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Cheryl Platz: Interaction Designer

Cheryl is a world-class interaction designer and storyteller based in the Seattle area. She is currently employed full-time at Microsoft as a Senior Designer and acts as Design Lead for the Azure Portal and Marketplaces. Past employers include Amazon, Griptonite Games, Electronic Arts, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Her 15 years of industry experience spans a broad range of industries: from video games to server management, from automotive design to the Alexa family of voice-controlled devices. She brings strong leadership skills to the table, with experience leading creative interdisciplinary teams, shipping multiple software products on ambitious schedules, and sharing her skills via workshops and classes to the next generation of designers..


  • Natural user interfaces: voice, gesture, touch
  • Non-traditional displays and form factors: small screens, mobile, headless, embedded, etc.
  • Designing at scale: Server management, theme parks, etc.
  • Designing for constrained attention: automotive, notification systems, kitchen and household use, etc.

Resume & Portfolio

Interaction Design Resume (DOCX)
Interaction Design Portfolio (PDF)
Deep Dive: Microsoft Client Management Concept Car 2010 (PNG)
Deep Dive: System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Information Architecture (PNG)

My Design Superpowers

Fearless in the face of complexity.

There’s an inner grace within even the most complex problem. By going to the source of the complexity in the domains I cover, I am able to identify patterns and use those patterns to simplify the overall experience of the product. My designs have allowed administrators to manage hundreds of thousands of devices at a time, have improved upon drivers’ ability to deal with interruptions safely, and have provided a standardized set of interruption patterns across Alexa’s many domains and activities.

Empathy, storytelling, and conviction.

My extensive background as a professional actress, particularly my background in improvisation, has made me a gifted storyteller and uniquely equipped to take on the perspective of users in any domain. My storyboards have been used all the way up to the CEO level to help communicate product vision, turning skeptics into partners. I’m an extremely experienced presenter on-camera and off, for audiences of 1 to 1500. Plus, I’m fun at karaoke outings.

Firing on both hemispheres.

I revel in both left and right-brained domains. Deeply technical with a Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction degree from Carnegie Mellon University, but also trained in traditional 2D art, visual design, 3D art and animation, and even stained glass art. This particularly helps me in my work on natural user interfaces, which are a combination of humanist design and systems design.

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