Blazing the trail of experience design
Celeste M. Combs is the Founder of The Experience Group, LLC, one of the country's earliest consulting and design firms focused on usability, customer experience and experience design. Established in 2002, her team has provided services for dozens of clients and created extraordinary experiences for 300+ projects that have earned top industry recognition.
Celeste has an extensive breadth of contributions in the field that has spanned over 25 years. Sparked by a passion to make a difference, Celeste started shaping the design of products applying expertise in usability, human factors and ergonomics. From 1990-1992, she studied biomechanics with a focus on product design at the University of Oregon's top human performance graduate program which gave her the skills to land her 'dream' opportunity in Microsoft's Hardware Design group.
As part of Microsoft's Hardware Design group, she contributed to over nine award-winning products that have touched millions of lives world-wide. She entered the fray of the early web revolution in late 1997 as one of Seattle's first usability consultants. In 2000, she landed a groundbreaking role as Vice President, Customer Experience at Infopop (now Social Strata) managing the full customer journey, product design and customer support.
In 2002, she started The Experience Group where she and her team apply a knowledge and expertise in experience design, user experience and customer experience. The firm has helped make some of the top brands in world highly usable, simple, delightful and desired and earned accolades for excellence in experience design.
Celeste is an avid mentor, coach and strategic adviser, speaks at events, universities and organizations and advocates for small, minority businesses. She is proud mentor of many professionals, students and interns now senior level practitioners and leaders in user experience and design.
Celeste is actively involved in local communities supporting LGBTQ rights, a member of GSBA, supports minority business and an advocate STEM education.
As a seven year board member of Technology Access Foundation (TAF), she helped build programs with regional school districts and raise funds for Silver LEED Certified TAF's Bethday Learning Center, a regional partnership with King County and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This project combined her commitment to STEM education, sustainability and the experience of smart-designed environments.
Celeste is an avid sunset photographer, outdoors woman, dog lover, community participant and can often be found sitting by water consuming books about emerging technologies and sustainability.
2017 - Current: Chief Experience Officer, MirrorCache
2002 - Current: Founder, Chief Experience Officer, The Experience Group, LLC
2000 - 2002: Vice President, Customer Experience at InfoPop (now Social Strata)
1999 - 2000: Director, User Experience and Research, Tangis (Mobile & Wearables)
1993 - 1997: Senior Design & User Research, Microsoft Hardware,
- Business Member, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commercer (GSBA)
- Member, Microsoft Alumnet
- Past Member, Board of Directors, Technology Access Foundation
- Past Member, Board of Directors, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs - Seattle
- Past President, ACM’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) - Puget Sound Chapter
- Committee member of Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
- Committee member of SIGCHI
- Past President, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society - Puget Sound Chapter