About Derek Toews

Hi, I'm Derek

I am an impact-driven Product Designer with a passion for creating delightful user experiences. Currently, I am honing my skills at Focus21 as a UI/UX Designer, where I collaborate closely with small to medium-sized companies, either bringing their ideas to life or enhancing the user experience of their existing software products.

My career path initially led me towards mechanical engineering, but I developed a deep passion for digital design and human interaction. I've found that my background as an engineer provides me with a unique perspective and the ability to approach problems with a user-centered focus, iteratively creating impactful solutions.

In my journey as a Product Designer, I've had the opportunity to work with amazing people and learn many valuable lessons, including:

Building Scalable End-to-End Solutions: I lead successful product launches, established scalable design systems, and use user feedback for continuous improvement.

Working in Cross-Functional Teams: I excel in collaboration, align design strategies with client goals, and bridge communication gaps between design and non-design stakeholders for smooth project progress.

Growth Mindset and Staying Humble: I'm committed to continuous learning, embrace feedback for personal growth, and foster a culture of knowledge sharing and mentoring within teams.

I'm always open to new opportunities, collaborations, and discussions about design. Whether you're interested in my work or just want to chat about the latest design trends, please don't hesitate to reach out. Let's create something amazing together!



Lead UI/UX Designer

During my time at Focus21 as a UI/UX designer, I've honed my skills by closely engaging with stakeholders to understand their needs. I conduct user research, create designs and prototypes in Figma, and rigorously test usability. Collaborating with the development team, I ensure a smooth handoff. I've also gained experience in UX consulting and business development. Additionally, I maintain project files and design systems in Figma for organized workflow.

Jammer - Side Project

Product Designer

I designed a mobile app that facilitates connections among music enthusiasts for in-person music collaboration, idea sharing, and local rehearsal or recording. This involved conducting comprehensive user surveys and competitor analysis to inform the design process. I created prototypes in Figma adhering to WCAG guidelines and validated design decisions through usability testing.

Activi-T - Side Project

UI/UX Designer

I designed a mobile app aimed at assisting users in discovering well-balanced workouts, tracking their progress, and receiving feedback tailored to their experience level and fitness goals. To ensure a user-centered approach, I conducted thorough user research, which included literature reviews, user surveys, and competitor analysis. This research informed the creation of wireframes and Figma prototypes that were subsequently used in usability testing.

South Essex Fabricating

Mechanical Designer

I generated CAD models, assemblies, and drawings of greenhouse components with a focus on GD&T principles. Additionally, I developed communication and project management skills through collaboration with contractors and engineers to install and troubleshoot autonomous greenhouse systems under tight deadlines.

Braceworks Custom Orthotics

Product Engineer

I designed and prototyped four orthotic chest braces using SolidWorks, specifically tailored to teenagers with pectus carinatum. My work included conducting thorough UX research to understand user needs and establish design and functional requirements. I also collected both qualitative and quantitative data through usability and mechanical testing, utilizing statistical analysis to guide design decisions and validate concepts effectively.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada

Facilities Specialist

Utilized thermodynamics and fluid mechanics knowledge to improve the combined heat and power system by reducing annual energy consumption by 36000 kWh. Gained problem-solving and project management skills leading the team in energy reduction projects. Troubleshoot PLC programs and assisted in updating the HVAC system

Design Tools

Design & Prototyping

  • Figma

  • Webflow

  • Sketch

  • Illustrator

  • SolidWorks

Wireframing & User flows

  • FigJam

  • Drawio.com

Key Skills

  • User-experience design

  • Qualitative research & Quantitative research

  • Data-driven design

  • Visual Design (UI, Branding)

  • Collaborating with multi-disciplinary team

  • Facilitating

  • Rapid Prototyping

  • Positive attitude

Education & Pertinent Courses


BAS Honours Systems Design Engineering

Option in Biomechanics

May 2021


Google UX Design Certificate

Mar 2022


The Practical BPMN 2.0 Master Class

May 2023


User Research And Testing For UX Writing

September 2023


User Experience professionals association (UXPA) international Member

Faithtech Member

Bridging the gap between faith and tech

Jr youth coordinator

Shantz Mennonite Church