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About Me


About Me

Darren Gene Peterson is a design strategist who leads human-centered research and new product innovation.

He helps organizations compose their vision for a project, understand the needs of end users, and set the direction for new designs. He has worked on projects ranging from providing design direction to an online gaming service start-up to exploratory user research in order to help a large corporation identify and serve new market segments.

Darren uses ethnographic research methods to investigate, in the field, the workflow and culture of organizations, and design thinking methods to turn the insights into opportunities. 

He has traveled extensively, in Europe, the United States, and South America. He has exhibited his paintings in galleries, as well as in the Minneapolis Institute of Art. One of his most proud accomplishments is restoring an antique tractor left to him by his father.


Darren Gene Peterson is a user researcher and design strategist based in Los Angeles.  






I have experience in many methods of human-centered research and human-centered design, including ethnographic interviewing and observation, and survey design and analysis.


Analysis & Synthesis

At the IIT Institute of Design I practiced many forms of analysis and synthesis of collected interview and observation data, from simple post-it note clustering to elaborate insight matrices. Some favorites of mine are Value Webs, Experience Mapping, and User Journey.



I've learned to prototype early and often. Prototypes should be a part of research, as soon as possible. A good prototype acts as a boundary object, improving communication and understanding. The best prototypes fail but provide insights as they do.



“Whoever best describes the problem is the most likely to fix it." - Dan Roam

Here is a link (pdf) to a model of a carburetor I made in one night for a class. The intention is to describe the feedback loops involved in a tractor's carburetor. Modeling is a powerful tool. By first creating a picture of the system, we can better think about it.



Communication and Implementation is an obsession of mine. I've come to see that good ideas are plentiful, but that bringing them somewhere is difficult. All of the other skills on this list come to nought without a means to influence and organization. This comes through engaging communication.



I am comfortable presenting in front of a large audience. 



In most of my projects, I take on the role of wordsmith. I am particular about writing style and tone.

The Gray Migration (pdf) - contributor
Privacy and the Self (pdf) - author


Project Management

As a product development engineer, I typically managed my own projects. This involved short- and long-term planning, and interfacing with many disparate departments.

I also have formal training from the Project Management Institute: Project Management Competencies


Business Design

Knowledge of the design of businesses using tools such as business model generator, 10 types of innovation, and lean startup.



Visual Basic