Ljuba is a principal designer and product leader

I'm hired by CEOs, start-up founders, and design/product leaders to level-up their design practice and drive company success.
My approach is customized to a team’s goals, growth stage, and customers. But it’s always collaborative and process-driven. That way my impact lives on long after our engagement is over.
As the co-founder and design leader of two startups (one sold for $100M+), I bring a uniquely entrepreneurial and results-oriented perspective to product design and strategy. After all: if it doesn’t ship it doesn’t count.

Richie Serna: Co-founder & CEO, Finix
One of my biggest regrets as a founder was not building our product design function earlier. It kept me up at night – until we found Ljuba. He came in and completely transformed our business, changing the way we build and think about our products. If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, hire him.


💪 Supercharge Your Design Team

I build, lead, and mentor design teams of various sizes, skill levels, and org structures.
I bring greater discipline to a team’s design process to elevate and accelerate their work, help them avoid pitfalls, and gain confidence.
I also work as a super-senior individual contributor or project leader to tackle especially ambiguous, complex, or high-priority design problems.

📐 Design System Development

A design system is more than a collection of UI components and styles. It's also the unique design principles and interaction patterns that produce a fantastic user experience specifically in your product.
Most importantly, my design systems serve as a shared language between designers and engineers and allow them to ship higher quality features, much much faster.

🗺 Founder & Leadership Coaching

By definition, founders face challenges they've never encountered before – especially with product, business, and personnel. In structured weekly sessions with clients, we prioritize and break down those challenges together, and I share my experience from years in the trenches.

Work Highlights

My most recent work has been for clients and is confidential. I'm happy to go into more detail in person.
Image for illustrative purposes only. This work was confidential.


Payments infrastructure powering modern SaaS platforms

  • Served as Head of Design (Interim) for 13 months
  • Lead a massive redesign of the Finix web app based on deep user research, which dramatically improved customer satisfaction and retention, and boosted sales efforts.
  • Successfully hired and onboarded a permanent design team, including a head of design.
  • Guided product management and engineering orgs in building a user-centered product development culture.
cameo screenshots
Screenshots for illustrative purposes only. This work was confidential.


Personalized celebrity shout-outs

  • Completely redesigned user authentication flow to simplify UX while adding support for social logins, passwordless login, and fraud detection.
  • Created and evangelized a bespoke design system to unify five growing lines of business.
  • Wrote the "system guidelines", a living document to explain the “how and why” of the new design system.
  • Founded the design+engineering squad to build, maintain, and evangelized the system company-wide.
  • Mentored the design team through leadership transition.

Jake Allen: Director of Product, Cameo
"Ljuba's an incredible product thinker, designer, and executor. His experience as a founder and leader of product and design teams at high-growth startups makes him an invaluable resource. He's an empathetic and insightful leader, mentor, and contributor, and he continuously helped us to identify, clarify, and navigate difficult challenges as they emerged."


The first and best connected car product and platform

Eric Horacek: Senior Staff Engineer, Airbnb (formerly at Automatic)
“The output of the design team lead by Ljuba was always top-notch: fully fleshed out, systems-oriented, user-tested, and beautiful. This consistency was grounded in Ljuba's tireless advocacy for the user and strong adherence to the design principals he pioneered."
particle screenshot
Image courtesy of Particle Inc.


IOT technology platform for enterprises

  • IC design work to enable the company’s transition from paid plans to a self-serve freemium model.
  • Built a lightweight design system with the design/engineering teams to speed up new feature development.
  • Advised product managers and director on product design strategy.


Local news, re-invented to help you get more involved

  • Co-founder and sole designer of a "from the ground up" reinvention of local news that facilitates civic participation.
  • Feature: Stories organized into long-running guides that you subscribe to.
  • Feature: Priority to stories happening in your neighborhood.
  • Feature: Relevant opportunities for volunteering and engagement.
Link to Youtube video of Hometown demo
Ljuba speaking

Speaking and Mentorship

  • Given 100+ talks on design, product management, and entrepreneurship.
  • Spent 5 months as entrepreneur-in-residence for an economic development NGO working in 6 Balkan countries.
  • Advised 200+ startups, VC's, incubators, universities, and professional groups.

Andrea Maron: CEO & Co-Founder, Ragtrades
"As my founder coach, Ljuba gave me the perspective and confidence I needed to see our challenges in a new light. His strategic and systematic way of thinking helped me form and execute on a plan of action that ultimately led to the successful sale of our business. I can't recommend him enough as a coach and all around wonderful human being!"

Ljuba Youngblom


Copyright © 2021 Ljuba Youngblom