Ten-year digital veteran Tim Allen steers the course of R/GA’s 100-plus strong user experience design department. He’s also in charge of bringing a human touch to the agency’s projects and extending product experiences into the digital space. He was instrumental in creating some of the agency’s celebrated Nike campaigns, including Nike "Black Mamba" starring Kobe Bryant and his alter ego, the Nike Film Room, the Nike+ GPS app and others. Currently, he’s collaborating with R/GA’s data visualization department to develop a new prototyping studio, designed to help the agency and clients assess the usability of a potential project—and also, whether or not it’s worth an investment.
Ultimately, Allen strives to ensure that the agency’s work delivers a balance between utility and emotion. “The biggest mistake I’ve seen experience designers make as students and professionals is over-indexing in pragmatism and forgetting that utility needs to be tempered with emotion and story,” he said. “Interaction can be a form of storytelling as much as it can enable the completion of a task.”