Driving bold, innovative
ideas forward.

Normative is a boutique innovation firm with a focus on designing what’s next. We have strong design DNA mixed with a technology-first orientation. If you visit our offices, we talk about “algorithms” and “computational design” as much as “interaction design” and “customer experience.”

For the last eight years, we’ve collaborated with large organizations and startups to transform napkin-sketched ideas into minimum viable products.

We’re a team of agile and tenacious innovation strategists, researchers, designers and software engineers who align organizations and help them move forward with confidence.

Based in Toronto and New York, we work with global organizations such as Thomson Reuters, Xerox PARC, Rogers Communications, Toronto Star, Bank of Montreal, Blockstream and Fox Broadcasting to bring a disciplined and systematic approach to drive innovation and software design success.


Leadership Team

Matthew Milan

Matthew Milan

Co-founder, CEO

Matthew is a designer and entrepreneur with a deep interest in the intersection of software design, innovation and systems theory. For the past 15 years, Matthew has explored the overlap between people and technology, designing products and leading teams on the fuzzy front end of emerging technologies and digital networks. When he’s not working, Matthew splits his time between studying ancient computer languages, trail running and teaching his children how to duck the rope at some of the world’s most challenging ski areas.

Jon Tirmandi

Jon Tirmandi

Co-founder, COO

Jon has proven track record helping organizations turn innovative ideas into inspired products. At Normative, Jon has built a world-class team of strategists, designers and engineers who tackle wicked problems. After a start in corporate finance, Jon transitioned into Technology Innovation because of the opportunities it offered to create new value in the world. Driven by results and establishing long-term relationships, Jon works closely with Normative’s clients to guide them toward innovation success.

Lindsay Ellerby

Lindsay Ellerby

Senior Design Director

After the life-changing experience of traveling and living around the world, Lindsay started her career at Critical Mass, a digital agency, where she developed a passion for interaction design and information architecture. Lindsay has a strong desire to tackle the toughest problems and is most comfortable being uncomfortable. Since joining Normative in 2009, she delivers strategic and tactical leadership on a diverse range of projects - everything from design and software development to creating strategic roadmaps for clients.

Dr. Rebecca Pardo

Dr. Rebecca Pardo

Senior Research Director

Rebecca’s work is underscored by anthropological theories and methods, which means getting an in-depth understanding about how people make sense of their own experiences, specifically with technology. With expertise in ethnography, discourse analysis, and semiotics (the study of signs and symbols), Rebecca brings a unique skill-set that fuels Normative’s research-driven approach to innovation and design. Rebecca has a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in linguistics, media and technology. Her dissertation fieldwork focused on how producers at MTV Canada measured and evaluated their audiences.

Kamal Syan

Kamal Syan

General Manager

In the agency world, client relationships matter. With more than 20 years of experience at fast-growing digital agencies, Kamal has fostered strong relationships to encourage honest and open conversations that drive the needs of clients. At Normative, Kamal’s responsibilities also include operations and personnel. Before joining Normative, Kamal was VP, Managing Director with Critical Mass, and VP, Group Account Director with Klick Health. A life-long entrepreneur, Kamal has launched and operated a successful coffee house and music production company.

We design your future.

Being an innovation leader means having to make difficult decisions every day with imperfect information. You imagine new possibilities, but they are obscured by the complexity of a world that never stops moving.