Alan Smith

Ryan Gantz

Product Designer & Strategist


I design beautiful products, satisfying experiences, smooth processes, digestible documents, amusing anecdotes, and happy teams. My brain wants to translate across the fuzzy boundaries between art, technology, design, storytelling, absurdity, earnestness, planning, and progress. I enjoy bourbon and popsicles. Let's make stuff that brings people together.


Design Architect @ Vox Media

October 2021 - Present

Sometimes imagining, sometimes articulating, sometimes executing. Areas of focus have included publishing tools; the redesign of brands like, The Verge, Eater, and Polygon; improvements to the Coral commenting platform; the Overtone design system; the shifting business model of the SB Nation sports blog network; platform migrations; and team culture/health. I'm regularly envisioning future states, and thinking through the paths, presentations, and processes needed to move our products, people systems, and audiences toward those states. I lead product design on multiple teams or projects, and provide support and direction to cross-functional collaborators across all altitudes.

Principal Designer @ Vox Media

April 2017 - October 2021

Shifted into an IC role to focus on problem solving, product design, and buildout. Efforts shifted across content strategy, research and analytics, brand design, UX, front-end build, product definition, mentorship, and other skill sets depending on needs of projects, stakeholders, and collaborators.

Mentor & Instructor @ Hack Oregon

Summer 2016 - Fall 2019

Guided students through design thinking and UX/product fundamentals. Advised hack team projects, helped design the Civic engagement platform, compelling data stories, and scalable design systems. Taught UX and product design classes through the educational arm of this civic-minded nonprofit commited to promoting engagement with public data.

Senior Director/Designer @ Vox Media

August 2007 - April 2017

Worked with a small but growing cross-functional team to design and build the Chorus platform, along with the many brands, ad products, community experiences, and stories it powers. Designed, launched, and iterated on web pages, apps, news products, editorial workflows, data dashboards, longform features, design systems, and internal tools. Pushed 6,473 commits to our codebase over 8 years. Managed designers on project teams across both the Chorus publishing suite and outward-facing sites. Set strategy to encourage balanced consideration of audience behavior, editorial needs, and business opportunities. Helped to build a world-class product team, and to grow a few dozen sports blogs into a huge digital media company.

Senior Designer @ Netroots, PlusThree, WebStrong

July 2005 - July 2008

Across several years of both freelance work and fulltime positions, designed and built a variety of political campaign sites, progressive blogs, and grassroots communities for clients including Mark Warner, John Edwards, Sen. Tom Harkin, SEIU, Bill Richardson, and many more.

Key Skills

  • UX, UI, IA
  • Content Strategy
  • Wireframes & Flows
  • Visual Design Systems
  • Branding
  • User Research
  • HTML, CSS, Sass
  • Clever Retorts
  • Copy Editign
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Openness

Fav Tools

  • Google Docs
  • Figma
  • VSCode
  • Staring into space
  • Adobe Suite
  • Whiteboards
  • Github
  • Chrome Inspector
  • Browserstack
  • Slack
  • Reminders
  • Hackathons

Hot Content


  • Marathons
  • Photography
  • Legend of Zelda
  • Family
  • Video Editing
  • Improv
  • Guitar
  • Conversation
  • Boggle