Michael Szczepanski (chuh pan ski)

Helping design better digital products and user experiences.

I’m a product (UX / UI) designer in Minneapolis that loves to help make technology much more simple. Whether it’s refining old software or devices connected to your home, I try my best to make sure that experience doesn’t suck for the people like you or the people building it.

Sleep Tracking System

Helping a small team of innovators bring new sleep tech to the market by building the user interface for a sleep tracking app and hardware.

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Blockchain Dating App

A dating app that helps you find how you align with your date, while on your first date in a secure in person way of connecting.

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Bark Park

You and your dog need to get out more, explore new places, meet new people, and maybe make a few friends in the process. It’s not an easy thing to start doing, but this app can help make it easier.

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Supply Chain Software Design Systen

Supply Chain Platform

For over two years I helped teams build apps that help retailers make better decisions with ordering the right products. Check out a brief summary of the visualizations and platform wide improvements.

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IoT Smart Rooms

I built a IoT device that lets people in offices know if the bathroom is in use. After testing I learned it could be used for companies to keep track of the status in their conference rooms.

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UX Team Dashboard

Too many designers working on too many projects, how do you keep track of what's being worked on and where someone is? With remote and traveling employees it's easier by using this dashboard on a TV.

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A portrait of Michael Szczepanski

Who is this person?

Hey, I’m Michael

I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota and over the last 12 years I’ve been building websites and apps full time. I used to be a front end developer that got roped into UX due to my natural attraction to planning things out. I’ve worked at with all sorts of teams: from burning out at an agency to moving at a snails pace in enterprise. I don’t live, breathe, and eat design but I’m really good at it and get energized helping people make cool things even better.

When I’m not working on building digital apps I spend a lot of my time skateboarding, filming other skaters, and produce a YouTube channel reviewing products that help people sleep better. I also enjoy working out and playing video games with friends as a way to be competitive and socialize.

I’ve battled with perfectionism and overworking in my career and have put a larger focus on the balance of things outside of work. Design can really burn people out and I’ve found it important to take a step back and have other things outside of the constant demand of digital products that never end.

Me filming a flip trick down a set of stairs at Familia HQ Skatepark Me filming a 50-50 on a tall retaining wall Me doing a manual off a ledge at an outdoor skatepark A still of me from a video course

Educating and Entertaining Knowledge in Product Design

Over the last 10 years I’ve accumulated stories that play out like a season of Seinfeld. Somehow people like hearing about those lessons, my opinions of popular design trends, and the tips & tricks I can’t help but share. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at The Nerdery, The University of Minnesota, design meetups, and in various videos about design.

Speaking @ Conferences
Design Meetups
Company Presentations
Remote Designer Mentorship

Industries I love

Over the years I’ve had a lot of variety in projects and clients. In that journey I’ve found a few areas of design that align with my interests and allowed me to dive deep into the subject to make better experiences for a diverse set of people. The following areas are topics I’m well versed in and would love to help your team by leveraging that knowledge.

IOT & Connected Devices

I picked up an Arduino in 2013 and had a blast building things and grasped the concept of connected devices and all the design elements of it. How to set devices up, how to tell people batteries are low, and how to get the most out of a product. I’ve worked with many engineers and have a diverse view of how to build a physical, connected product.

Health & Fitness

I’m someone who started working out in their adulthood and suffered from a chonic illness. Apps that help people improve their lives through supplements, programs, or tracking their reps in a set. It’s rewarding to help people reach their potential and become more healthy and disciplined.

Sleep Tracking

I have tons of experience in the sleep industry, from reviewing sleep devices on YouTube to working on a sleep tracking device from the ground up. I know a ton about how to help users get better sleep and even more about the technology involved to make it happen in a way that makes sense to users of all types.

Data Visualization

If there’s one thing a CEO loves it’s a good chart. I’ve had to build a lot of them for product dashboards, roadmap presentations, and the results of user testing. I enjoy building performance centered designs to show users how they’re improving or new insights on behavior.

I've learned from teams big and small

I’ve been lucky to work with some great companies with their user experience as a contractor, employee, or through an agency. From startups to big enterprise environments, I’ve seen a lot of companies succeed and fail all while learning from those lessons.

  • Facebook
  • Uber
  • SmartThings
  • Ford
  • Northpass
  • When I Work

I'm really good at a few things

I’m a generalist designer whose worked on various projects with other designers and mentors with a very diverse set of skills. I look at design as a holistic exercise and try to approach each step while considering all the other parts to creative a cohesive experience strategy.

User Journeys

Ideas are plentiful but plans are rare. I help people detail out their ideas into flows and diagrams to help discover blindspots, opportunities, and empathy for the user. The end result is documentation that the team can collaborate and build consensus to help design and development.

Interface Design

I’m experienced building interfaces for touch screen kiosks, mobile apps, and even physical devices. I always focus on the users goals and minimizing confusion by creating detailed wireframes that the team can rally behind and test with users early and often.

Prototyping & Testing

Early on I learned the hard way that a lot of my ideas didn’t pan out and it was a real ego check. I don’t like arguing over hypothetical results on ideas, I’d prefer to put them in users hands and measure the success without asking people what they want.

What are my coworkers saying about me?

I’ve worked with a ton of people and have made everlasting friendships with many of them. I care deeply about my team, whether that’s a PM or a developer, and always make sure their voices are heard. In return I’ve received some great feedback from different types of people at all sorts of companies.

The value Michael brings to a team is nearly impossible to quantify. His soft skills are only outshined by his intelligence and ability to solve real world problems. Working with Michael made me a better designer and I know I can bring any problem to him and expect a new and unique viewpoint.

Jake Haugen Senior Product Designer @ Consensys

My experiences with Michael have been fantastic. He takes a methodological approach with each client and everyone comes out a winner. Michael's one of the most creative and talented people I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

Chris Cheney Practice Lead @ Persuade

Michael is a great team guy, a vocal leader, and a good person. If you're looking for someone who thinks like a designer AND a developer AND a product manager AND most importantly the user — Michael is your guy.

Chuck Mallott Director of Design @ Northpass

Michael is a pragmatic and focused designer who invests deeply in his work, and those he works with. He was a pleasure to work with and I will be deeply jealous of those lucky people who get to work along side him in the future.

Logan Wilberts Lead Product Designer @ Target

Michael is one of the best User Experience Designers I’ve worked with in my career. He not only can solve problems with ease but questions if it’s the right problem to solve from the start.

Lindsey Wilkerson Product Designer @ SPS Commerce

Let’s Chat

I’d love to chat with you more about what you’re working on, whether it’s something you want me to help you build or if it’s something you’re already building and want a second set of eyes on. I’m always happy to chat for an hour to meet new people and make new connections.

Projects & Employment

Are you building a new product, or need a second set of eyes on an existing one? I love seeing what people are working on and helping improve their designs. Reach out if you want to discuss a project together.

Design Mentorship

Are you a new designer looking for some advice on how to navigate a new career? How to work with developers? How to keep a clients expectations in check? I’d love to chat with you and offer any help I can.