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About Me

Hi, I’m
John Wayne

I’m a results-driven designer with a proven track record of execution, direction, & leadership for new & existing products. I have expertise in executing design and driving positing metrics impact.

As a designer and leader, I create and execute product strategies that help meet business and consumer objectives. I can simultaneously hold the stratospheric view and add care to the details. I’ve been described as a “self-starter, highly strategic and puts in the effort to carefully understand customer problems”. As a designer I pursue truly great designs and execution through craft and inspire others towards the same. I’m versatile and learn by immersion.

And yes, I go by John Wayne 😄

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Portrait of John Wayne Hill

Product Designer & Leader

Product Designer

As a designer with over a decade of experience working with design agencies, startups, and fortune 500 companies, I have designed for nearly every platform imaginable. I enjoy working at the intersection of leadership and direct contribution, executing design, strategy, vision, and operations with a true “Work Out Loud” mentality.

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Portrait of John Wayne Hill
Portrait of John Wayne Hill

Design Leader

Throughout my career, I have focused on leading teams and people while also directly contributing to the design work. I excel in collaborating with product and engineering partners to deliver amazing experiences to users worldwide. My approach to leadership involves fostering a highly collaborative and inclusive working environment.

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Design Coach

In addition to my experience leading teams, I also serve as a Design Coach, working with designers and new leaders to help them reach their full potential. I believe in the power of reflection, honest feedback, and creating opportunities for growth. As a coach, I aim to help you navigate the challenges of being a new leader or manager and grow into the designer or leader you want to be.

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Portrait of John Wayne Hill

Principles & Leadership Style

With a proven track record of execution, direction, and leadership, I am a results-driven product designer based in San Francisco. I excel at collaborating with cross-functional and executive partners to develop and improve products through breakthrough innovation and experimentation. My experience spans various industries, platforms, and experiences, allowing me to adapt to new challenges and provide top-notch solutions.

Portrait of John Wayne Hill

Always Adaptable

I thrive in ambiguous situations and have a knack for delivering best-in-class customer experiences both in the short term and the long term. By thinking holistically and being open to change, I can make better decisions and bring others along to ensure proper consideration and collaboration.

Passion for Growth and Learning

I am always eager to learn and grow, both as a designer and as a leader. I am committed to staying current with industry trends, exploring new tools and techniques, and constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. By continuously seeking opportunities to learn, I can ensure that my work remains fresh, relevant, and impactful.

Tight Collaboration

I firmly believe that collaboration is the key to creating successful products. By working closely with teams and partners, I can ensure that all perspectives are considered, and the best possible outcome is achieved. I enjoy brainstorming, discussing ideas, and embracing an open and inclusive working environment.

Customer Centered

My design process is deeply rooted in empathy for the customer. By immersing myself in their point of view, I can better understand their needs and create experiences that resonate with them. I work within constraints and business goals to create directionality that adapts as new information becomes available.

And Much More

John Wayne Hill is a also a Woodworker, Furniture Maker, Writer, and Photographer

John Wayne Hill is a Woodworker


Operating DeathGhost Studios in the San Francisco Bay Area, I design and create custom furniture and household goods built to last. My pieces are modern, handcrafted, and tailored to your needs. I also offer a selection of finely crafted, beautiful, and functional household goods.

John Wayne Hill is a Photographer


As a portrait, lifestyle, and landscape photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, I use photography to explore and understand the world. I enjoy capturing the essence of a person and their unique qualities and personalities. I also love landscape photography.

Logo for Design Is Hard by John Wayne Hill


Drawing from my extensive experience as a Designer and Leader, I write at Design Is Hard covering a range of topics. I cover design leadership, growing your career, strategy, execution and more with insights, satire, a bit of snark. Check it out for a unique take on Design!


Connect with John Wayne Hill

I would love to connect with you to discuss how I can contribute to your project, collaborate on a new venture, or help you grow as a designer and leader. Please feel free to below or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me, my work, and my passions. I look forward to the opportunity to work together and create amazing experiences.

Portrait of John Wayne Hill in San Francisco, CA

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