Michael built the experience design capability from scratch in HR which was no easy feat and included challenging our HR colleagues and leaders to think differently every single day. One of the ways he accomplished this was by conducting 2-day Design Thinking workshops across HR, which I had the pleasure to support him with. Our participants left these workshops with hands on experience of how to take an idea from concept to creation following the Design Thinking process. Sonya Asure, Employee Experience Consultant, MetLife
I’ve had the pleasure to work with Michael on various projects and his experience and knowledge around user and customer experience is at another level. Michael has the ability to dig deep into understanding pain points and finding the root cause. He helped drive and create well thought out qualitative and/or quantitative research to understand complex problems. He was also able to scale this capability in the organization through programs and his mentorship. Calvin Loke, Director, HR Chief of Staff Office, MetLife
With his ability to transform programs and organizations, Michael is a valuable asset for driving business progression and improving employee experience. He possesses strong strategic traits and valuable leadership competencies, which were invaluable for taking MetLife and HR to new heights during its transformation. Overall, Michael’s diverse experiences and thought leadership make him an invaluable colleague. Tracey Howlett, AVP Employee Experience, HR & Operations, MetLife
[Michael was] a significant contributor to why we have these great, high-profile pilots. That’s certainly a reflection on the application and its usefulness. The basic goal is to get customer sentiment fast on these ideas, but we wouldn’t be able to unless they looked at the user experience and the design and thought it was top-notch. I credit Michael with being a substantial participant in why the market is adopting our app so well. … Out of 100 people, Michael’s in the top three. He’s that good. Bill Bloom, CEO FastFocus
[Michael] built a product that was super usable from an enterprise perspective. [Michael] was coming from a place where he could cite examples of work he’d done, work he was aware of, other companies and things they were doing. From the outset, it was clear that [Michael] was someone who read and kept up with what was relevant. Lucas Loeffler, Founder at QuickFrame
[Michael] took a process that had literally hundreds of interconnected, non-linear operations and streamlined them into a few very simple, yet very robust workflow that, in contrast to the previous system, literally and quite elegantly told the story of our hospital’s operations. In addition to re-configuring the UX (User Experience) piece of the application, he was also instrumental in completely taking what was before a very ugly and archaic UI (User Interface) and transforming it into a sleek, modern, best in class application that wowed the entire organization. Feedback for the change was swift and immediate. When the prototype of the application was revealed at our yearly corporate conference (in an auditorium filled with over 500 executives, channel partners, and employees), the presentation, or better yet the newly created application, received a standing ovation. Ghanee H. Smith, Senior Strategy & Operations Manager at Mars/Banfield
[Michael] was involved from a UX strategy and leadership perspective. [he] helped us with envisioning the product strategy for how to move forward with this application. [He was] actively involved with the iterative Agile process of producing something, putting it in front of clients and stakeholders, testing, and getting feedback. Michael Montecuollo, Director of UX at Door3
We have employed Humanist’s services and in particular Michael for the past 12 months, working for clients ranging from small scale to Fortune 500 enterprises. He is the consummate professional, with a wealth of product strategy and user experience insight. More importantly he is not scared to get down and produce high fidelity detailed documentation. Self starter, knows when to escalate issues where necessary and most importantly customer centric yet pragmatic David Blackall, Senior Digital Business Analyst at Door3
Michael brought strong leadership to both creative and product management at Vook. His thoughtful designs were often recognized for their ease-of-use overcoming the inherent complexities in e-book creation and publishing. Michael was highly respected by the Engineering team because [of] his open, informed, and agile work style. I look forward to when our paths cross again. Rob Guttman, VP of Engineering, Vook
Michael is a strong creative force, consistently able to balance heavy workloads with a high-level of personal attention to crucial details. Nothing escapes his comprehensive understanding of process. He can take a big picture strategic objective and walk through and execute the complicated individual pieces—long-range thought and daily execution in one—a crucial advantage, particularly in a startup environment. He‘s also very well versed in the history of design and aesthetics, which means he brings a craftsman‘s eye to his work. Matthew Cavnar, VP of Business Development, Vook
Michael is a brilliant product and UI/UX designer with the ability to create user-friendly solutions for complex challenges. At Vook, his creative vision and leadership skills guided the product team towards a clear goal and helped to facilitate the design process. Katheryn Brokate, Product Designer, Vook
I learned a lot working with Michael. I was continuously impressed with his depth of knowledge about design and development. He cares very much about the final product’s quality, and my work got better as a result of his management. Michelle Thayer, Product Designer, Vook
Working with Michael was wonderful for two reasons. First he always demonstrated a deep care for the users and the product. This kept us engineers happy as we were building something that was well thought out. Second, he listened and responded/acted as a team player. We were all very confident of the product we put out because of this wonderful collaboration. Amanuel Tewolde, Senior Software Architect, Vook
Michael also developed an entirely new product which could be customized to best meet the needs of the client. This was a popular and versatile product which was sold to a number of advertisers across various verticals. Laurie King, Custom Solutions Manager, IAC Advertising
[Michael’s] greatest asset is his ability to quickly synthesize multiple types of information or criteria (marketing need, technological possibilities, user experience, brand integrity, critical metrics, design) and deliver a concept that satisfies all stakeholders in a project. And his grasp of the underlying technologies that make these concepts possible has always been humbling for me. Noelle Cleary, Vice President, Marketing and Sales Development, IAC Advertising
Michael Calleia is the rare blend of creative talent and savvy business manager. He understands how to balance business objectives with creative desires. Sharon Harris, Vice President of Marketing, IAC Advertising
I’ve worked with Michael for more than 7 years. He has an amazingly creative mind, is always willing to innovate and pushes all possible boundaries, encouraging his team to go further and try new, more effective and professional solutions. Michael never stops when problems arise, he is always involved in every step of the process, helping in the frontline of every project. A true leader, with an ace up his sleeve. He is always up-to-date with new trends and technologies…we really learned a lot from him. Michael’s work is top-quality, he is such a professional, extremely generous and an exceptionally good person, with great personal values. Alberto A. Langton, Founder/Partner, Optima (former direct report)
Read more testimonials on LinkedIn and Clutch.

Product Praise


Publishers Weekly has been testing the platform and it could indeed be a game changer, giving small and large publishers fairly inexpensive, one-stop access to e-book publication. Craig Morgan Teicher, Publishers Weekly
We talked about making it as easy to build an eBook as write a blog post—I think [Vook] delivers. Pete Myers,


[SmartAsset] is one of the best done sites I’ve seen and I wish I had had this site when I purchased my house. Robert Scoble
What is great about [SmartAsset] is its usability. It is simple, looks good and you don’t spend a second trying to figure out where to click. Thom Rogers,
Right from the homepage SmartAsset dazzles with its good looks. In fact, while I was using I couldn’t help but think that it looked like an interactive infographic. Dean Sherwin,

Awards and Press


  • Webby Awards, Financial Services/Banking, Honoree for
  • Midas Awards, Midas Certificate
  • DPAC Awards Finalist for Best Use of Rich Media
  • OMMA Awards Finalist for Integrated Online Campaign, Finance
  • OMMA Awards Winner for Standard, Flash or Rich Media Banner
  • OMMA Awards Finalist for Best Advertising/Promotion Website/Microsite campaign
  • American Center for Design 100 Show
  • AIGA Objects of Design, two pieces won and are in the permanent collection of the AIGA


  • MediaPost, MediaCreativity
  • OMMA Magazine
  • Print
  • Communication Arts
  • New York Times

Client and Brands I Loved Working With

  • AT&T
  • Bacardi
  • Ballantine Books
  • Banfield Pet Hospital
  • BMG International
  • BusinessWeek
  • Citysearch
  • Donna Karan
  • Ellen Tracy
  • Estée Lauder
  • Evite
  • Expedia
  • FastFocus
  • Geffen Records
  • Harper Collins
  • Hearst Corporation
  • IAC/InterActiveCorp
  • Jo Malone
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Lotus Research
  • McGraw-Hill
  • MetLife
  • Morgan Stanley
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • New York Times
  • Newsweek
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • Philips
  • PlanetOut
  • Prodigy
  • QuickFrame
  • Republic Records
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Scholastic
  • SmartAsset
  • Stila
  • Time Inc.
  • Universal Records
  • Universal Studios
  • Voltari (formerly Motricity)
  • Visa
  • Vook (later named Pronoun)