Amber Sawaya

The Captain & Principal Partner

I’m dedicated to the intersection of human experience design and using data. I help make products more fun, meaningful, efficient, and delightful.

Amber is a proven expert with 20+ years of experience in Human Experience Design (and it’s origin User Experience [UX]), Product Design, Design Leadership, and Operations. She was named to Utah Business’ 40 Under 40 list in 2019. She’s won multiple design awards, patents, and written several publications including a #1 Best Selling book.

Amber started the precurser to Anchor & Alpine, Sawaya Consulting, with Steve in 2007. They built dozens of websites until 2018 when she joined a long-time client at a Bay Area startup as EVP of UX & Product. She designed the applied machine learning product from the ground up and helped the company expand by 600% in the span of a year. She was a Keyman in the VC-funding by Gradient Ventures (the AI wing of Google Ventures) and an officer of the company. She built the UX and Product Design/Management disciplines while helping to secure multi-million dollar clients. 

In late 2019 as she was wondering “what’s next?” she had the opportunity to bring together Emerson Stone, Sawaya Consulting, and Coast to Coast Studio to form Anchor & Alpine. 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Curiosity, cats, decaf coffee, and 212 Fitness. 

Awards, Patents, Publications & Press

40 Under 40

40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon

Utah Business: Amber Sawaya Built A Career Around User Experience. Utah Business (blog). March 5, 2019.

40 Under 40. Utah Business, February 2019. Bicknell, Lindsay. Featured on page 62.

Recent Publications

How Design Can Keep People Safe During a Pandemic – Ceros Inspire
Ceros Inspire: Create, Share, Inspire.

Part 1: How to Apply for a Creative Job, and What You Can Expect
Ceros Inspire: Create, Share, Inspire.

Part 2: How to Organize Your Creative Job Applications
Ceros Inspire: Create, Share, Inspire.

Part 3: Job Searching Lessons from Someone Who’s Hired a Lot
Ceros Inspire: Create, Share, Inspire.

UX Patents

US D886 846S1
(Inventor) Display screen or portion thereof with transitional graphical user interface

(Inventor) Functional Training Mat

Additional Patents

These patents were awarded for the AI product I oversaw as EVP of UX & Product.

Hierarchical search folders for a document repository 
US10467257B2 Published 2019-11-05

Media Search Processing Using Partial Schemas
US20200285666A1 Published 2020-09-10

Linearized search of visual media
US10311112B2 Published 2019-06-04

Digital organization of printed documents according to extracted semantic information
US10769503B1 Published 2020-09-08

Systems and Methods of Building and Using an Image Catalog
US20190294629A1 Published 2019-09-26

Product User Interfaces

More than 15 Product UIs designed from the ground up as lead designer and product manager

Medium Publications

Create an Informal Operating Agreement for Better Working Partnerships
Medium | The Startup

How to Make Your Design Business a Well-Oiled Machine
Medium | Modus.

Should Designers Learn to Code? No, but They Should Be Code Conversational
Medium | UX Collective

Strengthen Your Team with a Meaningful Core Value Exercise
Medium | The Startup

What Will the New Decade Bring Designers?
Medium | Modus


AIGA 100 Show:

Our clients at the AIGA award show.

AIGA 100 Show: Red Queen Book Arts Branding

AIGA 100 Show: Signs of Capitalism

AIGA 100 Show: Design Pulp

Silver Addy: The Life Cogbox Illustration

Silver Addy: Yule Injected Illustration

Silver Addy: Cogbox Promo Poster

Employee of the Year: Galileo Financial

IMCA Design Best of Show: WCF Holiday Posters

Speaking Engagements

How to Use UX & AI to Improve User Experience. Lecture, SLC|SEM monthly event, Salt Lake City, March 21, 2018. Invited speaker. Organizer: Malmborg, David.

How Amber Sawaya does UX and gets paid. Speech, Salt Lake City Graphic Designers Meetup, Work Hive, Salt Lake City, 29, 2018. Invited speaker. Organizer: J, Scott.

Speaking at Digital Marketing Collective (SEM SLC); Yeah, those are leather pants.

Best Seller

Building a Mobile App: The Client’s Guide, 3rd ed. Sawaya, Amber. Amazon, 2015. ⭐️ #1 Best Seller on 

Available on Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Startup Experience

7 Startups as early-stage employee or leadership team

4 Successful Exits

2 Involved in VC funding/Keyman

Press & Media Mentions

Musings on Leaving My Consulting Firm to Join a New Company. Medium Publication: Becoming Human | Exploring Artificial Intelligence & What it Means to be Human. Sawaya, Amber. Last modified November 20, 2017. 

Sites We Like: Jeni’s Ice Cream and Bruges Waffles & Frites. Kerrigan, Sally. Adobe Typekit Blog. Last modified January 30, 2015. Media mention.

Time Off: How Small Business Owners Can Disconnect During Vacation. Sawaya, Amber. Bank of America. Accessed July 28, 2014. Quoted expert opinion.

How to “Disconnect” on Vacation—While Staying Connected. Women & Co (a service of Citigroup). Last modified July 23, 2014. Quoted expert opinion.

GDUSA 2012 Type Survey Sponsored by Veer. Kaye, Gordon. Graphic Design USA. Last modified December 13, 2012. Quoted expert opinion.

The New Ice Cream Social: Social Media in Your Personal & Business Life. Sawaya, Amber. Presentation, Junior League of Salt Lake City, March 2012.

Boart Longyear Launches Mobile App to Access Information on the Go. Dingus, Cody. Press release, March 5, 2012. Media mention.

Arts Council Launches New Website and Introduces New Logos. Ledgewood, Kevin. Press Release. Last modified July 6, 2011. Media mention.

Arts Council to Build Cultural Center Downtown. Johnson, Mari. The Crimson White. Last modified July 6, 2011. Media mention.

The New Ice Cream Social: Social Media in Your Personal & Business Life. Sawaya, Amber. Presentation, Mandate Press & Age Performance Community Event, July 18, 2009.

Meet the whole crew







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