Propeller Furthers Commitment to People, Experience Design Practice

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Management consulting firm prioritizes employee culture strategies, promotes Trace Wallace to Director of Experience Design, furthering its values of ‘commit to people’, ‘do great work’, amidst current pandemic

Trace Wallace, Experience Design Practice Director

The challenge to us all is to return better and more resilient. We’ll get further by putting people at the center of that design process.

Employee experience – an essential component of experience design – is a useful framing for the moment we are all going through together. It helps us account for the ‘human’ element in strategies to maintain business continuity, build employee trust, and emerge from this challenging time even stronger. For businesses managing remote workforces, the importance of employee mental health and their ability to be productive in work-from-home environments form the core of many strategies. While essential workers may not have the privilege to stay home, companies need to think intentionally about the physical, cultural, and technological environments their employees interact with in the workplace. Companies are balancing many variables as they pivot to adjust to the new normal.

Prior to COVID-19, Portland-based consulting firm Propeller and its experience design practice aimed to help clients optimize touchpoints along the customer journey throughout the buying process, particularly in the retail industry. Propeller has since pivoted the focus of its experience design practice to helping businesses adapt strategies to unlock innovation through human-centered design, align people, processes, and technologies, and manage experiences through measurement and customer insights. Its focus extends beyond just the end customer to include employees and other stakeholders, understanding the symbiotic relationship between front-line employees, and the customers they interact with.

To lead the charge in the firm’s emerging efforts, Propeller has promoted Trace Wallace from Practice Lead to Practice Director, furthering its commitment to people and honoring great work, even in the midst of the current pandemic and economic downturn.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Trace to our leadership team — a direct result of his outward display of personal values that exemplify Propeller as a firm,” said Propeller Co-founder and CEO, Amy Weeden.

In his former role as a practice lead, Wallace was instrumental in designing what the firm’s experience design practice is today.

“Trace took initiative to fully articulate the business case for a net new practice area,” added Weeden. “He took ownership of the plan, embraced grit, and brought persistent energy to move the practice forward through ambiguous challenges, ultimately solidifying a new practice for the firm. Despite the current economic environment, we reward our people who consistently exemplify those values and do good work. I have all the confidence that Trace will continue to drive thought leadership in the realm of experience design, and develop roadmaps for the future to help companies navigate the experiences of the new normal.”

In his role as Practice Director, Wallace is prioritizing the development of strategies and best practices to help clients adapt to evolving realities in the coming months. This includes fostering personal, emotionally-resonant exchanges between employer and employee that lead to higher levels of engagement, productivity, and longevity.

“Propeller’s experience design practice is a logical extension of Propeller, not just for the people-first focus we have here, but also the execution expertise we have at the firm,” says Wallace. “We leverage the strategy aspect of this practice and follow through to implementation of those strategies, especially in this time when companies need to stay nimble and move fast.”

A good example of acting nimble during this time is the work Wallace and his team is undertaking to design return to work plans to guide organizations through the gradual process of bringing their employees back to the office, as insights from the stay at home orders across the U.S. begin to take shape. According to Wallace, a successful return to work plan in the new normal includes rethinking the traditional ‘bodies-in-seats’ mentality that many have grown accustomed to.

“The challenge to us all is to return better and more resilient,” adds Wallace. “We’ll get further by putting people at the center of that design process.”

About Propeller:
Propeller is a nationally recognized consulting firm that helps clients bring simpler, more efficient solutions to their business challenges. Propeller consultants work alongside client teams to deliver project management, business consulting and change management results that help them nimbly negotiate rapidly evolving business demands. Propeller has offices in Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California; and Silicon Valley. For more information, visit

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