Challis is an Experience Strategist, change agent, and business leader whose core expertise lies in building organizations, processes, infrastructure and teams that deliver user-centered products, services, software and Internet solutions. He has been instrumental in the evolution of methods and processes that bring human perspective to the application of technology, ultimately creating and retaining business value. Challis is widely regarded as a thought leader in the user experience and design industries.
Currently Challis is Vice President User Experience at the Nielsen Company where he oversees user experience across online products. Previously Challis was Vice President of User Experience at Bridge Worldwide a WPP company. Prior to Bridge Worldwide Challis was Director of User Experience for the central Region at Avenue A | Razorfish ranked by Ad Age as the largest Interactive Agency. Before joining Avenue A | Razorfish he was a Consultant to Management in the areas of Research, Innovation, Interactive Strategy, and Customer Experience.
Challis was also CEO and co-founder of HannaHodge where he provided vision, business direction and industry insight for one of the industries pioneering user experience firms. HannaHodge broke new ground in combining rigorous user-centered design and testing methods, research methods from anthropology and the social sciences, business strategy and advanced technology all combined in one customer-centered process.
He brings with him an extensive range of leadership and hands-on experience in the study of relationships between computers and people. Challis was preparing for a career in Human-Computer Interaction in the field’s earliest stages. In the early 80’s he did extensive studies in fine art, engineering, and psychology before embarking on a 5 year undergraduate degree in industrial design at the University of Cincinnati. He later returned to the University of Cincinnati to earn a Master of Design degree in Human-Computer Interaction.
Challis has led a number of initiatives to advance the study of relationships between computers and people. Prior to founding HannaHodge, he participated in the early development of the IBM Global Services consulting business. There, he developed user interface solutions and strategies for companies in the automotive, banking and technology industries. While specializing in research for the creation of digital branding strategies, emotion and user experience in interactive products, he led the charge for the design of such products as handheld and portable devices.
In addition, he has held academic posts at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Cincinnati where he was active in governance and curriculum development. He taught courses such as digital media, human-computer interaction, interface design, industrial design, computer graphics, 2D and 3D animation and design visualization/communication. In addition he was responsible for running the University of Cincinnati’s 150-seat Computer Graphics Center.
Challis is active in a variety of organizations including Design Management Institute (DMI), American Center for Design (ACD), American Institute of Graphic Art – Advance for Design (AIGA), Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM / SIGCHI). He holds a BS in Industrial Design and a Masters of Design in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Cincinnati.