A Conversation with Van Shea Sedita: Designing for Positive Human Change

By The Mill

In a recent interview at The Mill, we had the privilege of sitting down with Van Shea Sedita, a seasoned professional with a diverse background in experience design and illustration. Since joining The Mill community in 2018, Van has brought a unique perspective, blending graphic design with strategic thinking and implementation.

Van has most of his teammates and clients working elsewhere, so remote work is predominant and part of his normal routine. Feeling a need to be more connected to the community, Van found his way back to The Mill. “Big changes and ideas, are best delivered in person, where human-to-human connection thrives, so I wanted to connect with people again in person even if it’s basic “coffee-talk”.

When asked about his design career, Van highlighted the evolution of his role from graphic / visual design to a broader scope of service design. “I am a service designer, which means anything the customer experiences or anything an employee facilitates would be “designed”; considered from beginning through to sale or resolution” Van explained.

One very interesting aspect of Van’s approach is his integration of marketing archetypes into his design strategy. Drawing from Carl Jung’s theory on archetypes, he collaborates with marketing teams to understand the tone of personality they wish to convey to consumers. This influences not only the messaging but also the design elements across various platforms, creating a cohesive and psychologically effective brand experience. “I would work with marketing to establish the tone of personality they’re leveraging to talk to their consumer. What does the consumer expect? Do they need to read clear, exact directions, or or be gently guided by the brand’s voice? Maybe that voice is more cold and instructional in certain instances, while more warm and informal in others.”

Van’s overarching goal, as he shared, is to facilitate positive human change through design. “However that happens,” he continues “my passion is to support that change.” 

Drawing from his extensive experience, including teaching UX Design at New York University, collaborating on a user interface patent, and contributing to NAMI Delaware’s board, Van emphasized his commitment to helping people and businesses thrive.

He delved into his service design methodology, offering a glimpse into the intricacies of creating journey maps. By meticulously analyzing customer experiences, he identifies pain points and opportunities for improvement. Van stressed the importance of prioritizing the most significant problems from the customer’s perspective and addressing them systematically.

Van concluded the interview by providing a sneak peek into his creative side, showcasing some of his artwork and expressing his love for logo design, color palettes, and digital painting. 

In essence, Van’s story at The Mill is one of continuous learning, collaboration, and a passion for leveraging design to create positive impacts on individuals and businesses alike. His journey, marked by a diverse set of skills and experiences, exemplifies the essence of a community member driven by the desire to facilitate positive human change through thoughtful and strategic design, and we are so happy to have him as a part of The Mill family!

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