I am a Digital Product Consultant helping organizations launch websites, apps, and brands. I’ve been a designer for 20 years and have been running Duane Smith Design as an independent business since 2011.
Today, with my strategic partner Bill Erickson (that’s us, top center) and our business associates, I focus on Strategy, User Experience (UX), and User Interface (UI), delivering Consulting, Branding & Logo Design, and Website & App Design services.
I’ve been trusted by Fortune 500 companies, universities, advertising agencies, publishers, law firms, professional organizations, manufacturers, health care administrators, financial service providers, and non-profit organizations to design beautiful and effective design solutions.
“I was ecstatic with Duane’s work on the new website. It’s not the first time I’ve worked with him, and as usual, he over-delivered.”Adam O’Kane, Product Strategist & Writer
“Thanks to his eye-opening process we learned a lot about our current customers and thanks to his beautiful vision and design skills we were able to develop a product to suit them.”Joe Memun, Arandola, LLC
“In the six months since Duane’s redesign, traffic and ad revenue have tripled, and we’ve registered over 110,000 new users.”Sabrina Snyder, Blogger
“I can’t imagine a better experience than I had working with Duane to update our website. He took my vision and made it come to life.”Ruthie McClung, PostOS
“Duane listened to our vision and crafted a plan on how to achieve it by directing us through the process and providing critical feedback.”Bill Sebell, Operations Specialist and Lean Consultant
“Duane is very aware of current trends in design and was able to balance his knowledge with each of our brand’s personal preferences.”Steven X. Longoria, Technology Manager
“Duane understood our vision and needs and really built something that exceeded our expectations.”J.T. O’Donnell, CEO at WorkItDaily
“Duane is a great communicator, timely, professional, talented, and he went above and beyond without charging me extra.”Mary Miller, Entrepreneur & Web Marketing Consultant
My design studio
This is my design studio located in downtown Richmond, Virginia where I’ve been since January of 2017. Prior to moving here, my business was located in Dallas, Texas — hence why I’ve had so many Texas-based clients.
Parking downtown is a nightmare, so I commute by bicycle. And also because I love bicycles.
Personal stuff about me
I studied advertising and graphic design at Kilgore College before transferring to University of North Texas to study communication design. After college, I worked in agency, publishing, and in-house environments before starting my own business. I am part of several design communities including the AIGA, DSVC, and Creative Mornings, and attend many industry conferences including HOW, Adobe Max, WordCamp, Renewbie, NSCC, The Dallas Show, and more .
My hobbies include bicycles, sneakers, vinyl records, hip hop, and drawing things by hand. When I’m not at work, I’m usually at home spending time with my family, floating the river, catching up on the latest Netflix show, or reading a book.
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10 personal tidbits:
- Demographically speaking, I’m not a Millennial or a Boomer. I’m part of the in-between, oft-forgotten Gen X. I’m also half-Japanese.
- I’ve lived in Japan, California, Texas, Virginia, and Midway Atoll in the Hawaiian archipelago.
- I got my first computer when I was 12—in the 1980s. I’ve been on the Internet since 1996, designed my first website in 1997, and have been obsessed with graphical user interfaces for 30+ years.
- I’ve never owned a Windows-based PC. Every single computer I’ve had since 1995 has been a Mac. I have however run Windows on my Mac when necessary. Right now, my primary computer is a 16-inch MacBook Pro (with an astonishing 64GB RAM) with an LG 5K Ultrafine monitor.
- I currently have several bicycles and zero cars—and I love old BMWs, but haven’t owned a car since 2016.
- I’ve broken a collarbone, both wrists, and a rib in various bike crashes. I’ve had two surgeries, and honestly, my shoulder still ain’t right. But I keep riding!
- My childhood hero was Michael Jordan which may explain my 100+ pair of sneakers, most of which are Jordans. I used to have a whole lot more, but I Marie Kondo’d my collection.
- My favorite musicians are Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, A Tribe Called Quest, De la Soul, Wu-Tang Clan, UGK, New Order, Earl Sweatshirt, Kanye, Ghostface Killah, Nine Inch Nails, J Dilla, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, MF Doom, and Run The Jewels.
- My favorite films are Interstellar, A Ghost Story, and Arrival. All three are SciFi and deal with the nature and meaning of time.
- The most useful books I’ve read are Design is a Job, Responsive Web Design, The Business of Expertise, and Making Websites Win.