Meet Adam Williams ’09: SIGD Advisory Council Member

Adam Williams

Adam Williams, a 2009 graduate of Auburn University’s School of Industrial and Graphic Design (SIGD), has long held a passion for user-centric design.

The San Francisco-based designer currently serves as UX Design and Delivery Lead for global technology leader IBM.

During his time as a student, Williams had the opportunity to participate in a user research class led by Industrial Design Professor Shea Tillman. The graduate-level course, a user experience study for Microsoft, solidified his interest in user experience design. He then chose to pursue a Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction Design from Indiana University Bloomington.

After earning his master’s, Williams joined IBM’s Cloud Garage, a team tasked with delivering innovation solutions to IBM’s clients. Since joining IBM in 2015, he has led 70+ design thinking workshops, crafted user-centric applications and helped to build innovation teams for clients in the industrial, public, medical and retail sectors. Williams aims to leverage a holistic approach that enables him to navigate unknown challenges while envisioning both the minutiae and the broader scope of client needs.

Reflecting on his time at Auburn, Williams fondly recalls two transformative experiences: Professor Tillman’s user research class and a study abroad trip to Taiwan, led by Professor Tin Man Lau.

“Both of these experiences shifted my worldview and how I pursue design,” he said. “My time at Shu-Te University in Taiwan was my first time really experiencing the world outside of Alabama, and I gained valuable knowledge and experience. Professor Tillman’s class allowed me to really understand how I might uncover user needs, create patterns and then design solutions that facilitated those patterns.”

Williams is eager to bring his expertise back to the Plains and aims to enhance the student experience by identifying and addressing gaps in the curriculum.

“As a member of the SIGD Advisory Council, I hope to first and foremost benefit the students by future-proofing their degrees,” Williams shared, noting that curriculum enhancements ensure students are well-equipped for the evolving demands of industry. “Additionally, I see myself as an advocate for the integration of design thinking and digital product development within SIGD.”

Williams began his four-year term as a member of the SIGD Advisory Council on Jan. 1, 2024.

Related people:
Shea Tillman, Tin-Man Lau