About Paul

I am a UX strategist and product design expert whose work makes it easier and more engaging for people to do what they are passionate about. I have helped companies and organizations increase retention and engagement, garner higher ratings, and boost word-of-mouth growth. I currently work on a special projects team at Pearson in Boston developing new products for life-long learning.

As a member of the UX team at Pearson, I developed digital textbook features and improvements that increased engagement, app store ratings, and resulted in two design patents.

Previously, as founder and head of product at Sonation, a winner of the Harvard University cultural entrepreneurship challenge, I led a team that re-designed a university laboratory application as a new mobile app for classical musicians that made singing and playing music more fun and engaging. The app, Cadenza, grew monthly active users over 800% in the first year and was selected by Apple as a “best new app” in 21 countries.

I worked on the communications team at Yale and Rockefeller Universities with Nobel-prize-winning scientists, writers, and visual designers to translate complex biomedical research into engaging stories for the general public.

Earlier in my career I founded MIT AI Lab spin-off Smith Renaud, where I served as CEO, creating products and advanced web solutions for some of the world’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, publishers, advertising agencies, and media companies, such as Sony Classical, J Walter Thompson, Grey Advertising, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, the American Museum of Natural History, Asia Society, Workman Publishing, and the City of New York.

I live in Boston with my wife and daughter and I play cello and piano.

  • Develops product strategy to achieve business objectives by iterating toward product-market fit
  • Works closely and effectively with managers, designers, writers, engineers, and researchers
  • Leads products and features through concept, design, prototyping, refinement, development and deployment
  • Skilled in creating sketches, wireframes, high fidelity comps, prototypes, and written documentation, using modern design and prototyping tools
  • Strong verbal, written and visual presentation skills, including the ability to articulate rationales, advocate for great solutions
  • Experience working in Lean UX, and Agile methods and cadences
  • Experience in fast-paced tech startups, top-tier research institutions, large corporations, performing arts and cultural organizations
  • Leads teams to create and ship high-quality consumer product experiences
  • Ready, willing and able to dive into the work to get things done
  • Fosters positive and supportive collaboration
  • Experience hiring and building high-functioning teams
  • Comfortable with ambiguity, change, and the need for flexibility
  • Experience working on unified UI and UX design for responsive web and iOS
  • Knowledge of Apple UI frameworks and familiarity with their underlying technology
  • Sketch
  • Principle
  • Figma
  • InDesign/Zeplin/Abstract
  • HTML/CSS/JS/PHP
  • Keynote
  • Xcode
  • iMovie, Garageband, Logic Pro
  • JIRA, Github
  • Adobe CS, Affinity Photo/Designer
  • Unity
  • Reality Composer
  • Omnigraffle
  • Mac user – continuously since 1984

I’ve been playing music since I was seven years old. I became a serious classical music student. I studied composition at Oberlin Conservatory and conducting at Curtis Institute and Tanglewood. Markand Thakar, Leonard Bernstein, and Sergiu Celibidache were my teachers. I founded the Boston Symphonic Laboratory, an organization dedicated to researching, trying, and sharing the methods most likely to lead to great performances. So, every now and then I like to explore music created by some of the world’s great musical minds, like Bach and Beethoven, to see what I can learn.

You can hear my latest recordings reflecting that endeavor on all the major music services.

A recent release