I'm Michael Suen — designer, illustrator, & writer.
I run a small design studio called Suen Labs, where we work with good people to ship awesome websites, products, and stories. I'm of the belief that the best user experiences blur the line between work and play. Audiences love using them, and we love making them.
Projects I've worked on have been featured by Wired, TechCrunch and NPR, won awards at SXSW Interactive and the Games for Change Festival, and involved partners like MIT, the UN and the Gates Foundation. I've collaborated with multi-million dollar firms, one-man startups, two TED speakers, and the creator of a classic children's computer game. In a former life, I made holograms for museums and video games for schools.
Spawned in the tar pits of L.A., raised by capitalist wolves in Hong Kong, and educated on the ice planet of Vermont, I now spend my time between my home base in Cambridge, MA and coffeeshops elsewhere in the world.
"Michael is the best designer I’ve worked with. He has great taste, understands his audience, is a quick learner, enjoys making things look pretty, and can turn his ideas into reality through front-end code. Very few designers can do all of the above."Jonathan Lau, CEO of SwitchUp
There are a lot of designers who can do what I do: they can deliver eye candy. But my partners trust me with their projects because they understand that lasting success requires far more.
Successful design should embody your purpose and values. Successful design should drive your users' actions. Most of all, successful design should deliver you real-world results.
I don't do cookie-cutter templates. With my blend of skills in web design, graphic design, educational game design, and marketing, I’ll help you launch delightful projects that your audience will (1) find easy to use, (2) love to use, and (3) come back to use — time and time again.
Do you want to...
If so, you might be in the right place. Website projects typically start at $6,000. To learn more about my services, please get in touch.
Michael is a very talented individual with an impressive combination of skill-sets. His role covered varied ground and helped transition our organisation from fledgling start-up to award winning studio. He's a speedy yet proficient writer with the ability to hit exactly the right tone. He's able to plan, design and code a custom website against tight deadlines. He has a great eye for design and art direction. Michael is both a big and quick thinker, who also gets things done. His passion for media is infectious, and his knowledge deep.Peter Stidwill, Learning Games Network
VocaliD is an innovative startup founded by Rupal Patel that builds custom synthetic voices. I designed their website and their immersive recording platform for speech donation, which have been featured at leading events such as Business Innovation Factory and by national outlets like Science Friday.
SwitchUp is an online platform that matches learners to immersive tech courses. In my time as creative director on the project, I've driven the look & feel of the website and introduced popular new features such as a viral matching quiz. The company has been featured on Wired and TechCrunch, among others.
21st Century Boy is a website (now on hiatus) covering pop culture, creativity, and current affairs across East Asia and its diaspora. I grew this project from a one-man journal into an international collaboration of writers, producing over 400+ stories that would drive over 80,000 pageviews per month.
Learning Games Network is an educational non-profit spun out from MIT. I built the game studio's brand, website, and content strategy from the ground up. I also designed games for its language learning platform, Xenos. In 2013, our ethics game Quandary was named Game of the Year by the Games For Change Festival.
Drawing on my experience as a designer, entrepreneur and all-around multi-disciplinary Swiss Army knife, I always aim to connect the dots and leverage what I've learned to help your business do better.
I'm now on the lookout for the next big adventure. I hope you'll be the one to introduce me to it.
Michael is a sharp and creative professional, whose skills go beyond his years. [He] was hired to develop a creative and strong communications and outreach voice...he did that and more. A talented web developer, copywriter, & marketer, Michael is an incredible asset for any team to have.Jennifer Groff, MIT Media Lab
I'm not taking on any new projects in 2015.
But I do write about creativity, culture, and being a twentysomething in my personal email list. Follow along to learn what I'm up to.