• Distilling 25 Years

    Dan Makoski shares lessons in leadership and innovation from the Chief Design Office. This book contains everything he wished he knew before becoming a Chief Design Officer, and is his gift to the next generation of executive design leaders. It distills 25 years of design practice spanning a decade of innovation in the heart of Silicon Valley for the likes of Google and Microsoft, a decade leading design in some of the world's largest companies such as Walmart, Lloyds Bank, and UnitedHealth Group, and 5 years in the creative and fast-paced world of design agencies.

    Design is for Everyone

    Uplifting Design is intended for any leader who wants to take the next step to bring greater levels of empathy, creativity and purpose into their team or organization. It is not only about helping organizations get better at design, but also about designing things that make the world better. The book begins with beliefs and ends with tactics, and contains a dozen principles of great design, case studies, design methods and stories about how design can be so much more than superficial decoration.

    Why Read Uplifting Design

    Readers will leave feeling inspired, uplifted, and filled with renewed energy and practical tools to bring a deeper sense of purpose and meaning to their work. Design helps organizations understand the lives and needs of the people they serve, which will in turn generate completely new paths for innovating from a human perspective.

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  • About the Author

    Dan Makoski is a Chief Design Advisor who has led user experience and design at many of the world’s largest companies, including Google, Walmart, Microsoft, UnitedHealth Group, Lloyds, Motorola and Capital One. He is a Fellow at the Royal Society for Arts, a founding member of the Design Executive Council, and a Catalyst at the AI-powered, social impact-oriented, design collective Neol.


    If you’ve ever said “Hey…” to a smart speaker, used Office on a Mac, sent an email with Hotmail or shopped on Walmart.com, then you’ve already experienced Dan’s design work. He started Google’s modular phone Project Ara, redesigned Hotmail, Mac Office and launched the original Surface at Microsoft, created “Hey Moto” while leading design research globally at Motorola (which was adopted by Google as “Hey Google”), and led a complete redesign of Walmart.com. Before launching his advisory, Dan spent seven years in the regulated worlds of banking and healthcare to bring a more human perspective to how we relate to our health and money.


    Dan has been granted residencies in both China and the United Kingdom as a global design expert. He is a guest lecturer at both the London School of Economics and the Royal College of Art, a Non-Executive Director and Strategic Advisor to design-forward CEOs, has produced a series of executive design master classes, and is a respected keynote speaker on design, creativity, and innovation.

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  • Praise for Uplifting Design

    “A must read for any thoughtful leader who wants to innovate by design.”

    Dean Kakridas, Design Advisor


    “I want every one of my executive and leadership students to read this book! As human-centered design becomes increasingly relevant to more fields, we need voices that can teach us how to dive deeply into what it is to be human and creative: Dan Makoski is the voice we need today to guide us on that journey.”

    Dr. Nava Ashraf - Professor at the London School of Economics & Director at the Altruistic Capital Lab


    Uplifting Design is a groundbreaking work that reshapes our understanding of design's role in our world. It’s a must-read for those who believe in the power of design to transform not just objects and spaces, but ultimately lives and communities. Perhaps the most striking feature of Makoski's writing is his ability to inspire. The book is imbued with a sense of optimism and possibility, urging readers to imagine and create a world where design serves as a catalyst for positive change and personal growth.”

    Travis Roche-Wallis - Executive Chairman & CEO, Tiger Water Global


    “Dan provides business and design leaders with a captivating glimpse into the pivotal role of the Chief Design Officer. Through vivid, real-world narratives from some of the world's largest organizations, this book brings to life the tangible impact of design leadership in influencing how companies innovate and operate with humanity at its core, ensuring they remain competitive in an experience-driven marketplace.”

    Gordon Ching - Founder & CEO, Design Executive Council


    “This is the book I wished I’d had when I was starting out in leadership. It’s full of deep wisdom and smart strategies for aligning hearts and minds as a design leader. Dan is a master storyteller and educator. Uplifting Design is not just an intent - it’s a heartfelt mission.”

    Kam Chana - Design Professional & Educator at the Royal College of Art


    Uplifting Design outlines a framework which existing and future Design leaders can utilize to enable customer-centricity in business. Dan shares his extensive experience as a Chief Design Officer for some of the biggest businesses in the world with elegance and grace. Demonstrating real-world examples alongside tangible steps and innovative methodologies, this book illuminates the pathway for aspiring Chief Design Officers. Dan writes how he speaks; and if you've heard one of his talks, then you’ve naturally been inspired. Prepare to be inspired again.”

    Alan Grehan - Head of Design & Research, British Airways