Cassandra Collins is currently Principal UX Design Director at Microsoft working with an elite Azure team that uses game technology, AI, and simulation to empower organizations with plant-scale and massive data problems. With over 25 years in the video game, entertainment, and technology space, Cassandra leverages Human-Centered design, User Experience, and Inclusive Design methodologies to develop a unified simulation platform and experience across a wide section of industries such as defense, industrial, and space. At the core, her approach leverages empathy, divergent thinking, agility, innovation, and creativity that unlocks new opportunities to deliver “Serious Gaming” solutions. Prior to Azure, Cassandra has worked in many game studios outside Microsoft such as Sony and EA Sports. At Microsoft, she’s worked as a Sr. Designer in Microsoft Game Studios working on games such as Gears of War, a UX Designer supporting Kat Holmes and Albert Shum on Windows Phone and building the Microsoft’s Inclusive Design practice, as a UX Architect in MCS and Creative Director in WCB helping customers and internal teams “reimagine the art of the possible” with innovation by creating rich and engaging experiences.
Cassandra is the recipient of numerous awards for her innovative and inclusive design work, including the Microsoft Platinum Club and WEF Young Innovators-Creating a Better World for All. She serves as the Girls Voice Coordinator and is on the Workshop Leadership Team at IGNITE Worldwide (Inspiring Girls Now In TEchnology), where she hosts IGNITE UX 101 Design workshops that helps to elevate girl’s voices in STEM fields. Since 2018, she has served as a Design Subject Matter Expert on Microsoft’s Worldwide UX Design Communities and in 2011, as the User Experience Chair of AIGA Seattle.
Academically, Cassandra holds several degrees: BA, and MFA in Fine Arts as well as an MA in Communication: 3D, UX and Interaction Design. Currently, Cassandra is a Ph.D. candidate at SMARTlab at University College Dublin, Ireland, where she focuses on building empathetic connections and awareness between human design, cultural insights, and technology. Specifically, she hopes to create accessible, inclusive knowledge toolkits and/or experiences through AI and Game Technology for those living with learning disabilities, and to better assist parents and guardians to diagnose learning disabilities early, particularly in marginalized areas.
Cassandra is an avid cyclist, who loves to travel and enjoys spending time with her family.