Phil Buchanan is a product leader, designer, developer, and educator in Toronto.


Phil is a product leader with over 15 years of experience applying design thinking to elegantly solve complex problems. As a skilled product thinker, designer, and developer, Phil has a unique skillset for improving cross-functional communication between the three disciplines.

Phil is currently the Director of Product and Engineering at Tetra Trust where he is responsible for all aspects of product, design, and engineering. Previously, Phil ran product and design teams at several startups, where he helped launch products that collectively reach millions of users. He has also developed and delivered interaction design curriculum to hundreds of students in the Department of Design at York University.

Phil graduated with honours from the York University/Sheridan College Joint Program in Design.


  • Design leadership

    Hiring, career growth, coaching, project management

  • Design education

    Developing curriculum, lecturing, evaluation

  • Design execution

    User-centered, user experience, and user interface design, creating and maintaining design systems

  • Product development

    Product strategy, customer interviews, roadmaps, product specifications, agile development processes, project management

  • Frontend development

    HTML, CSS, JavaScript (including React.js), TypeScript, accessibility, custom component libraries


  • – Present

    Director of Product and Engineering

    Tetra Trust Company • Fintech

  • Director of Digital

    Aubs & Mugg Inc. • Government, Healthcare, & Academia

  • Course Director and Lecturer

    York University • Education

  • Head of Design

    Hubdoc • Fintech • Acquired by Xero in 2018

  • Manager, Product Design

    EventMobi • Event Services

  • Lead Web Designer / Developer

    Context Creative • Utilities & Healthcare

  • Intermediate Graphic Designer

    I-Connect • Digital Signage


Reading List

  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team book cover

    The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

    Patrick Lencioni


  • Getting to Yes book cover

    Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

    Roger Fisher, William Ury


  • The Design of Everyday Things book cover

    The Design of Everyday Things

    Don Norman


  • Build book cover

    Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making

    Tony Fadell


  • Good to Great book cover

    Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap… And Others Don’t

    Jim Collins


  • Competing Against Luck book cover

    Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

    Clayton M Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, David S. Duncan


  • Creative Selection book cover

    Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs

    Ken Kocienda