TJ ODonnell

Human-centered design practitioner

Customer experience designer

Innovation adoption evangelist


Juris Doctor
Howard University School of Law, 1996

Master of Fine Arts
Design & Visual Experience
Savannah College of Art & Design, 2010

Motion Design
Savannah College of Art & Design, 2010

English, Philosophy
Hamline University, 1992


Managing and evangelizing innovation adoption
In the adoption of new ideas and technologies, it is not enough to have a good idea—that idea must be adopted to advance its potential. Most innovation adoption efforts focus on upstream activities (how to obtain and integrate new technologies). In addition to upstream activities, my primary focus with clients is on those downstream activities (the marketing and commercialization of technologies) that lead to organizational adoption of innovative solutions.

As an innovation adoption evangelist, I employ a human-centered design mindset, an agile management methodology, and a ‘meet the client where they are” communication style.

Through my eight years in the classroom, and 15 years in private industry, I developed the ability to earn the trust of my students and clients through honest, plain-speaking, evidence-based interactions. I am passionate about making people’s experiences more enjoyable and productive through technological and service-based innovative technical solutions.

Human centered design, and experiential design research.
As a service design manager, I lead cross-functional teams that define human-centered customer behaviors, enable clients in developing a deep understanding of their customers and their customers’ needs and facilitate co-created solutions for all phases of the customer experience.

My teams have enabled agency stakeholders to align their mission and programs through a deep understanding of the agency’s customers. My team transforms ideas into concrete solutions by employing techniques like journey mapping, contextual inquiry, and testing prototypes to minimize client risk.


Service Design, User Experience Lead, Manager
Accenture Federal Services, (FJORD) Washington, DC, Virginia
May 2019-present

  • Facilitate design thinking co-creation workshops: Employing a human-centered design lens, my teams navigate complex organizational relationships and bring stakeholders together around common goals and priorities.
  • Lead human-centered design research teams: I design, conduct and analyze usability testing and other forms of HCD research for customers. I lead human-centered design workshops, conduct contextual inquiry, develop customer journeys, and stakeholder interviews.
  • Manage the design and production of design research artifacts: I supervise design activities such as journey mapping, experience prototyping and the development of service blueprints.
  • Supervise information visualization activities: Organize complex information and communicate structure with wireframes, sitemaps and process flows.
  • User advocate: I champion the customer/user and protect their interests
  • Technical innovation analysis: Provide research, analysis and recommendations for technical systems and programs for government agency leads.
  • Human-centered systems analysis: Analyze, research, and scope technical solutions for agency clients.
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  • Conduct needs analysis: Analyze customer experience approaches (e.g. strategies, roadmaps, playbooks) that represent best practices for my clients.
  • Communicate innovation adoption: Define problems and describe solutions using the language of my stakeholders, adjusting explanations into plain English.
  • Diagnose: Analyze stakeholder needs and identify services that best address them.
  • Team Management: I maintain a safe, inclusive workplace where all team members differences are valued and celebrated. The more diverse and inclusive the team, the stronger our analysis becomes.

Clients: Department of Defense, Department of Education, Social Security Administration (Medicare), State Department, Department of Agriculture, and Internal Revenue Service.
Speaking engagements: 2019 Accenture Federal Innovation Expo

Pro-bono intellectual property and contract attorney
Self employed
Oct. 1998-present (8 hours per week)

  • Negotiate, and draft contracts, licensing agreements for clients who cannot afford legal services.
  • Lecture artists, designers and in schools about protecting intellectual property, negotiating and contract issues

Sr. Interactive Art Director
Havas Worldwide (helia) Baltimore
August 2018-May 2019

  • Human-centered design research lead: Ensure research, design, solutions meet client KPI and brand standards.
  • Evangelize innovative technologies: Maintains strong awareness of digital content delivery trends and tools.
  • Provide thought leadership: Provide leadership and direction for a team of designers, copywriters and production designers.
  • Communicate technology innovations: Effectively communicate the benefits and drawbacks of products and services to clients with varying levels of technical knowledge.
  • Storyteller: Create and present storyboards of creative ideas. Collaborate with copywriters, strategists to conceptualize and develop relevant advertising campaigns that integrated print, interactive, and social media.
  • Creative team management: Directed actionable concepts and ideas to junior creative teams.
  • Design strategist: Provide expertise in user experience research for strategists. Maintain best practices in the development of digital marketing materials and social campaigns.
  • Data visualizer: Conceptualize and produce original data visualizations for non-technical audiences

Clients: Starbucks, Fitbit, Autozone, AAFES, Citi Bank, Betrtolli, and Loews Hotels.

Human-centered design practitioner
Self-employed, Washington, DC, New York
August 2010—August 2017

  • Agile Lead: Lead agile teams in the delivery of client innovative technical modernization solutions and upgrades.
  • Cross-functional team manager: Lead cross-functional teams in the research, development and testing of client technical innovation projects.
  • Communicate innovation best practices: Effectively communicate benefits and drawbacks of products and services to clients with varying levels of technical knowledge.
  • Industry thought leader: Researched and wrote strategic social marketing white papers for clients’ media strategies.
  • Agile project management: Manage multiple development concurrent development projects, across different industries and cross-functional teams.

Speaking engagements: 2019 Washington DC Ad Week Conference, 2018 Creative Review Confrence.

Clients: USAID, Adidas, Future Publishing, World Bank/IFC, and Selfridges.

Integrated design program director, professor
Integrated Design, and Digital Communications graduate programs.
University of Baltimore, August 2012-January 2018

  • Developed online graduate courses in design-thinking, user experience, ethnographic research methods, and experiential design methodologies.
  • Directed and supervised the design lab at the University of Baltimore that enabled graduate students to work with corporate and government clients. The lab provided valuable hands-on experience for students in the development and implementation of ethnographic research techniques and practices.
  • Conducted audit of university marketing activities. The final report made recommendations that saved university more than $400k over three quarters.
  • Member of University of Baltimore rebranding team. Responsible for developing university wide roll out of the new brand and marketing plan for the university.
  • Expanded program offerings at satellite campus increasing enrollment by 250% over three semesters (this program was the only program at the Universities at Shady Grove to exceed enrollment goals).
  • Redesigned 30-year-old graduate program to address current market and employer needs. Increased enrollment in program by 7% per quarter over six quarters.

Professor, (User Experience and Service Design)
Graphic Design and Visual Experience MFA programs
Savannah College of Art and Design,
August 2010—May 2012

  • Directed and instructed graduate courses in design-thinking, and design research methodologies.
  • Institutional liaison between Walt Disney Creative Services, and SCAD career services
  • Faculty art director and studio manager for student staffed “Working Class Studio.” (Clients, IBM, Disney, and Gulf Stream)

Human-Centered Design Researcher, Creative Director, Partner
January 1998—November 2010, New York, District of Columbia

  • Led cross-functional teams in the research, development and testing of client technical innovation projects.
  • Encourage innovation through ongoing staff interaction, direction, training, and planning.
  • Ensured design integrity of all creative projects (alignment with creative vision, brand and strategy).
  • Strengthened client messaging strategies and translated strategies to various global teams and partners.
  • Provided coaching to client managers on how to manage or lead technological modernization efforts for online products.
  • Developed Best Practices for creating culturally customized print materials and interactive projects for national and international client base.
  • Established studio-wide design research and design-thinking methodologies that led to studio’s competitive advantage.
  • Managed company strategic planning, and marketing direction-setting.

Client List: International Management Corporation (IMG), Hearst Publications, L’Oreal Paris, Juicy Couture, German Department of State, Xerox, Vogue (Italia), BMW, Exon, Schering-Plough, The Smithsonian Museum, The Walker Arts Center, PhRMA, Becton Dickinson, Merck, Schering-Plough, Hill & Knowlton, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.

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