I'm Dennae Makel,

I'm Dennae Makel,

a Product Design Manager with a side passion for visual design. Over the last 7 years, I've had the pleasure to work on award-winning projects with some of the most talented people and coolest brands.

I believe great product design comes from a focus on the right questions, not the right answers. It's about solving problems so that others don't have. It's about building something that lasts and works well, and use data to help people make better decisions than yesterday. It's about use technology to improve lives, but the software should be just one tool among many in the arsenal. I strive to create functional, delightful and valuable experiences that leave a positive impact on people, our communities and the environment.

a User Experience Designer with a side passion for visual design. Over the last 5 years, I've had the pleasure to work on award-winning projects with some of the most talented people and coolest brands.

I believe great product design comes from a focus on the right questions, not the right answers. Caring about sustainability and longevity, I strive to create functional, delightful and valuable experiences that leave a positive impact on people and the environment.


Work Experience


Product Design Manager | Remote USA | March 2021 - Present

  • Execute responsive and scalable design solutions across web, mobile web, and app, with an emphasis on visual design, accessibility, and performance.

  • Oversee global web and app design libraries and manage a product design team that supports our feature teams.

  • Automate publishing and theming to deliver design assets by 21% faster to feature teams and decreased bugs by time to requests by 91%.

  • Collaborate with design, content strategy, and engineering to establish processes and guidelines to manage the design system.

  • Identify and nurture team growth and culture by supporting engagement programs and contribution efforts.

DICK'S Sporting Goods

Senior User Experience Designer | Pittsburgh, PA | Oct. 2017 - March 2021

  • Oversaw UX research and design efforts of the top half of the ecommerce shopping funnel to push the boundaries of online shopping and design system experiences.
  • Led product design efforts to launch a new store, Public Lands, which included user demographic research, design system creation, and complete website development.
  • Conducted and synthesized research to support user insight discovery, machine learning for enterprise-wide search system, and eCommerce behavior.
  • Evangelized the creation of DICK'S Sporting Goods Homefield Design System for all eCommerce, enterprise, warehouse, and store tools.
  • Collaborated and led teams of designers, product managers, software engineers, data scientists, analysts, and marketing creatives in an Agile environment.
Stink Studios

User Experience + Interaction Designer | Brooklyn, NY | May 2017 - October 2017

  • Created boundary-pushing experiences for diverse clients that merged omnichannel touchpoints with engaging designs.
  • Increased household penetration from 33.8% to 37.7% by revitalizing Chobani's brand strategy through a digital redesign and campaign.
  • Created museum and social campaigns that spread to new audiences on Wired, Fast Company, Ad Age, and AdWeek.
Reporter Magazine

Art Director | Rochester, NY | Feb. 2015 - May-2017

  • Grew the readership and advertising revenue of the monthly magazine by leading a team of 20+ creatives in developing visual themes, photographic styles, and brand consistency.
Carrot Creative

UX Design Intern | Brooklyn, NY | Jun. 2016 - Aug. 2016

  • Collaborate on multiples projects with design, strategy, and tech for Rick & Morty, Dove, and Rec It Sports
Ellipse Magazine

Art Director | Rochester, NY | Sept. 2016 - Dec. 2016

  • Lead a passionate team to create an overall vision for our nationally-award winning magazine and communicate a cohesive product in print and digital.
Cooley Creative LLC.

Associate UX Designer | Rochester, NY | Dec. 2015 - Apr. 2016

  • Strategize online design outreach with local businesses and non-profits.
  • Designed and conducted user research with interviewing techniques, usability testing methods, and surveys to ascertain user needs and preferences and reached out to 12 prospects with research results yielding increased engagement.

Creative Graphic Design Intern | Rochester, NY | Jun. 2015 - Aug. 2015

  • Create comprehensive digital and experiential marketing campaigns for regional brands like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kodak, Xerox and more

Skills & Tools

Tools: Figma, Sketch, Adobe Creative Suite, Zeplin, Abstract, Qualtrics, UserTesting, UserInterviews, Adobe Analytics, SessionCam, Github

Skills: Design Operations, Management, Mentorship, Collaboration

Design & Research Methods: User Interviews, Information Architecture, Survey Creation, Field Research, Heuristic Evaluation, Usability Discovery, Observational Research, Insight Analysis, Card Sorting, Prototyping, Design Workshops, Design Systems, Wireframing, Documentation,


Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, NY | 2013 - 2017

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design | GPA: 3.97
Minor in Advertising & Public Relations


Chobani.com Awwwards 2018

Site of the Day | 2018

GD USA Magazine Designer to Watch 2017

GD USA Magazine | 2017

6 Gold ADDY Awards for ellipse

National, Regional and Rochester Advertising Federation | 2017

1st Place Starbucks Packaging Challenge

Starbucks + Chase Design | 2017


Steel City UX Ladies

Member | Pittsburgh, PA | June 2020 - Present

Connect with women in tech to receive design mentorship, discuss new technology trends, and create diverse relationships across different industries.

UX Pittsburgh

Member | Pittsburgh, PA | June 2019 - Present

Learn from designers, developers and strategists about the latest research journals, AI, prototyping, accessibility and more.

RIT Mentorship

Mentor | Remote | Nov. 2017 - Present

Mentor designers (UX, Graphic, Print, etc) on college projects, portfolio creation, interviewing, and job hunting.

American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA) at RIT

Engagement Leader & Mentor | Aug. 2014 - May 2017

Coordinate events, social media posts, workshops and seminars for AIGA members and mentor new designers.

Technical Association for the Graphic Arts (TAGA)

Web, UI, and Editorial Designer | Aug. 2015 - May 2016

Design, organize and publish yearly editions on printing methods, workflow management, and graphic arts field research.

National Society of Collegiate Scholars

Leader | February 2014 - May 2017

Connect with professionals across a variety of industries and elevate high-achieving students.

Dennae Makel

Product Design Manager

Contact Me



Follow Me