Jon Sandruck

Multi-disciplinary design leader with over 20 years of experience applying human-centered design to projects, teams, and organizations. By directly connecting human needs to purposeful outcomes, I have repeatedly created superior results for users and stakeholders in the form of improved usability, satisfaction, engagement, and revenue.


  • Improved participation in employee engagement program by over 200% by activating volunteers and focusing on delegation, transparency, and communication.
  • Increased membership in AIGA DFW by 30% while President by instituting human-centered programming.
  • Directed design of a revolutionary point of sale for the world’s largest retail travel agency; securing a $1.4 billion/10-year contract and resulting in a 23% YOY increase in profit for the pilot customer.
  • Led the design of a mobile trading app that won Barron’s “Best Online Brokers” in 2013 and 2014 due to usability.
  • Grew a freelance design business into an award-winning studio; winning 36 awards and receiving recognition 31 times in 11 publications over 3 years.


Stealth FinTech Startup Remote

Head of Design (Brand & UX) March 2021 – Present

Operational leader, hiring manager, and most-senior designer.

  • Recruited and managed multi-disciplinary design teams covering UX, Marketing, and Events for two companies simultaneously.
  • Led the design of cryptocurrency and options trading platforms concurrently, including creating a unified Design Language System spanning both products and brand.
  • Drove company branding (naming, core traits, corporate ID, tone of voice). Created an integrated design standard that governs brand, marketing, and digital product design.
  • Facilitated definition and prioritization of product vision and long-term roadmap.
  • Established processes, standards, and practices governing the relationship between Product, Design, and Development.

USAA Plano, TX

Design Director June 2017 – March 2021

Hiring manager and Creative Director for a high-performing team of designers supporting P&C.

  • Used human-centered methods to influence vendor selection, strategic direction, and product vision for a billion-dollar system modernization effort involving 2700 features updating 86% of P&C’s system architecture. Supported 450 developers across 9 release trains.
  • Led volunteer-based employee engagement program for Chief Design Office. Directed a team of 40, including volunteer managers. Reported results directly to Chief Design Officer.
  • Facilitated the design of an Augmented Reality Car Buying innovation pilot, resulting in 17% quote generation and coverage in Forbes.

Sabre Southlake, TX

Customer Experience Strategist June 2015 – June 2017

Portfolio-level design strategist, working with Product Managers to create vision and roadmaps.

  • Integrated Human-Centered Design into the product development life cycle. Planned and facilitated workshops with every legacy domestic air carrier.
  • Directed a 12-person team of designers and researchers to create a next-generation travel agent point of sale; creating $32 million in incremental profits for our pilot customer in the first year. 
  •  Oversaw the development of pioneering flights merchandising capabilities that continue to drive industry innovation to this day.
  • Spoke on behalf of Sabre at multiple international conferences: Big Design, Global Business Travel Association, and Online Travel Executives Forum
  • Traveled internationally conducting on-site user research and Design Thinking workshops  

Principal User Experience Designer July 2014 – June 2015

Subject matter expert on interaction design and information architecture.

  • Guided the maturity of UX practice by authoring standards for visual design, information architecture, interaction design, and front-end development.
  •  Managed the professional development of junior team members.
  • Led research, design, and front-end development for the industry-leading developer-experience portal, Sabre Dev Studio.

Senior User Experience Designer January 2013 – July 2014

Designed workflows and interfaces for expert users of Sabre’s Travel Agency POS. Created information architecture schematics, wireframes, and mockups for websites, mobile apps, and desktop software.

xCube LABS Dallas, TX

Senior Interaction Designer April 2012 – January 2013

Designed mobile applications and games for clients including Trademonster, Sharp, Mastercard, Rovio, CBS, and Dreamworks. Led client-facing collaboration. Mentored junior design staff.

ohTwentyone (self) Colleyville, TX

Principal & Creative Director March 2005 – April 2012

Owner and Principal Designer of multidisciplinary design studio specializing in brand and UX projects for small businesses and non-profit organizations.



President 2016-2018

Vice President 2014-2016

Website Director 2012-2014


Shepherd University

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Graphic Design2000



  • American Package Design Awards 2012
  • American Graphic Design Awards 2011
  • American Web Design Awards 2011
  • American Graphic Design Awards 2010
  • American Web Design Awards 2010
  • American Graphic Design Awards 2009
  • American Web Design Awards 2009
  • Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America


  • PRINT Regional Design Annual
  • Logo Lounge Vol.7
  • LogoLounge Master Collection Vol.4
  • Visual Marketing: 99 Proven Ways…
  • Trademarks USA 2
  • Trademarks USA
  • Logoliscious
  • The New Big Book of Layouts
  • Designing for the Greater Good
  • Logo Lounge Master Collection, Vol.1
  • Logo Lounge Vol.5


  • Recruiting
  • Leadership
  • Relationship Management
  • Human-Centered Design
  • Design Thinking
  • Facilitation
  • Communication
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • User Experience (UX) Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Information Architecture
  • User Interface (UI) Design
  • Prototyping
  • Design Research
  • Usability Engineering
  • Mobile App Design
  • Responsive Web Design
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript


  • Adobe CC
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Dreamweaver
  • InDesign
  • Experience Designer
  • Microsoft Office
  • Google Workspace
  • Pages
  • Keynote
  • Numbers
  • Figma
  • Sketch
  • Invision
  • Mural
  • UserZoom
  • Maze
  • Optimal Workshop
  • yEd/Graffity
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randed Air Shopping Screens from strategic design deliverable.

Sabre® BLKBRD Point of Sale

Design Research, Product Strategy, UX Design, UI Design

As Customer Experience Strategist for Sabre Travel Network, my role was to imagine the future of our product portfolio. One of the proposals I created was a travel agency Point of Sale (POS) called BLKBRD.

Through my involvement in Sabre Red 360, I uncovered specific challenges that we couldn't resolve immediately due to over 30 years of compounding technical decisions. These challenges were affecting performance, adoption, and development costs.

To inform my proposal, I performed on-site research in the US, Canada, Argentina, and Australia. I conducted contextual inquiries in retail and corporate travel agencies. I facilitated Design Thinking workshops with traditional travel agencies, airlines, online travel agencies (OTAs), and startups.

From this research, I drew vital insights into the needs and behaviors of four key groups: Suppliers (airlines, hoteliers), Travel Agencies (traditional and online), Travel Agents (retail and corporate), and Travelers (business and personal).

The BLKBRD proposal unifies the workflows of different reservation systems by making booking a flight more like booking a hotel room. The new workflow creates opportunities to improve Air Shopping performance by relying on the much faster Schedule and Availability systems. It also builds-in opportunities for airlines to merchandise their offerings by creating single-carrier screens. On those screens, carriers would be able to control specific graphical elements and place advertisements.

One of those single-carrier screens is a Fares screen, which exposes the different fare attributes applicable to a single flight. This screen allows agents to book specific fares based on their attributes, without needing to memorize fare rules and classes of service.

For OTAs and Startups, switching from a single monolithic Shopping API to a combination of Schedule/Availability/Fares APIs improves performance by removing the need to process pricing requests from the GDS, and creating smaller payloads. It also creates opportunities for personalization, which benefits airlines and agencies.

Although BLKBRD is a long term vision and not created for immediate development, it has been valuable. Sabre received several New Direct Connect (NDC) certifications based partially on the proposed design.

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Selected workflow screens from Sabre Red Workspace 3.0

Sabre® Red Workspace 3.0

Creative Direction, Program Management, Design Research, UX Design, UI Design, Prototyping

Sabre Red Workspace is an agency Point of Sale (POS), and the flagship product of Sabre Travel Network (TN). In the summer of 2015, the world's largest retail travel agency challenged us to redesign it, and show them our vision of the future. They believed that poor UX was responsible for their 40% turnover in new agents. Their retention problem cost them $4 million each year.

With only eight weeks to create our proposal, we began by using internal resources to get the insight we needed. Our consulting team had spent months onsight with the client and had research we could use. We conducted Design Thinking workshops to draw insight from their experiences. Based on those insights, we worked together to create narratives of significant customer interactions. We hired an animator to help us tell the story we were developing.

When the client visited our headquarters, we made our proposal using an animated prototype and a live software demo. I facilitated a Design Thinking workshop to gather feedback. We learned about the challenges facing their business. We uncovered problems they were unaware of or had given up trying to solve.

Our proposal was a hybrid graphical/terminal interaction. It allowed agents who use the GDS terminal to access the modern tools we created. It also created an on-ramp to the power and efficiency of the terminal. We created analytical tools that made agents into instant experts. We pulled information about margins, private fares, and commissions into the agent workflow. We used behavioral economics to nudge agents into selling win-win products to customers.

Based on our proposal, the client committed to a pilot. They would convert their US and Canadian operations to our new system. If that went well, we would win their Australian business and convert 9,500 agents to the new system over 2.5 years.

Over the next nine months, we built design and development teams, designed the MVP, and delivered a working pilot. We did on-site research at their retail and corporate locations in the US and Canada. We used insights from contextual inquiry to improve our design and create new features.

Based on the success of the North American pilot, Sabre won the Australian business. However, while the business outcomes for Sabre are compelling ($1.4 Billion over ten years), the results for the client are the real validation of the design. The client was able to complete onboarding six months ahead of schedule. In the six months following the rollout, they reported an 8.7% increase in Total Transaction Value. In the first year, they reported a 23.3% increase in profits, totaling $32MM.

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Sabre® Dev Studio

Design Research, UX Design, UI Design, Content Design, Front-End Development (HTML, CSS, jQuery, Javascript)

From a design standpoint, the main challenge of creating Sabre Dev Studio, a site that houses documentation for our new suite of REST APIs, has been determining what to make that will best serve our audience. To that end, we’ve conducted ethnographic research, performed competitive analysis, created personas, and created a site and documentation to help them.

In practice, the most challenging aspect of the project has been keeping a cross-functional team of design, technology, and marketing aligned and motivated to create the massive cultural change necessary to complete the project. Dev Studio is the first product that Sabre has tried to market outside of the travel industry, and it represents a significant shift in our thinking.

As design lead for Dev Studio, I participated in research, synthesized it into a design recommendation, socialized the design to senior leadership within Sabre Travel Network, and ultimately presented the design to Sabre Holding’s CEO.

In the course of implementing our design recommendation, I took on many lots of work outside of my role. I wrote and directed a video. I created several app prototypes that demonstrate the APIs. I worked with developers to produce those prototypes for release as SDKs. I wrote hundreds of lines of jQuery code to apply Bootstrap to an incompatible content management system. I led a team of ten designers in a two-day ‘hackathon’ to create prototypes for newly added APIs. Most importantly, I have nurtured strong interpersonal relationships with individuals outside of my team, division and business unit, which are necessary to create cultural change.

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Sabre® Red™ Mobile Workspace

Feature Definition, UX Design, Prototyping, UI Design, Interaction Design, Usability Consulting, Production Art

Since sometime in the 1960s travel agents have been using a Sabre terminal to book travel for their customers. Sabre® Red™ Mobile Workspace is the latest iteration of this terminal, with a few significant differences, and a few notable challenges.

Principally, it's on an iPad. Using it requires typing cryptic commands on an on-screen keyboard that takes up more than 40% of the terminal screen the user is referencing

It also carries with it user expectations that the experience will be intuitive and magical while maintaining the user's existing knowledge of terminal workflows that have been slowly evolving for over 40 years.

The challenge of designing the next generation Sabre interface has become creating highly intuitive tools to supplement, rather than replace, the existing workflow. These tools range from maps and date pickers to tools that help users learn commands, or help them build impossibly complex commands that would typically require a background in computer science to construct.

Sabre Red Mobile Workspace debuted in March at TTX, Sabre's technology conference to the most enthusiastic reaction of any product Sabre has ever produced, leading senior leadership to remark, "This is the only time I've ever had to stop my presentation for applause."

When Sabre released it in 2013, it received 5-Star App Store reviews, which it maintained for five years. It also became the centerpiece of Sabre's efforts to create non-booking income. In its first year, it generated $400,000 of subscription revenue and proved that agencies would pay for premium tools.

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Selected screens from Trademonster Mobile iPhone and iPad application

Trademonster Mobile

Product Strategy, Art Direction, UX/UI Design, Interaction Design, Prototyping (XHTML, CSS, jQuery, jQuery Mobile)

There are plenty of trading apps for iOS. However, there aren't many that never require you to type to make a trade. While analyzing Trademonster's desktop software, we realized that although users could use their keyboard to execute trades, they wouldn't need to touch a keyboard at all with the introduction of a few well-designed controls.

We then set out to design a full-featured trading app that enables hardcore traders to obsessively research, monitor, and trade stocks, options, and bonds from the convenience of their favorite mobile device.

Recognizing the tendency of serious traders to check their accounts, quotes, and news compulsively, we designed the interface to be glance-able, with large, clear quotes, meaningful color-coding for indicators, and easy to read fonts with large, open counters.

We also analyzed the existing workflow of long-indoctrinated users to identify and eliminate waste in the trade flow. By consolidating the information on screens with highly redundant data, we were able to streamline the process of trading and reduce the amount of time between initiating and submitting a trade.

In 2013 Barron's Online named OptionMonster "Best for Options Traders," thanks in no small part to TradeMonster Mobile, which received a nearly perfect rating of 4.9 in their evaluation.

In 2014, as tradeMonster continued to integrate features designed by my team, they were awarded 2nd place overall in Barron's "Best Online Brokers." "A key to its continued high ranking," says Barron's, "is the firm's success in bringing desktop functionality to mobile devices."