Philip Sheffield

Designer / Builder / Leader









Size of Teams

I'm a designer based in San Francisco who combines UX, analytics, and design systems to build great products and teams.

I have worked in both early-growth start-ups and large public companies. I thrive on solving complicated problems that have the potential to improve people's lives. I also work as a design leadership advisor, guiding companies in forming the right teams and developing products that fit their stage of growth.



Head of Design – 2016-2023

In my latest job at SingleStore, I led Brand, UX, Web Development, and QA. My team was critical in changing the market's perception of us as a small niche database (MemSQL) into a major player in real-time data analysis and AI (SingleStore). We did this by focusing on the developer experience, design systems, and analytics.


Director of Product Design – 2008-2016

I was the first designer at Box where I helped create a market-leading product by building a best-in-class design team that led us to an IPO. When I left Box I was managing a team of designers that were responsible for the following experiences; Box Notes, Admin Console, and the Box Platform. Each of these products helped increase engagement and adoption metrics dramatically.


Leadership Advisor – 2020-2022


Leadership Advisor – 2014-2016


UI/UX Designer – 2006-2008


UI/UX Designer – 2005-2006


Full portfolio with case studies available upon request. Email


Cal Poly

Bachelor of Science • Art & Design • 2000-2005




From MemSQL to SingleStore

Prior to 2021 our company name was MemSQl, which put a singular focus on in-memory storage (mem-sql). This was causing us to lose deals because we would never be considered for large use cases and would fall into the category of niche database for may customers.


We redefined our brand, transitioning from MemSQL to SingleStore. A versatile and all-encompassing data management solution. We established a new color palette and design language, aligning seamlessly with our vision for the future. The revamped website and application, shaped by my team and I, was purpose-built to connect with the developer audience. We successfully positioned SingleStore as a versatile and comprehensive data platform ready to meet the evolving needs of our diverse user base.


Design Manager, Product Manager


This was a true collaboration between marketing, product management, brand design, product design and the exec team. The Design Lead for this was Alex Moore.

SingleStore's Fusion Design System

My team and I built out a design system from scratch to meet the needs of our cloud database service. Some of the unique patterns were around contextual help and data visualizations. We did it following these fundamental principles:

  • Fast
  • Ensure fast loading times by understanding the limitations and opportunities of the backend system that loads the front-end UI.
  • Repeatable
  • Optimize the design for frequent tasks by anticipating users' needs at key points and loading that information or enabling those actions first in an interface.
  • Consistent
  • Things that look the same should function the same. Use consistent design patterns, uniform prompts, menus, and screens throughout the interface.
  • Informative
  • Make it easy to recover from mistakes by providing informative and timely feedback to recognize, diagnose and fix errors.
  • Visual
  • Use data visualizations and charts to help users understand complex data to identify patterns, get new insights to share with others and enable data-driven decisions
  • Helpful
  • Offer contextual help and tutorials to enable new users to become experts. Provide shortcuts and macros for frequent users to speed up their work.

Lead Designer


I collaborated with the other product designers on this, as well as design system engineer, Kia Storm.

Query Profiler

SingleStore was a fast database, but it's only if the user is able to write queries that don't have errors or performance issues. To enable customers to get better performance we introducted the query profiler.


It captures and presents detailed statistics on query execution, including metrics such as execution time, resource consumption, and row processing. The profiler dissects the query plan, revealing the steps taken by the database engine for data retrieval and processing. It also provides information on index usage efficiency and resource utilization metrics, such as CPU, memory, and disk I/O. Additionally, the tool can detect and report on blocking, deadlocks, and offers a historical analysis of query performance trends over time. Database administrators and developers utilize the insights provided by the query profiler to fine-tune queries, optimize schema design, and enhance overall system performance within the SingleStore database environment.


Design Manager


I collaborated with the designer on my team who was dedicated, Haochen Zhang.

Usage Based Billing

The pricing model for SingleStore DB was based on credits and paying on demand. It was somewhat complicated to describe how credits work. They allow a customer to prepay for specific usage and apply that across different computing usages that could vary by region and computing resource. In addition to that, storage was billed separately at a fixed rate.


The design shown above shows the separation of these fees and the subsequent breakdown of costs. The billing process was very complicated on the backend, so this interface had many edge cases and design limitations to work around.


Lead Designer


I collaborated with our backend and product management teams.

Box Notes

The Box platform had many integrations, but no true productivity tools that really engaged the user and helped them in their daily workflows.


My team and I designed Notes to be the first stand alone application built on the Box platform. As a content creation tool it enables people with in large and small companies to quickly take notes, share ideas and collaborate, all in real-time. This also encorporated a mobile experience.


Design Lead


I was partnered with a great product manager, Jonathan Berger, and great engineering team.

Box Admin Console

Enterprise admins have a difficult job, ensuring that all their content (which can be terabytes of data) is secure and accessible by internal employees.


To enable admins to understand all the complicated features and controls that Box offers for large enterprises. I helped design the experience to give them full visibility into how content is being accessed, shared, and used both within and beyond their organization.


Design Manager, Designer


I collaborated with a lead designer on this project, and contributed directly to certain features.