Neal Bayless

Head of Product

NealBayless

New York City, NY

I do product, design, UX, and strategy in interactive: web, responsive, mobile, e-commerce. I also work in photography and industrial design. Always looking for opportunities to work with talented people on complex and challenging projects.

Experience

  • Head of Product, Creative Director
    New York, NY
    2010 - Present
    smlxl design
    I created smlxl as a boutique, full-service agency. It also serves as an umbrella for consulting, freelance, and other work. I do product, design, UX, and strategy in interactive: web, responsive, mobile, e-commerce. I also work in photography and industrial design. Always looking for opportunities to work with talented people on complex and challenging projects. In NYC, LA, and Chicago since 1993.

    Interactive: I am a creative & product leader with deep experience building customer-focused solutions that drive the bottom line. Succeeding through the combination of passion for innovative & effective user experiences with the breadth of knowledge needed to deliver them. I build teams that build excellent products. I have a proven track record of success on complex, ambitious initiatives — as leader, liaison and concrete contributor. Clients and projects include: ADP, Huge, Nestlé, MyPublisher (acquired by Shutterfly), Citibank, Nourish, and more. Other engagements have included rapidly developing e-commerce startups as well as leaders across a spectrum of verticals and industries.

    Photography: Freelance, commissions, and independent work. Editorial, gallery / collections / museums. Social media and advertising.

    Industrial Design: Flexible, modular, and interchangeable case & bag systems. Designed and created to order for photographers and others with unique requirements when toting the tools of their trade.
  • Executive Producer (Product Development)
    New York, NY
    Jul 1999 - May 2010
    FreshDirect
    The second employee at FreshDirect, I defined and lead all customer-facing aspects of the brand and shopping experience. I oversaw product management and user experience for www.freshdirect.com and all related channels.

    Creative & User Experience
    • Defined and oversaw the development & evolution of e-commerce as well as all multi-channel communications: concept, user experience, interface design and content development.
    • Drove to an annual revenue of $240 million with sustained and profitable growth by managing and/or creating every customer-facing component of the complete, end-to-end experience of FreshDirect.

    Product Development
    • Led initiative review and prioritization process with Senior Management, defining and optimizing a multi-million dollar portfolio of major new features, functionalities and enhancements.
    • Created and owned the Recommender Systems practice for personalized recommendations and collaborative filtering. Grew to account for over 12% of all sales in its first eighteen months.
    • Established mobile commerce strategy and launched the FreshDirect iPhone app in 2009.

    Team Leadership
    • Helped build, manage and inspire a Creative Department comprising IA and UX, Art Direction, Photography, Editorial, and Content Management
    • Forged strong partnerships as a cross-functional liaison to reinforce shared priorities among diverse teams.
    • Optimized capabilities and time-to-market through the direct management of key vendor and third-party relationships.
  • Senior Designer
    New York, NY
    1997 - 1999
    Sony Music
    Led the design, implementation and presentation of Sony's first-ever prototype for online music delivery. Responsible for strategy, art direction, design, and implementation of online presences and experiences across Sony Music Entertainment properties. Worked with key artists: Bob Dylan, Mariah Cary, et al. as well as major labels: Sony Music, Columbia Records, Sony Classical, Red Records.
  • Senior Producer
    New York, NY
    1996 - 1997
    Eagle River Interactive
    Built out the NYC offices of Eagle River, the world's largest interactive agency at the time. Hired and directed teams of designers, programmers, and engineers. Defined and managed interactive and e-commerce projects, new business development and client services. Clients included American Express, IBM, Pfizer and Merrill Lynch. (Eagle River merged with Agency.com in 1998.)

Education

  • M.F.A.
    Chicago, Illinois
    1992 - 1994
    School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • B.A.
    Bronxville, NY
    1987 - 1991
    Sarah Lawrence College