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Shane McAllister

Lead Experience Designer

Describe your role as a Lead Experience Designer.
As a Lead Experience Designer, my role is deeply rooted in understanding who I am designing for — their emotional states, expectations, and needs. I work closely with teams to solve complex design problems; define powerful, versatile brand expressions; exceed business goals; and streamline the development process. There’s a lot of collaboration: sketching, mapping journeys, exploring and systematizing the visual language. Everything leads up to designing the best possible experience.

What steps did you take professionally that led you to this position?
Every professional advancement I’ve achieved can be attributed to two things: the tremendous support system I have at Ogilvy and a healthy rebellion against my own comfort zone.

It’s an incredible feeling to know that the leadership team genuinely cares about me as a human being and wants to see me thrive not just as a professional but as a person. They push me to take risks and continually give me opportunities to grow.

Some of the more challenging steps I’ve taken have been presenting my point of view on emotive design to the company, leading my first project, speaking at a health-care conference, and defining my own role. But my motto is no risk, no reward.

What do you love most about your job?
I love so many parts of the process, such as deeply empathetic research, content strategy, journey maps, and beautiful visual design. There’s so much involved — psychology, biology, aesthetics — in creating meaningful experiences and building stronger relationships. Experience design is all about emotion. As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

What is the best advice you have received?
My friend Dan Landes recently told me, “The power is held by the myth makers.” I also once heard a former CIA agent say that the most important lesson she learned was that everyone believes they are the hero. Similarly, my dad once told me that everyone believes they are the center of their own universe. The common theme? We each tell our own story.

As designers, we have the power to tell meaningful stories at a larger scale, attract those who believe what we believe, and create change.

What’s the most meaningful impact you’ve made as a Lead Experience Designer?
There have been a lot of very rewarding and challenging projects I’ve worked on that I’m proud of. But I’m most proud of supporting my teammates’ growth and doing my part to build a strong, fun, and curious culture.

What do you like best about working for Ogilvy?
First and foremost, the people. Everyone is uniquely brilliant, is immensely talented, and approaches work with curiosity and humility. It’s refreshing in our industry and leads to lifelong friendships.

Second, Ogilvy hunts down the most complex problems out there. Solving a complex problem is a long process of assumptions and validations — with misfires, headaches, and constant pivoting. You have to be comfortable with doubt and trust that you’ll reach certainty. When your team does finally reach the solution, when you wrap a project, hand everything off, and look back at all that you’ve accomplished, it’s an incredible feeling. Then you celebrate, roll onto another project, and start the process all over again.

Interested in a career at Ogilvy?