Matthew Lee Design & Development

About & Contact

“So… what exactly do you do?”

Due to anomalies in the laws of physics, Matt always appears in grayscale.

I’m a happy generalist. I’m primarily a designer, I just happen to do a lot of that designing through code. I lead discovery sessions, conduct interviews, and write creative briefs. I draw sitemaps and information architecture diagrams, collaborate with clients on content outlines, and turn that information into responsive HTML wireframes. I brew coffee. I design using whatever tool best suits each phase of the project, be it style tiles, page layouts, or code. Then I brew more coffee.

A website today isn’t a single design that looks the same everywhere. It’s not neatly divided into the three buckets of desktop, tablet, and smartphone. It’s everything in between, on all the devices that haven’t even come out yet. The web is a fluid medium, so websites should be flexible systems that convey clear information and express the same personality across devices, whether they’re on smartphones or 30-inch monitors.

My process matches the nature of today’s web. I move projects into the browser as early as possible, building design in an environment that lets you test multi-device performance from the start. Flexible prototypes evolve into preliminary layouts, which evolve into templates, which evolve into your final website. It allows you to review the actual product as it grows, eliminates much of the risk and guesswork associated with a waterfall process, and instead involves my clients as collaborative partners from the very beginning.


In 2006, I began working with Landesberg Design, a Pittsburgh-based firm specializing in design for higher education, philanthropy, and cultural organizations. In 2008, I moved to New York to launch the company’s satellite office in Brooklyn. As Interactive Design Director, I oversaw the strategy, management, design, development, and launch of all interactive projects.

In 2014, I joined C&G Partners in Manhattan as a front-end developer. I became an intermediary between the firm’s design and development teams, working with back-end developers to translate design concepts into responsive templates ready for use in both PHP- and Python-based content management systems.

I’ve also worked at MAYA, a consultancy focusing on human-centered design, user experience, and making sure that complex technologies fulfill people’s needs.

I’m currently at Upstatement in Boston where I lead Release Team, offering ongoing design and development services on sites beyond their “Version 1.0” launch. More than just maintenence or support, Release Team focuses on the long-term growth and evolution of websites and digital brands. We basically encourage clients to think of us as the in-house product design team they don’t have.

Over the past decade, I’ve designed both print and digital projects for clients including The Rockefeller Foundation, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Kenyon College, Haverford College, Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. As a front-end developer, I’ve both designed and coded sites for clients such as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Center for Curatorial Leadership, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and New York City’s Office of Emergency Management.

My work has been recognized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the University and College Designers Association (UCDA), the American Association of Museums (AAM), and local chapters of AIGA, the professional association for design. My projects have appeared in publications including Communication Arts and Print magazine.

A native Clevelander, I attended Kent State University, where I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in visual communication design. I served on AIGA Pittsburgh’s Board of Directors in 2007.

When I’m not at the computer, I enjoy bicycling, bocce, pierogi making, building somewhat-questionable furniture, and telling myself I could probably still play the drums if I really wanted to.