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Robert Clark Laidlaw

robert@robertlaidlaw.com
+1 415 839 7363

Senior Communications Designer

I have an exceptional facility for translating complex information technology into clear words and vivid graphics so that others may explain, use or sell that technology.  I do my best work when I’m given a fresh design challenge and the latitude to develop an innovative response.

  • Web designer for Squarespace and Shopify platforms
     
  • Over 25 years designing sales training, sales tools, & technical training
     
  • Global sales training design and management roles at Palm and Apple Computer
     
  • Founded computer skills training company for executives and other key people

Work Experience

Robert Laidlaw & Associates
San Diego, California • Barcelona, Spain • Durham, North Carolina

Enterprise and retail sales training development for leading Silicon Valley technology clients.

Web Designer
2012 - present

Website design from concept to completion including user experience, work flow, content and traditional html and css coding.

Key accomplishments

  • Pala International — Redesign primary websites
    Top-to-bottom redesign of Palagems.com and Palaminerals.com using an innovative dual-hosted solution: Squarespace for the landing pages, newsletters, and library articles plus an update of traditional HTML, CSS, PHP, and MySQL code for the ecommerce fuctionality. Final design incorporated extensive css customization on both hosts.
     
  • Marc Chabot Fine Arts — Redesign website
    Top-to-bottom redesign of print dealer's website hosted by Squarespace.
     
  • Final Farewell — Redesign website
    Top-to-bottom redesign of funeral charity's website hosted by Squarespace.

Senior Designer
2001 - 2012

Cinematic-style presentations, leader-led and web-based training, sales training, sales tools, sales demos, competitive analysis, product launch videos, on-device help systems, and point-of-sale animations.

Key accomplishments

  • Lasselle - Ramsay — Google compliance training
    Member of team redesigning internal privacy and security training for Google's global legal compliance team.
     
  • Cisco — umi Telepresence Sales Training
    Designed all launch materials for the ūmi telepresence HD video conferencing system including a critical sales training event for BestBuy’s Magnolia store managers. 
     
  • Hewlett-Packard — webOS B2B Sales & Technical Training
    Designed all enterprise sales presentations, training, and tools for webOS, including a comprehensive technical implementation guide for IT managers.
     
  • Palm — Treo 800 On-Device Tutorial
    Redesigned the Treo 800 smartphone on-device tutorial for clarity and simplicity.  The design won an international award from the Society for Technical Communication. 
     
  • Palm — QuickTrain Sales Slicks
    Created an innovative sales training sheet that taught how to present and demo Palm smartphones.  This design became standard product collateral for all devices.
     

Palm
Sunnyvale, California

Global mobile technology innovation leader for handhelds and smartphones.

Global Sales Training Manager
1997 - 2001

Formed and managed a design team that supported sales, sales engineering, and business development teams within Palm, OEM partners, enterprise solution partners, and channel partners in the USA, EMEA, and Asia/Pacific markets.

Key accomplishments

  • TCP/IP “Tent” Diagram
    Created a conceptual diagram that communicated at a glance how Palm OS devices fit into enterprise computing environments via their built-in TCP/IP connectivity.
     
  • Under The Hood
    In-depth conceptual presentation legitimized Palm OS with IT professionals and the press. Enterprise and OEM partners incorporated key ideas into their marketing and sales efforts.
     
  • Tungsten W On-Device, Point-of-Sale Animation
    On-device point-of-sale animation, designed with a cinematic development process, that communicated the enterprise advantages of the Tungsten W smartphone to retail buyers.
     
  • Palm OS End-User Training
    Wrote first-ever Palm OS end-user training that supported enterprise sales, opened new markets for OEM partners, and established the global market for Palm OS device training.

 

Apple Computer
Cupertino, California

Global technology leader for leading-edge personal computing solutions and services.

Instructional Designer
1994 - 1997

Designed multimedia sales training and print-based sales tools while managing outside vendors producing multimedia, video, and web-based sales training for retail and enterprise audiences.  Success required initiating and maintaining working relationships with technical, sales, and marketing teams across the company.

Key accomplishments

  • Color LaserWriter Technical Sales Training
    Under extreme time pressure and limited resources, developed technical sales training on the first Color LaserWriter that helped close the year’s largest enterprise sale.

  • Apple Product Multimedia CD
    Led development of the acclaimed, multimedia Apple Products CD that taught how to sell products in a style and format that channel retail sales people could use with customers.

  • Product Launch Sales Training Videos
    Wrote, directed and edited well-received sales training videos to support the launches of Mac OS 7.6, Mac OS 8, QuickTime 2.5, and other core Apple technologies.

  • Learn & Earn
    Design team member for Learn & Earn, an innovative program that enabled channel sales reps to earn free Apple products in exchange for acquiring sales training and sales tools.
     

Cadre
San Francisco, California

Custom computer skills training design and delivery to executives and key individuals.

Co-founder & President
1993 - 1994

Identified and pursued a niche in the computer skills market by designing a blend of innovative courseware, templates, macros, and teaching style that achieved results in hours rather than days.  

Key accomplishments

  • Apple Computer — Mac OS 7.5 Hands-On Seminar
    Designed and delivered hands-on seminar that supported the successful acceptance of Mac OS 7.5 within Apple, the heart of the user community. 

  • Kaiser Foundation Health — Executive Computer Skills Training
    Delivered one-on-one, on-site computer skills training to executives, physicians and other key people at California’s largest healthcare provider. 

 

Productivity Point / Training Works
San Francisco, California

Global computer skills training design and delivery for organizations and individuals.

Senior Software Trainer
1988 - 1993

Taught beginning through advanced classes in the major business software titles for Mac OS and Windows.

Key accomplishments:

  • Tandem Computers — Mobility Training
    Designed and delivered custom mobility training to the firms enterprise sales teams that established the company as Tandem’s sole training vendor.

  • Lead trainer for key clients such as the Defense Language Institute, American Express Security, and Tandem Computers..

 

Macintosh Software Specialist
San Francisco, California • Boston, Massachusetts

1986 - 1988

Business application support for corporate and private clients.

Key accomplishments

  • Apple Computer — Produced market forecast spreadsheets, business graphics, and presentation materials for business planning teams preparing for the Claris launch.

  • Live Oak Recording Studio — Designed custom billing system using Excel macros.

  • Cambridge Adult Education — Delivered Macintosh software skills training. 

 

Pacific Telesis International
San Francisco, California

Global telecommunications technology sales and support to non-USA companies.

Market Planning Manager
1985 - 1986

Researched business opportunities in the global telecommunications market.  Supported business planning and contract negotiations with spreadsheet analyses, business graphics, and computer-based presentations.

 

Odyssey Management Decision Systems
Middletown, New Jersey

Business consultancy specializing in distribution and pricing strategies.

Product Development Specialist
1984 - 1985

Researched and developed computer-based reporting system that graphically presented the strategic effect of tactical business decisions.

 

Warner Communications
New York, New York

Global media leader for music, television, film, books, and computer gaming.

Project Leader
1982 - 1983

Co-designed a database-driven market analysis system for Atari Home Computers that resulted in the firm successfully realigning their distribution channels.

 

Software House
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Design and sales of pseudo-relational database systems for DEC-10 & DEC-20 computers.

Director of Marketing Communications
1981 - 1982

Wrote marketing newsletters that raised awareness with IT managers of the firm’s database products for DEC mini-computers.

 

A Better Chance
Boston, Massachusetts

Non-profit providing secondary-school scholarships to disadvantaged and minority students.

Research Assistant
1980 - 1981

Designed and coded mainframe database file updating and reporting programs on scholarship students.  Designed and taught Lanier word processing to staff.

 

Trust House Forte
London, United Kingdom

Global hotel and leisure services organization with an independent London division.

Special Projects Executive
1978 - 1979

Created proposals for redesigning the firm's two largest London hotels in order to maximize revenues from public spaces.

 


Education

Berklee College of Music
Boston, Massachusetts

Jazz and contemporary music school for performance and studio musicians.

1978 - 1979

Studies in classical & jazz guitar, arranging and musical composition.

 

Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

Private liberal arts education plus leading professional graduate schools.

1975 - 1979

B.A. in Philosophy & Mathematics plus studies in computer science.