About

pretentious banner image of me trying to look cool

Welcome! I’m A.J. Kandy.

I’ve been designing things for thirty years; the first ten in print and graphics, the last twenty in digital, including web, mobile, apps, and interactive TV. I have a particular focus on content-out, mobile-first, responsive design.

Voiceover: Previously, on AJ Kandy’s Career:

I’m currently looking for a new role!

For most of 2022, I’ve been a Senior UX Designer at Cubeler, a company creating an ecosystem of products for small businesses, including financing, networking and advertising. I worked extensively on creating a Figma-based UI kit / design system, creating function and screen flows, wireframes, some light CSS for proofs-of-concept, documentation for handoff to developers, and mentoring junior UXers.

From November 2021 to February 2022, I was a contract Senior UX Designer at ATB Financial, working on digital lending projects.

From May 2021 to July 2021, I was a Senior UX Designer at 10up, Inc, working on a remote contract on various client projects.

From February 2017 to February 2021, I was the lead user experience designer at Hitachi ID Systems in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Data Systems. They make highly technically nerdy products for enterprise identity management. I helped them improve their product line with user research, interface and interaction design, and information architecture, and began work on a living style guide project for a unified front-end framework.

From 2015 to January 2017, I was the Senior User Experience Designer in the web development team at SMART Technologies in Calgary, Alberta. I worked on several large, complex responsive redesigns of the Support, Careers, Training, and Reseller sections, as well as creating an atomic pattern library, usability and accessibility guidelines.

From 2013 to 2015, I was the cofounder and Director of Design at Peterson/Kandy, a Montreal-based UX, digital design & content strategy consultancy with clients in the US and Canada. Our largest project was creating a brand-new responsive website for Hagopian Ink, a NYC branding and marketing agency.

From 2011 to 2013, I was a Senior User Experience Designer at LVL Studio, an interactive design agency specializing in the television space. I worked on various set-top box, mobile, and “second screen” interaction projects for Telus Optik TV, Bell Fibe, The TED Conference, DisneyABC, and CBC Sports.

For more, check out my LinkedIn profile.

From phototypesetting to pixels

I started in the late 1980s as a typographer, composing stories and headlines for newspapers on CompuGraphic phototypesetting machines, and was there for the start of mainstream desktop publishing using ordinary Macs and PCs.

As a graphic designer in the 1990s, I designed countless ads, flyers, brochures, magazines, annual reports and more for clients including Multimicro, the parent company of Compucentre and CompuSmart; Air Canada; Power Corporation; and Bell Sympatico Internet.

I moved to web and interaction design in 2001, working on digital projects as part of in-house and agency teams at SAGEM-Interstar, King Marketing, Stock-Trak, PSL Group, Valtech, LVL Studio, SMART Technologies and Hitachi ID Systems, as well as various freelance projects for Advaero, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and others.

I’ve worked on:

  • digital banking platforms
  • enterprise web applications
  • responsive websites
  • second-screen TV companion apps
  • digital daily newspaper apps
  • medical education apps
  • cable set-top-box apps
  • touchscreen remote controls
  • e-commerce sites
  • project management tools
  • stock market trading simulations

Clients I’ve worked for include:

  • TELUS (Optik TV)
  • CBC Sports
  • Disney/ABC
  • Bell (Fibe TV, Sympatico)
  • La Presse (LaPresse+)
  • Mary Kay Cosmetics
  • Wall Street Games
  • The TED Conference

I moved from my hometown of Montreal to Calgary in 2015, and as of 2022 I’m now based in Chicago, Illinois.

I’m married to UX strategist and author Clarissa Peterson. 🦊

One more thing…

I’m an improviser with over 20 years’ experience, having performed Theatresports with McGill Improv in the 90s, sketch comedy with the Free Fall Iguanas at multiple Montreal Fringe Festivals and at Montreal’s Comedy Nest; Chicago-style longform improv with my troupe, Alacrity Improv, based out of the Kinkonauts collective in Calgary; and I’m currently studying at the Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston, Illinois.

I’m also a voice actor / voiceover artist (demo site coming soon), having trained with Steve Blum (Cowboy Bebop, The Legend of Korra, Star Wars Rebels), Brendan Hunter (Dragonball, Mobile Suit Gundam) and Emmy-winning voice director Charlie Adler (too many credits to list here)