matthew sandahl

UI/UX Designer

UI/UX Designer

matthew sandahl

I have ten years of experience creating designs that intrigue users and help solve their problems. My wide set of design skills allows me to manage multiple projects at a time. I collaborate well with others, am well organized and take the initiative.

matthew sandahl profile photo
Tell us about yourself

I am a transplant to Anoka, MN the Halloween Capital of the World. My wife and I were married in 2011, and I have a four year old boy who regularly schools me in football, carpentry, and vocabulary. Watching him grow is endless fun.

I have a twin brother who is also a designer. No, unfortunately, we do not have the power of telekinesis. He is a little bit older and he'll make sure you remember that.

Some of my hobbies and interests include archery, cycling, hammoking, architecture, art, history, future tech, coffee, folk music, scandinavia, and swimming.

So, why should we hire you?

I feel I have the right balance of left and right brain thinking. I recognize the value that purely aesthetic design has on the human psyche, but also the impact that an intuitive and considered interface has to solve business problems and get the job done. I have a strong work ethic and I practice integrity and humility. I'm a team player; balancing feedback, industry standards and trends.

What does your design process look like?

Agile, Jobs to be Done, Scrum, I've read many articles regarding methodologies and processes which help people give structure to large problems. Many have great things to offer. Generally speaking I've found the following to work well, all the while practicing empathy for your users.

  1. Discovery
    Competitive analysis, client interviews, user testing, spending time with the content.
  2. Ideation
    Word clouds, design inspiration, sitemaps, user flows, personas, moodboards, collaboration.
  3. Design
    Wireframes, mockups, prototypes, microinteractions, pattern libraries, content collaboration.
  4. Implementation
    Development handoff, asset optimization, coded prototypes, data scraping and import.
  5. Testing
    A/B testing, screen recordings, annotated screenshots.
What is your favorite color?

Blue. I mentioned I have a twin brother. Growing up, I was always dressed in blue and him in red, so the two colors were present in my development. Color theory is intriguing. I find blue to be wise, deep and calming. If you don't have a favorite color then I highly recommend you read "The Secret Lives of Color" by Kassia St. Clair.

Where do you go for design inspiration?
Do you have any favorite methodologies or approaches to scalable design?

Yes, in 2016 author Brad Frost published "Atomic Design" which helps give order and hierarchy to the way designers create, organize and re-use web components. This book was a great influence on my approach to design as it helped me identify how the client's brand might be represented on the site and how that could readily scale in a systematized way.

Naming things can be difficult at scale. I'm a fan of naming conventions such as BEM, design tokens and utility classes as they bring consistent order to a design system.

tailwind css framework
Which of the four elements do you most identify with? Earth, Air, Fire or Water?

Air. When I'm not inside staring at a screen, I'm outside staring at the stars. I enjoy spending time in the elements on blustery days.

What are some admirable examples of UI or UX Design?

UX: I decided to buy glasses when I realized that the grey blobs on the warehouse outside my North Loop office were air ducts and not motionless pigeons. A friend suggested I check out eyebuydirect for cheap glasses. Maybe I wasn't expecting much, but I noticed just how easy they made the entire process. All of my questions were addressed. I could "try the glasses on" virtually, I could read objective reviews, filter search results by many variables and save and compare styles. These UX considerations might explain why I've purchased five pairs.

tailwind css framework

UI: There's an unimaginable amount of truly creative design talent online. However the team behind logitech stands out when I consider their simple layouts, bold color pallet, hyper-realistic product renders and subtle micro-interactions. Their work makes you feel something; like you're a part of an insider clan of techies. User interface design has always been about the user's experience- the two are intertwined and a good design will regularly lead to a better experience and greater sales.

tailwind css framework

UX: My car. I prefer the train. But most of my driving experience has been with Chevys, Fords and Chryslers. In my opinion, Ford has a better user experience than Chevy and certainly Chrysler. I still can't tell you which direction my Pacifica's left/right toggle button locks the doors. My Mariner's lock toggle is up and down. I bet you can guess which direction locks the doors. Down. It makes sense and so do many of the other Mariner displays, buttons and position of dials, because it's naturally intuitive. It's the designer's responsibility to ensure these functions come naturally regardless of what operation is being performed.

How do you work with a team?

Collaboratively. I'm a team player and peace keeper which is both a strength and weakness - I thought you might ask about that. I regularly work with copywriters, project managers, sales reps, clients, developers and strategists and despite our nuanced values and outlooks I try to remember that we're all aiming to make the product better. So how that plays out depends on the project, budget and team makeup, but I invite others' thoughts and criticisms while working towards a better product.

What is the best music album of all time?

That's not a fair question. How could I possibly choose? If I had to answer then I might choose Dizzy up the Girl by the Goo Goo Dolls. But my music taste extends beyond 90's soft rock to english folk, indie folk, electro swing, roots, Christmas (anytime), classical soundtracks, pop and bluegrass. Here are a few of my favs.

Did I miss your question? Drop me a line and I will
get back within 24 hours.

strengths finder 2.0

The Strengths Finder is a popular personality test used by teams and companies to increase self-awareness and personal improvement in the workplace and daily life. I believe it's helpful in both circles of life, particularly in understanding how I fit within a team and contribute to it.



You look back. You look back because that is where the answers lie. You look back to understand the present. From your vantage point the present is unstable, a confusing clamor of competing voices. It is only by casting your mind back to an earlier time, a time when the plans were being drawn up, that the present regains its stability. It was a time of blueprints. As you look back, you begin to see these blueprints emerge. You realize what the initial intentions were. This understanding brings you confidence. No longer disoriented, you make better decisions because you sense the underlying structure. You become a better partner because you understand how your colleagues came to be who they are. And counterintuitively you become wiser about the future because you saw its seeds being sown in the past. Faced with new people and new situations, it will take you a little time to orient yourself, but you must give yourself this time. You must discipline yourself to ask the questions and allow the blueprints to emerge because no matter what the situation, if you haven't seen the blueprints, you will have less confidence in your decisions.


You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. You do not necessarily agree with each person’s perspective. You do not necessarily condone the choices each person makes, but you do understand. This instinctive ability to understand is powerful. You hear the unvoiced questions. You anticipate the need. Where others grapple for words, you seem to find the right words and the right tone. You help people find the right phrases to express their feelings — to themselves as well as to others. You help them give voice to their emotional life.


Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it. You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected. Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger. This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities. If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves. We must not exploit because we will be exploiting ourselves. Your awareness of these responsibilities creates your value system. You are considerate, caring, and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures.


Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person. Instead, you focus on the differences between individuals. You instinctively observe each person’s style, each person’s motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. Because you are such a keen observer of other people’s strengths, you can draw out the best in each person. This Individualization theme also helps you build productive teams. 


You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. 

meyers briggs


ENFJs are idealist organizers, driven to implement their vision of what is best for humanity. They often act as catalysts for human growth because of their ability to see potential in other people and their charisma in persuading others to their ideas. They are focused on values and vision, and are passionate about the possibilities for people. ENFJs are typically energetic and driven, and often have a lot on their plates. They are tuned into the needs of others and acutely aware of human suffering; however, they also tend to be optimistic and forward-thinking, intuitively seeing opportunity for improvement. The ENFJ is ambitious, but their ambition is not self-serving: rather, they feel personally responsible for making the world a better place.

Read more about ENFJs

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