Eric Knudtson - Designer

Portfolio  -   About Eric  -   Contact

Chef Surfing Founder, Designer, Programmer

Chef Surfing is an online community marketplace for culinary services. Chef Surfing is the best way to hire a chef for convenient and quality culinary service at your home or office for a party or special event.


I led a team of three to design and deploy a complete and smooth experience. I focused on the design, front-end code and systems architecture working with programmer Eugenio "Tute" Costa to build the Rails app. We were assisted by the best QA and COO in the world: Clara Gonzalez Sueyro.

We interviewed hundreds of chefs and culinary entrepreneurs to gain key insights into how their profession and businesses function. We integrated this learning through continuous improvement to the product. Over the course of 2011 and 2012 we launched two complete redesigns and 100's of major and minor functionality changes, each time getting closer to product-market fit.

Designing and building Chef Surfing was one of the most valuable learning experiences of my life. To anyone interested in starting or joining a startup: my advice is to "go for it". Whatever the outcome, the minimum is that you will gain a very valuable education and respect for entrepreneurship.

Union Designer, Programmer

Union makes the highest-quality snowboard bindings available in the world. When the brand was initially getting started we created a web experience to show-off the product and draw people into the Union story. Thankfully this story spread and Union now stands on a solid reputation.

From 2006 to 2008 I was responsible for both the design and development of Pictured here are screenshots from the 2008 site.

Buena Carta Designer, Programmer

Buena Carta is a restaurant guide for Buenos Aires, Argentina available in English and Spanish. I served as the designer and front-end engineer on a team of three. Buena Carta has over 1400 restaurants available for delicious adventure and review.

I worked with two other developers to design and build, taking responsibility for the design and implementation of the front-end, dipping my toes into the Rails backend now and again and leading the internationalization and localization efforts.

Nitro Designer, Programmer

For four consequitive years Nitro handed me the responsibility of designing, developing and deploying their web site. Nitro is a global snowboard equipment brand based in Germany. With hundres of products and thousands of data-points for dealers, distributors, retailers and consumers we delivered an elegant solution that delivered great results for the brand and company. The site included several advanced features for it's time including automatic GeoIP language setting and dealer locator as well as a P2P Online Retailer affiliate program.


After four years of work at Microsoft, Nitro Snowboards was my first important freelance client. It was difficult to make the transition from being a member of a team to the leader of a team, but this transition was critical to my professional development and growth.

My focus was on the design and front-end implementation however I regularly served at every level in the technology and management stack including but not limited to: systems admin, data-entry specialist, marketing copywriting, database administrator, account executive and project manager. Being faced with such a large project I came to understand the power and necessity of teamwork and specialization. Over the years I worked with wonderfully talented people such as Tim Taylor, Ry Dahl and Matt Maeda

Coal Headwear Designer, Programmer

From 2006 to 2010 Coal Headwear gave me the responsibility to design, develop and deploy their online catalog and e-commerce system. The first year we built a simple catalog and kept a seperate e-commerce page at running Cubecart. The next year I enlisted Juergen Fesselmier to build a custom e-commerce system using Ruby on Rails. Coal was a great client because of the high quality photography they invest in and the creativity of their stylish product design. Designer, Programmer

In 2002 I began working at Microsoft in the Games Division designing and developing web sites for the PC games division. Later I joined the growing team to help make the innovative online marketing of the new Xbox gaming platform a success. During my tenure at Microsoft I worked as both a designer and a developer, delivering projects from inspiration to completion.

Northwave, Drake, Bakoda Designer, Programmer

My first job out of school was as the web designer and programmer ( aka "the web guy" ) for a Northwave North America which managed the Northwave, Drake and Bakoda snowboarding brands. I was twenty years old and everybody at the company went snowboarding all the time. The sites were 100% Flash. Ah yes, those were the good ol' days.


I am a generalist web designer. I love designing web experiences which help people accomplish their goals.

I live in Oakland, California. I have just returned from Buenos Aires, Argentina where I lived for seven years with my wife Clara ( she's from Argentina ). Living in South America has given me a greater appreciation of the opportunities available in the United States. I know it is cliché but I am very excited to join up with a team of people working on something great.

My previous work supports the goals of shopping, marketing, historical research, entertainment, publishing and content management and social networking. I think most of these experiences boil down to "learning" in one form or another. On social networks we are learning about eachother. On shopping and e-commerce sites we are learning about products and services.

I am a formally trained graphic designer. I love visual design, typography, symbol design, composition, layout and all the other fascinating aspects of graphic design.

I am a self-taught web developer. I enjoy prototyping and developing final web sites myself and working with teams of developers.

I am at home pushing changes to a Javascript or CSS files, tweaking a bezier curve in Photoshop, sketching an interaction flow or wire-framing a web app. I have a passion for great interaction design and user experience design.

I think the web is the best medium humans have created for communication and learning since the printed page. I am very excited to be participating in the evolution of the web.

Get in touch with Eric

Follow Eric on Twitter

Download Eric's resume (PDF)

Eric Knudtson © 2001–2013