Thomas is often inspired by cycling trips through New York’s Catskill Mountains, where he spends much of his free time renovating his country house and admiring the simple wonders of the constantly changing scenery. The trips are fresh and invigorating—qualities Thomas challenges his teams to embrace in every aspect of their work—from the expanse of robust digital strategies to the intricacies of information architecture to the precision of information design. “Simplicity,” he says, “means making the world more human.”
As a brand experience visionary, he passionately believes in honing the essence of simplicity to enable remarkable experiences through any service, interaction or communication. For the past 17 years, Thomas has devoted his work on the client side at agencies to the pursuit of making users and brands equally happy.
Today, as chief experience officer at Siegel+Gale, he works with consumer brands, financial services firms, media companies and nonprofits such as American Express, Bank of America, Citi, IRS, Penske, United Mileage Plus, HP, SAP and Rotary International to help them leverage the power of simplicity.This can lead to developing entirely new products and services, systems and touchpoints, or simply the enhancement of existing ones. Thomas’s goal is to enable highly desirable and profitable relationships—in the right place, at the right time—for everyone involved.
Prior to joining Siegel+Gale, Thomas helped Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) successfully rejuvenate its online business by introducing a user-centric strategy and design process to partners across the company’s editorial teams. Before MSLO, he worked as senior vice president/creative director at Arnold Worldwide, where he built a world-class digital team and seamlessly integrated it with the company’s creative teams.
Thomas got his start in New York at Razorfish just as the term Silicon Alley was coined. When he joined as a design director, he was the first person at the agency with both a traditional graphic design and communications background and a masters in digital media. Over nearly ten years as a vice president of design and an executive creative director, Thomas built design teams across many offices and served clients such as AOL, CBS, Ford Motor Company, Time Warner, Charles Schwab, Giorgio Armani, Citibank and Sony.
Prior to Razorfish, Thomas worked with Praxis Design in Los Angeles on projects for the Getty Museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the American Film Institute and the Art Center College of Design.
Thomas holds a BFA in communications design from Fachhochschule München in Germany, an MFA in media design from the Art Center College of Design and a certificate from the Harvard Business School’s Business Perspectives for Design Leaders program. He has contributed to such notable publications as the Wall Street Journal and Forrester Research Reports. His many awards include the New Media Invasion Gold Award, Cannes Silver Cyber Lion, Art Directors Club NY, The One Show, Webby, WebAwards and DesignInteract.
You can follow Thomas on Twitter @TMuellerNYC.
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Following last year's focus on the Social Consumer, this year's Pivot Conference will chart the rise of Social Business. Social Business is more than building a Facebook page or launching a Twitter account—it's a unified approach across multiple departments requiring investments and yielding engaged, empowered and successful customers, employees and other influencers. Look for Vice President, Business Development – Digital Erik Semmelhack to discuss where social is headed in 2013. Be sure to view Thomas Mueller, Justin Peters and Russ Meyer's Studio Spotlight session that explores "The Urgency of Simplicity." Also, hear from Russ Meyer and Brian Rafftery as they present the session "Is Social Simple Enough?" In this presentation, attendees will learn where each of the major search and social networks rank on the 2012 Global Brand Simplicity Index (a study of over 6,000 consumers in 7 countries), why they rank as they do and how their rankings have changed from last year’s study.