Sarah Madden

Senior Manager for Research & Design

Hi, I’m Sarah Madden, a Senior Design Manager with a multidisciplinary background based in the Portland, Maine Area. I have 15 years experience across agency, product, and nonprofit organizations. I specialize in managing, supporting, and growing teams from early discovery research to detailed designs to product launch. My superpowers are my creativity and visual storytelling skillsets, in addition to my abilities helping teams get un-stuck.

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Hi, I’m Sarah Madden, a Senior Design Manager and multidisciplinary user experience design manager based in the Portland, Maine area. I specialize in leading design teams, building innovative digital products, and working on all facets of user experience research and design—from product strategy to user experience, content and visual design to front-end development—to make interactions and information engaging, accessible, and beautiful. I enjoy working with interdisciplinary teams and making applications, interfaces, and data visualizations that are engaging and beautiful. I especially enjoy creating tools to support educated decision making.

Currently I am the Senior Manager for Research & Design at Trussworks, a consultancy focused on making government services work better for ordinary people.

Previously, I was the Senior Director of Design at GuideStar, where we publish and analyze data about nonprofits. At GuideStar, I lead the design and front-end team, and work closely with all the product managers and a distributed team of software developers to facilitate product development, conduct user research, and iterate on designs in both drawings and code. Before joining GuideStar, I was the Visual and User Experience (UX) designer with WestEd, a non-profit research, development, and service agency, and, while based in Massachusetts, I was a designer/urban planner at Sasaki, facilitating planning processes and developing interactive digital and analog tools for campus and municipal clients across the United States.

In past lives, I was a graduate student researcher at MIT, where I studied the process by which cities adopted (or didn't adopt) new policies to support sustainability, and a designer and educational researcher in the STEM group at WestEd, where I managed experimental design studies and designed algebra curriculum. To keep my chops fresh, I've sustained a freelance design practice for about a decade, designing brand identities, interactive applications, print publications, and a handful of food trucks. My food truck designs caught the eye of Communication Arts in 2013.

On the academic front, I hold a Master of City Planning (M.C.P.) from MIT (focus area: Environmental Policy and Planning, with an eye towards how design can impact decision-making), plus a B.A. in Linguistics and a B.S. in interdisciplinary environmental sciences (from a program in which the College of Natural Resources graciously allows students to propose an individualized course of study) from the University of California, Berkeley.

I’m based in Portland, ME.