a student and after graduating the General Assembly UX immersive program. Ben provides a wealth of practical knowledge and tactics for designers looking for opportunities in today’s competitive job market. His pragmatic advice is based on personal experience, so it’s both honest and inspirational at the same time. You’ll gain insight into everything from the job search to the interview process, what to do in your first week on the job, and even how to get started as a freelancer.

I appreciated how Ben listened to his student’s concerns and made sure to follow up with useful answers and resources. I highly recommend taking his course if you need a plan to get ahead in your design career.

Mike LeeUser Experience Design & Marketing ConsultantFreelance Consultant

I am so happy for the opportunity to recommend Ben! Ben’s mentorship through Job Search Stand-up sessions at General Assembly in Jan/Feb 2014 gave me the vital life skills, insider industry knowledge and the courage to find my dream job in the UX design field. Through a variety of workshops covering interview prep, resume polishing, salary negotiating, and design industry quirks/techniques, among others, he engaged our class and empowered me with the ability to manage the way I’m perceived by employers.

Allison Marie CooperUX DesignerWorkboard Inc.

Ben did an outstanding job of bringing order to a chaotic project where product requirements and the technology stack changed daily! He managed difficult personalities with tact and grace. All the while driving crisp decisions with an authoritative yet easygoing style that brought out the best in the entire team. I would work with Ben again in a heartbeat! September 16, 2008

David AbkowitzIDSA, Principal, Snap!

Ben Sykes is a great mentor. He’s very pragmatic and honest, with a wealth of knowledge in UX design and today’s job market. I’m fortunate to have him as a mentor through General Assembly’s UXDI apprentice program. Ben truly goes above and beyond, teaching and inspiring students on how to become effective, and competitive designers. He is always happy to help students with his enthusiasm and utmost support.

Rafaela LausUX DesignerVoxer

Ben was instrumental in helping me with my resume. He is positive, encouraging, and full of useful information. You can tell he really cares for people and takes extra time to help his students.

Phoebe YangUser Experience DesignerParcel Puppy

Ben is a dedicated and passionate teacher. His classes were filled with creative, interactive drills that got you motivated and kept you thinking, long after the class was over. His one-on-one coaching sessions covered high-level concepts as well as detailed recommendations. Organized, prepared, and enthusiastic, with a deep knowledge of the industry.

Lissa DotyUser Experience Designer (UX)General Assembly

Ben kept us ahead of schedule and maintained everyone’s spirits in the face of daunting odds and unrealistic expectations. He brought so much knowledge of communication client and browser-based design, and has a passion for creating interactive products that reveal the best in human nature, that the design discussions just aren’t as deep as they used to be. I hope the interactive video world is appreciating you, Ben! November 27, 2008

Alison RugeSr User Researcher, Voice TechnologyCisco

Ben Sykes is a creative, friendly, highly organized consultant. He would be of value to anyone wanting a really strong web prescence. From content to visuals he is simply among the best. While working, Ben also instructs, with both patience and understanding. In essence, he makes the experience ‘user-friendly’ and of sustaining value. September 5, 2012

Neeli CherkovskiWriter

Ben was my instructor for 6 weeks after I completed General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive program. He instructed our class on everything job hunting related. Not only did he engage us with relevant exercises and content, he was 100% supportive, always available to give us feedback and completely dedicated to our success. Ben was an awesome instructor, is an amazing person and I look forward to being a student of his again or even better, working with him in the future.

Zoe Edmead FisherExperience DesignerGreat Fridays

Ben Sykes is one of the few I would entrust to bring a proposal through to fruition. I would have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in recommending or hiring Ben again and fully intend to in the near future. December 27, 2009

Joe GardeFounderOnline Meeting Rooms

There are key qualities of delivery Ben carries. His diverse experience background helps deliver quality products on time and definitely always going beyond expectations. A few of the key areas I saw Ben really shine: – his ability to think way beyond the traditional and go into a leading edge mentality – decipher complex User Experience problems and be able to craft a strategic capability that maximizes user interaction and experience – Excellent presentation skills and highly capable of closing deals with C-level stakeholders I also had the chance to be a speaker with Ben at a Retail Banking conference. The ability for Ben to convey the importance of UX to various levels in the organization (from C-Level to the Business User) is extremely important and he succeeds confidently in this area. His designs and rapid prototype sessions were excellent. I recommend Ben for those that need his help. I can confidently say he will deliver and go beyond expectations. October 13, 2010

Milan DaveSolutions ManagerBackbase

Ben has a great visual understanding of how the web is viewed. When building my website, he applied that knowledge to include functionality and ease of use. He took my original design layout to the next level. My website is one of the best designed sites on the internet. Thank you, Ben. December 11, 2010

Clark WalkerDesigner

Ben is a great UX career mentor who has very creative advice on how to go about starting in UX, changing career to UX or navigating between UX disciplines. I had a-typical job history and goals, and working with Ben did make the job search and interview process much easier.
Thanks, Ben!

Aïcha DoucouréUX Design ResearcherUber Technologies

Ben has been invaluable in helping me navigate the world of UX as an aspiring designer. He’s helped me in many different ways, from crafting a LinkedIn page to preparing for interviews and negotiating a salary. He has a lot of experience in the field and is more than happy to share it.

Edward LewisContent Strategy and UXSupamoto

Ben joined my team at a critical time and quickly got up to speed. He brought with him expert domain knowledge of online advertising and was able to have immediate impact on projects large and small. He’s very capable of handling everything from conceptual product strategy to the finest details of the finished design. February 23, 2012

Neil RamshawDesign ManagerGoogle

I had the pleasure of working with Ben to design and build a curriculum to help junior User Experience designers succeed in their new career. Ben’s knowledge of interpersonal relations and deep understanding of how UX works in the real world was invaluable on the project. Ben was fun to work with but always kept on task, and was always open to feedback while keeping to a vision that he helped to build. The curriculum that he built is something that will help hundreds of new UXers world-wide be successful in their first UX job. I look forward to being able to work with Ben again in the future.

Adrian M RyanProduct Manager, Global Outcomes ProgramGeneral Assembly

I couldn’t have asked for a better and more available professor for an interaction design course. Ben was charismatic, knowledgeable and extremely generous with his time answering questions outside of class (of which I had a few). You can really tell that he cares about his students. The class itself was super hands-on and as a result, I was able to immediately apply the learnings on the job.

Elisa HeikenUX ResearcherSAP AppHaus

Ben Sykes was an incredible attribute to GA’s UXDi course as we finished up and started searching for jobs. His complete knowledge of the design industry, as well as job search techniques, resume and portfolio building, and interviewing all helped get our cohort of UX designers on our feet. He was even willing to give personal advice in setting up 5-star LinkedIn profiles and portfolios, and was more than happy to give his expertise as we go through the interview process. During his “job search standups” he effectively coordinated tips and exercises for interviewing, negotiating salaries, and even starting your own business. For the UX designer who is looking to get a job or start a business in design, Ben is the guy you want to talk to.

Alice BartonUser Experience Designer (E-Learning)Selfish, Inc.

Ben Sykes was an excellent teacher. He set expectations clearly, provided guidance through readings by using hands-on examples that leveraged key principles for great design. I would also recommend him highly for mentorship and career advice. 

James DocktorInstructional DesignConsultant

Ben lead a series of follow up seminars for graduates of the General Assembly User Experience Design Immersive program. These seminars covered anything and everything related to the realities of breaking into the venerated SF tech design industry, from portfolio pruning and web presence to interview strategies and salary negotiation. In essence, Ben’s job was to make sure that not a single student walked away from the UX program thinking, “Okay, now what?” Through deep, first-hand knowledge of his field and an unwavering belief in the potential of his students, he succeeded in doing just that. – April 16, 2014

Ben DedrickUser Experience DesignerSlalom Consulting

What’s really stood out about Ben’s work on AdWords has been his enthusiasm about the product and his willingness to go the extra mile. When he joined the team, he not only learned the product basics, he became a serious advertiser in his own right. Moreover, he conducted in-depth experiments with most of the competing products in the space and put together a detailed overview to share with the rest of the team. I’ve enjoyed working with him. February 28, 2012

Geoff DavisStaff Quantitative User Experience ResearcherGoogle

Ben is an insightful and talented UX Designer. He understands the user experience as just that, a chance to create a great experience for the user. He has a real knack for marketing as well. It was a pleasure working with him. January 25, 2011

Phil YoungSr. UX Designer | UI Designer | Visual DesignerBackbase

Ben’s been an absolute pleasure to work with. He’s informative, understanding, and listens to multiple voices in the room and condense them into a unified vision or desire. He’s very amicable and it’s been an overall great experience collaborating with him.

Micah GrossmanCo-Founder, Product ManagerRingadoc

Ben was a great mentor to me while I was working with his team (GDP) as a 20% UI designer. Whenever I needed help or feedback, Ben was always gracious with his time. In particular, Ben helped me in learning to articulate my design decisions to engineers and PMs and feel confident in my choices. I appreciate that Ben was truly interested in helping me find my way in the field of user experience design. February 5, 2013

Lisa DingBlogger Community ManagerGoogle

Ben Sykes is a technology leader and cutting edge professional in the UI/UX space. I represented him for a Senior UX consultant role with a Software Development Company in San Francisco. They were very impressed with his skills, abilities, projects and scope of his experience and expertise. Ben was patient and understanding and exhibited an exceptional level of professionalism that helped with the interviewing, salary negotiation and eventual hire process. He is an excellent team player and an effective communicator who doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘No or Challenge’. He is determined and resourceful and was recommended by previous managers. He would be an asset to any team that brings him on board. February 22, 2012

Michele SloanSales and Recruitment ManagerOriginate Resources/Originate Labs, Inc. (business partner)

Ben helped us remain objective when considering our ideas of what users needed in a collaborative file sharing system. He formulated our first wire-frames and later, high-res mock-ups published to the engineering group. He also wrote a first and second draft of our functional specification for a large web-based enterprise app. When user interaction discussions reached an impasse, no one in the room understood better how to deconstruct, analyse and consider the available options and possible implications for users, helping us weigh the best first course for development focus. Heuristics and Human Factors can be hard issues to sort, even when considering apps in a well-known space with years of tradition. Finding new original ideas to inject into the market-place was where Ben was able to help us the most. November 22, 2010

Jeff PapineauWeb Dev Staff EngineerYouSendIt

I have attended several of Ben’s Workshops at General Assembly, including the User Experience Design Immersive job search stand ups. He provided me with great ideas for finding a job in the design industry, as well as demystifying the process of becoming a UX designer. The practical information I learned from his workshops is a great bridge between the classroom and the job world. After every session, I had actionable steps on what to do next. I look forward to working with Ben on future projects, and I highly recommend taking any workshops he has available.

R. George KomotoUX DesignerSustainable Silicon Valley

It was a pleasure to work with Ben. Ben is a very energetic manager with a keen eye for detail who possesses exceptional talent for motivating and inspiring his designers as well as the people he works with. Ben is EXTREMELY knowledgeable in the study and practice of User Experience Design and always pushes the envelope to create innovative yet user friendly user experiences with the end result of increasing customer conversion. November 15, 2010

Michael SimonsonCreative Director Consulting - Americas / Sr. User Interface/User Experience Design ConsultantBackbase

Ben’s experience in UX really shines through in the way he gets to the bottom of problems and explains how design principles translate into best practices and sound design decisions. His tutoring helped me not only understand how to analyze design problems as a product manager, but to come up with fresh ideas, implement them, and defend them to stakeholders in a working environment. Beyond that, he is friendly, patient, focused, and always helpful. I would recommend him wholeheartedly as a consultant, a teacher and indeed as a mentor.

Andrew KoutsoftasProduct ManagerMetricStream

Ben is great to work with. He is calm, considerate, humble and effective. He understands the big picture and reminds me that users are humans too. At the same time Ben doesn’t shy away to resolve the tiniest details of a task flow. If you need to get it done and want a thorough design that is easily implementable and highly usable, I recommend working with Ben. April 18, 2008

Hans von SichartUser Interface DesignerCisco

Ben Sykes is a person who stays up-to-date on web technology and is innovate as he leveraged web 2.0 technology and successfully used widgets within a sharepoint site which this site is critical to the success of GFS. Thanks to Ben’s creativity and innovation, our online tools enable us to better serve our clients within GFS by offering audit tools, estimators, and exciting creative advertisements to educate our clients on the services we offer. His passion for user experience spawns incredible ideas which he used to help to improve user experience by making our tools more intuitive and easier for our clients to use, thus improving excitement and energy for the tools offered to our clients. Ben’s efforts and knowledge has promoted GFS’ web presence within Microsoft and has raised exciting ideas and goals for the future of GFS. I highly recommend Ben Sykes as he will be a great asset to any group he joins. August 24, 2007

Daniel EkbergProgram ManagerVolt Professional Services - Microsoft

Ben has helped me with a complex (nearly impossible) computer problems. I would recommend Ben highly. November 16, 2010

Thomas VolzPrivate CPA

Ben brought solid process management skills in gathering team requirements for our portal site. Our mission was to create a portal for new and existing clients to discover our services and view details on their accounts. Ben gathered our requirements, managed development of a visually captivating portal and offered some very creative, exciting ideas for marketing the site which I hope are carried on as his role is transitioned. August 24, 2007

Trevor ParkinsonOperations Solutions ManagerMicrosoft

Ben has been a wonderful hiring manager to work at Cisco!! His approach to has been diligent, but friendly and easy going. I can appreciate the quick feedback on candidates that I have sent to him recently especially since he has been managing the 9 hour time difference between us. The contractor I have already working with his group has given him the thumbs up and is enjoying working with Ben’s group too. He gets accolades from all sides! September 11, 2008

Kelcey StoneSr. Technical RecruiterAdecco @ Cisco (business partner)

Ben was a great manager to work for. He has great people skills. Ben is a great motivator, and has a very positive attitude which is contagious. Ben works very hard to insure that the people working for him have what they need to be successful in their roles. He was very knowledgeable about the systems we worked on, and had a deep understanding of how our products worked. I would gladly work for or with Ben again in the future. October 9, 2008

Jim TomaskoTechnical LeaderCisco

Ben’s determination on working hard had helped Oversee grow to it’s potential. I remember coming to work one monday morning at around 7 AM finding him at his desk. He had spend an entire weekend coming to the office because precision of his work was so important to him. I admire Ben’s courage and creative mind. I recommend him to any company/team who is only looking for solid growth and development. September 8, 2008

George ShemtovLead Senior Graphic DesignerOversee.net

Ben was the instructor for my San Francisco State University Interactive Design class. He delivers clear, relevant, well-thought-out lessons—and is funny, to boot. 

For a weekly night class, I feel I learned a great deal. Every moment was valuable, and the fact that he makes himself accessible outside of class is absolutely invaluable. His integrity & sincere interest in your success really show. 

I would take another class from him in a heartbeat, and I recommend it to colleagues all the time.

Deborah ChinUser Experience Designer, Print Designer, Production Artist

Ben worked on a project as our graphic artist for us at west coast cigars. we were really impressed with his ability to be prompt with his timelines and also the integrity of his work. He did exactly what we asked of him and made our product even better than we were expecting it to be. He was an invaluable resource for us and we will continue to use him in the future on other projects. In addition to his help on my own personal computer was amazing. His knowledge of what was the problem and how quick he was able to diagnose it and fix it was great for me. November 20, 2010

Frank BellaviaClient

Ben was in charge of my job search, post course completion, and preparation at General Assembly SF. I can say, hands down, that Ben was instrumental in my securing a position so quickly following completion of the course. He engages students with enthusiasm by using real world scenarios. He truly enjoys what he does, offering his expertise outside class hours without hesitation. I would, and look forward to, working with Ben in the future.

Taylor Glas-HochstettlerUX ConsultantFligoo

Ben brings to the table an insatiable appetite for detail orientation and the skill set to lend relevant progress to any interaction space, all with a great personality to boot. Taking on several projects rife with political intricacies and complex specifications, he expertly injected an immediate sense of order and adhesion to fundamental principles of user-centered design. I extol Ben’s work ethic and dedication to doing things correctly the first time. I am not alone in highly recommending him. September 16, 2008

Mateo NaresUser-Centered Design Engineer IIICisco

Hands down Ben is the best UX Designer in the industry. Ben couples a keen eye for detail with a kind disposition – a combination that’s integral for a positive, healthy, and efficient creative design process. Ben was hired by samesurf (http://bit.ly/cibUqk+) in January 2010 to develop functional specifications for the Company’s applications for Mac, PC, and Linux. His work product was extraordinary and his work ethic just blew all of us away. The team and I at samesurf wholeheartedly recommend Ben to perform any design or online related task for your company. Ben’s simply the best! September 14, 2010

K. David PirnazarCo-Founder/CEOsamesurf.com

I had the opportunity to sit through Ben’s course on finding a job in UX at General Assembly when I was first taking the User Experience as well as have Ben guide my UX Design Immersive through our job stand ups after the course had ended.
Ben is awesome at inspiring you and your job search. He offers expert advice based on his own real world experience and is always available to answer any additional questions you might have. I highly recommend taking a course with Ben if you get the chance.

Amanda YarmolichDesigner - UX | UI | VisualSEPHORA

Ben is an incredibly personable and supportive teacher. He brings years of practical industry experience to his mentorship and is a great resource for young designers.

Meghna DholakiaInteraction DesignerNuance Communications

He is one of the “Top talent at Microsoft” I really enjoyed working with him. His depth and breadth of Web / UI expertise has made significant difference in our projects quality and deliverables. March 6, 2007

Sam ChughtaiExecutive Management ConsultantMicrosoft

Ben is quite simply a fabulous designer to work with! I’ve greatly enjoyed his passion for designing the best digital experiences. He brings a refreshing innovative flair for the extraordinary, grounded in his research into the biology of human experience, as it pertains to human computer interaction. He speaks confidently and frequently around the world on this novel powerful approach, with superb understanding, benefitting both novices and experts alike. Ben is a knowledgeable force to be reckoned with, with an infectiously affable personality and drive to communicate profound concepts easily, to help everyone design better products. He has a tremendous wealth of ideas and insights to share; thus I recommend him for any speaking engagements or design projects that he pursues. September 9, 2008

Uday GajendarSr Interaction DesignerCisco

I took a class Ben taught on Interaction Design. Ben’s energy, knowledge and inspiring enthusiasm opened my eyes to the possibilities ahead of me! I started the class with an interest in the subject, I left with a love for Interaction Design! Ben’s open mind and open attitude is the way a subject should be taught. He kept me interested and wanting more. His willingness to share his vast knowledge… even long after the class had finished… is a statement to his ability and desire to help others learn and grow. I would definately take another class that Ben teaches!

Dennis KwesellIntegrated Art Director