designing things since 2008

Lead Product Designer

AltSchool is building a software “platform” for K—8 teachers, students, and parents. It is comprised of everything from teacher planning, assignments & assessments, to a student “playlist”, student goals, as well as a parent portal. When I started at AltSchool I was the only full-time designer. Over the past (nearly) three years I have led the design of the majority of the platform, while helping grow & shape the design team.


Student Playlist & Portfolio —

Assignments are at the core of the AltSchool platform — they are used to document & assess student work. I worked on the two main surfaces students use interact with assignments — their Playlist, and their Portfolio — as well as on the overall system architecture of assignments as they pass through various states: draft, assigned, submitted, assessed, complete.

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Tagging & Assessing Assignments —

The amount of learning objectives teachers deal with can be daunting. I redesigned our tagging and assessment flows to simplify the process of navigating through a large set of learning objectives & tagging the desired ones. It was important as well for the assessment experience to feel like an extension of the tagging experience.

(case study coming soon)

Classroom Capture —

An important aspect of the modern learning experience is documenting student work and behavior. Classroom Capture is an app for teachers to document (and share) learning moments without disrupting the classroom experience. All photos are immediately sync’d to the AltSchool platform so they can pickup the workflow later in the day either on their laptop or phone.

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Habit Cards —

Younger learners tend to interact with the world in a more concrete & tactile way. I worked with two Lower Elementary educators on a way to engage young learners with the AltSchool Social-Emotional Learning Habits. After prototyping some ideas our final output was Habit Cards, as well as educational practices to scaffold their use in the classroom. (illustrations: Natalie Fitzgerald)

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Global Navigation —

I worked on creating a global navigation system that we could apply across our Educator, Student, and Parent products. Educators had a unique need of being able to switch between individual students, as well as different group views, quite fluidly, which I solved with a student search/selector in the top level nav. I also worked on making all the sub-navigation/toolbars more consistent across the app.

(case study coming soon)

Pattern Library —

During my time at AltSchool I was responsibile for design infrastructure, and usually spent around 20% of each week working on it. My main effort within design infrastructure was the development and maintenance of our UI design pattern library. As the platform really started to grow around my second year at AltSchool I setup a weekly meeting with the frontend team to discuss everything from perceived performance, responsiveness, maintainability of UI patterns, and more.

Lead Product Designer

Keep is a fashion-discovery product (think Pinterest for fashion). When I started at Keep the product was unconstrained by a business model. I redesigned the product around a “universal checkout” experience, where you could actually purchase items from Keep directly. I also worked with the marketing team on brand identity & storytelling, as well as hiring & managing two jr. designers.


Brand & Product Overview —

Button & Color Study —

The complexity in designing a button & color system was that the product's (name and) main action was "Keep", however we wanted to shift the primary action to “Add to Cart”. The green color had also previously been associated with the Keep action.

Assorted Screens —

Design Director & Swimwear Designer

Onia is a NYC swimwear brand dedicated to extremely high-quality materials & manufacturing. As the first (and only) designer at Onia I was responsible for coming up with each season’s fashion story, and bringing it to life through swimwear design, editorial content, and digital design. I also focused on our website & online store, and our showrooms & store displays.


Summer 2013 Collection —

Web & E-commerce —

Resort 2012 —

Co-Founder, Designer, Programmer

Dispose was an online photo magazine. We started sending disposable cameras out to friends in the fall of 2012, asking them to document 24 hours of their lives. Eventually, as the audience of the magazine grew, strangers from all around the world were sending us their disposable camera stories. After two years we had published stories from people in over 32 countries. This was the first large website I built.


Art Direction & Design

Sustain is a fair trade female wellness company that sells sustainably produced tampons, condoms, and other feminine care products. I've engaged with them on several occations. Two of my favorite projects I've worked on so far are #GetOnTop, a national pledge initiative for women to take charge of their sexual health, and Protect Your Environment, an early set of advertisements I created with Bruno Levy.


Design & Development

This project is particularly meaningful to me because it's the first thing I built with a proper backend. Using Firebase and mostly vanilla JS I built a data storage and management system with password protected admin pannel where Mike can upload & delete images. It also happens to be the portfolio of a very dear friend of mine.


Art & Design

A few random things from along the way.

I'm a designer living in New York City. For the past 3 years I've worked at AltSchool designing software, educational practices, and learning environments for K—8 learners and educators. My design work is informed by research, collaborative design thinking, and human emotion.

I grew up in Charlotte, Vermont. In college I started doing graphic design and art direction for a clothing company I ran with some friends. After college I was designing swimsuits, doing brand & identity work, while getting into more web & digital stuff.

In addition to design I'm actively learning more about user research, Javascript & web development, and group facilitation. I'm also eager to learn more about public school administration, as well as state and federal education policy.

A few thoughts on design:

Current essential questions:

These "AltSchool" letters are the final output from a 2 month design class I co-taught to one of the 3-5th grade classrooms in the spring of 2017


Recent personal interests:

-Using a flip phone

-Small & local over scalable & global

-Talking less (listening more)

-How do we define “progress”?

I built this website using vanilla JS and the following plugins: velocity.js for animations, viewportchecker.js for lazy loading, & headroom.js for the hidden header. Set in Sorts Mill Goudy and Maison Neue.

Alex Hollender

I'm a designer living in New York City. For the past 3 years I've worked at AltSchool designing software, educational practices, and learning environments for K—8 learners and educators. My design work is informed by research, collaborative design thinking, and human emotion.

A few thoughts on design:

To view my full portfolio please visit on a larger screen