I’m Cheryl Platz, a design leader, author, teacher, and innovator with a unique career that spans enterprise productivity, information technology, consumer products, video games, and natural user interfaces like multimodal and conversational UI. My avocational work in design education and improvisational theater means I also bring significant strength in storytelling, process innovation, facilitation, and organizational influence to all of my work.
You can read here for an easy-to-scan look through my work history (professional, volunteer, and arts/non-profits), or you can check out my professional resume [PDF] and online design portfolio for more traditional formats. In the interest of brevity, my volunteer, arts, and non-profit work history is not captured on my professional resume.
Director of User Experience, Player Platform
- Lead and grow a team of 16 UX designers supporting Riot’s game-adjacent and cross-game experiences for players and developers on all platforms. Our work encompasses products including Riot Client, Riot Mobile, Riot Accounts, and cross-Riot game systems, commerce, and web tools.
- Serve as the craft lead for all of the User Experience craft at Riot, identifying and driving plans to enrich and strengthen our community of ~70 full time full time UX designers and their managers.
- Act as Design Lead for the Xbox Game Pass partnership between Riot Games and Microsoft across all of Riot, coordinating shared understanding and experience vision across all disciplines, game teams, and platform teams for an on-time launch to strongly positive player feedback and engagement that vastly exceeded all targets and projections.
Owner & Principal
I founded my design education company Ideaplatz in 2017 in response to the great need at the time for training to support designers looking to break into the voice user interface field. Since then, I’ve worked with dozens of companies and appeared on four continents bringing a wide variety of talks and workshops to designers looking to grow their craft.
Ideaplatz offers talks and workshops on topics including multimodal design, cross-device design, voice user interface design, artificial intelligence, new product design, design ethics, and futurism.
Previous Design Roles
Bill & MElinda Gates Foundation
Principal User Experience Designer (2018 – 2021)
During my time in the Human-Centered Design group at the Gates Foundation, I had the honor of applying all of my design and research skills in service of removing technological obstacles for our program officers and grantees doing our important work every day around the world.
My projects included large-scale employee experience ethnography, a year-long service design engagement for Teams as a replacement for Skype that played a critical role in the foundation’s pandemic readiness, and over a year working on the future of knowledge management for the foundation.
Principal UX Designer (2016-2018)
I returned to Microsoft to take on a challenging role as Lead Designer for the Azure Framework (2016-2017), mentoring earlier career designers, managing vendor teams, and spearheading the creation of new Azure UX Guidelines and the socialization of these guidelines to our 70+ partner teams. I also acted as the sole designer on our Azure Marketplace and AppSource teams, supporting a major relaunch of both.
After a bit over a year on Azure, I became the Lead for the new unified Power Platform Admin Center that unified 4 disparate admin experiences (Dynamics, Dynamics environments, Flow, and PowerApps) into a single experience.
My final few months at Microsoft were spent as a Principal Designer on the fledgling Power Virtual Agents team, helping envision new business models and groundbreaking approaches to WYSIWYG conversational agent editors.
Power Platform Admin Settings case study
Senior User Experience Designer (2014 – 2016)
I joined Amazon to become Employee #4 on an exciting “secret” project that became the Amazon Echo Look – a first of its kind voice-enabled fashion management device that spent 3 years on the market. My role encompassed everything from storyboards and design prototyping to research and voice hardware specifications.
During my second year at Amazon, I moved on to join the central Alexa voice user interface design team just after the Echo exited Beta. I was the sole designer on Alexa Notifications, treading new ground on the first truly cross-device voice notification system on the market. I also served as Amazon’s primary contact with external partners like Ford and Sonos.
Senior UX Designer (2007 – 2014)
Full stack design for enterprise and consumer products, including information architecture, wireframing, prototyping, high fidelity visual design, storyboarding, voice UI design, design guidelines, and vision work.
- System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (2007-2012)
- Windows Intune Wave C and D (2012)
- Windows Automotive Next-Gen (2012-2014)
- Cortana: Email, Messaging, Reminders and Meetings (2014)
Recipient of multiple awards, including Gold Star Award, Emerging Leader Bench, and Leader Bench (multiple years). Represented Microsoft4Africa at the iHub in Nairobi, Kenya.
Windows Automotive notifications case study
Lead Producer (2004 – 2007)
Lead teams of 8-15 artists, designers and developers in developing high-quality licensed titles for Nintendo platforms. Create and maintain game designs, product pitches, and team schedules. Serve as primary project liason with Disney Interactive and Nintendo. Manage user testing.
- Disney Friends (DS)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (DS/GBA)
- Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (GBA)
Electronic Arts / Maxis
Assistant Producer (2004 – 2007)
Perform a wide variety of production tasks (writing, game design, reviews) and manage external relationships with developers and certification groups like the ESRB and Nintendo Lot Check.
- Urbz: Sims in the City (GBA/DS)
- The Sims Makin’ Magic (PC)
- The Sims Bustin’ Out (GBA, PS2/Xbox/GC, NGage)
- The Sims 2 (PC)
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Professional Intern, Interface design (2002)
Interaction design and interactive prototyping/development using VB and Flash.
- Disney’s Photopass (in partnership with Imagineering)
- DTV Resort Television System (cancelled)
Interaction designer (2001, 2003)
Variety of expert analyses, wireframes, and prototypes for banking and software clients.
Carnegie Mellon University
Teaching Assistant (2002)
Provided one-on-one assistance and support for the ETC’s Building Virtual Worlds class, specializing in assisting texture artists using Deep Paint 3D and 3D modelers using 3D Studio Max.
Previous arts and non-profit Roles
The Online Creators Association
Administrator & grantwriter
Ensemble performer, instructor, director (2008 – 2021)
Performed in live improvised stage shows several times a month.
Taught several quarters of improv per year via the Unexpected Productions school.
Served as Artistic Associate Director of Digital Productions from 2020-2021.
Directed “Cupid on Mute”, a groundbreaking digital show.
Photo by Bill Grinnell.
Seattle Experimental Theater
Digital Media Coordinator (2011-2017)
Maintained multiple Facebook pages and company Web presence. Designed and launched dozens of successful ad campaigns on a per-production basis.
VICE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF DIRECTORS (2010-2012)
Helped to guide a worldwide non-profit focused on exposing more school-age girls to STEM careers and role models. Focused on branding, community building, Microsoft partnership, and outreach.