Stuart Wiener

Stuart Wiener

I'm a designer and design leader from sunny South Africa. This is my detailed profile and career experience so far.

Absa Bank

Design Director at Absa Bank

Aug 2017 – Present

I lead the design team responsible for Absa’s banking app. We work closely with product leaders, engineers, business partners and our other channels to design and ship financial services to customers. Our design work covers everything from discovery, through concept development, validation and delivery.

In 2018 I initiated and led a full redesign of the app as part of an overall bank rebrand. We improved the information architecture and implemented a design system for the app. This provided the fundamental framework for the growth of the app since. At the same time, I led the design of the first WhatsApp-based banking solution (in the world, at the time).

Since 2018 the App Store rating of Absa’s app has improved from 2.7 to 4.7 out of 5, on both iOS and Android. The number of active customers using the app has grown by approximately 60% year-on-year, to 1.8m active users today.

I've also shaped the design organisation at Absa. I created a skill development framework for designers to work with their mentors to grow their design skills. I also helped develop our grad program which was in response to a lack of high quality design skills in South Africa. We take graduate-level designers through a 1 year programme of accelerated learning.


Founder at Stub

Jun 2019 – Present

Together with 2 co-founders, I started a company called Stub, with a mission to help more small businesses in Africa grow and succeed. We provide an invoicing and accounting platform that is really easy to use, so that anyone, no matter their financial know-how, can manage their money. It automates some common tasks, helping business owners get paid quickly. And as people use our toolset it learns about their business and provides insights into their specific market. I'm responsible for the product and I designed and built the front-end.

We’ve validated that Stub is something that people actually want — we’ve acquired a few passionate (paying) customers, and we’re actively building to grow our market. We’re in a very early stage of the business and looking at how we could scale and grow, especially given the venture capital environment in Africa and the competitive landscape around us.

Deloitte Digital

Manager at Deloitte Digital

Apr 2015 – Jul 2017

I started the design team in Johannesburg (as an extension of the team in Cape Town) and worked with the broader strategy and consulting business to grow the capability within Deloitte Digital. I managed customer-led innovation and human-centred design programmes, primarily in the financial services industry.

I led consulting teams through projects where we designed products and services using customer discovery, lean startup, prototyping and iterative design. I ran design thinking and product management training programmes. I also led customer research initiatives for strategic projects and I helped some clients establish design-led innovation and customer research practices.


User Experience Director at Ogilvy

Oct 2014 – Mar 2015

User Experience Strategist

May 2013 – Aug 2014

I managed the UX team and the delivery of user experience work on all digital projects at Ogilvy, including pitching for work, scoping it, managing its delivery and engaging with stakeholders along the way.

My team delivered end-to-end user experience design, including archetypes, journey maps, system models, wireframes, interactive prototypes and mockups. We tested our designs with users and constantly sought customer feedback, collaborating closely with other disciplines to deliver solutions. I worked with many different clients, large and small, in industries including clothing retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, quick service restaurants, mobile network operators, airline operators, hotel businesses and others.


User Experience Designer at Chillisoft

Apr 2012 – Apr 2013

I was part of the user experience design team at Chillisoft, where I designed (and in some cases built) interfaces for client software projects. We worked closely with our developers on one hand (to implement the right solutions) and our clients on the other hand (to solve the right problems).

My clients included a multinational logistics company, a company that built custom access management hardware, a startup working on a managed building contractor solution, a steel distribution company and many more.

Gear Room

Founder at The Gear Room

Dec 2011 – Apr 2013

I co-founded an online retail company. We sold and installed audio and media systems for many different clients including schools, theatres and live production venues. I designed the brand, built and managed the website, developed marketing programmes, and managed all of the digital infrastructure, while my cofounder negotiated with our suppliers, managed our inventory and serviced our customers — all while we were both selling as much as we could.

One Life

Art Director at OneLife

Dec 2008 – Mar 2012

In addition to multimedia production, I built and managed a number of websites for OneLife’s initiatives. My work covered design, development, SEO, content strategy and analytics. This included 2 full redesigns as we grew the audience by over 300% in 3 years.

I was also part of the media team where I designed media and marketing for multiple campaigns and events. My work included photography, film production, sound/music recording, print design and above the line marketing. I also led the live sound production teams.


Software Developer at Chillisoft

Jan 2008 – Dec 2008

I developed .NET software solutions for Chillisoft clients, which included government agencies and corporate businesses. Most notably, I designed and built a pharmaceutical management system, used to manage the inventory of pharmacies within the government healthcare system. This system went on to be widely used across KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

Other experience

Before this I worked as a Sales Assistant at a book shop in Pietermaritzburg for about 6 years (through high school and university). I got to meet lots of interesting and different kinds of people. It was a great experience that taught me all about serving customers.


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Storytelling & Design at PixelUp! 2020

This talk is all about helping people tell compelling stories in order to get the right things done.

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Prototyping Chat at BotCon 2016

This nudged people to look past the hype and focus on solving worthwhile problems with chat interfaces.

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Information Entropy at World Information Architecture Day 2014

This talk was about how to design for a noisy world.

Looking for more?

Want a formal CV with references, personal information and a latte on the side? Sure. Send me an email and I'll send it over.