illustration portraying me juggling user experience, technology, and business goals

I design tools for people to use.

I've worked at startups like GitHub and Netlify where I've designed tools for software developers. I also work on open source projects, make t-shirts, and other art.

illustration portraying me juggling user experience, technology, and business goals
Research, strategy, prototyping, design, code

Core disciplines

I use imagination, writing, drawing, design thinking, and code to solve business problems with software solutions.

Design process

Product development is an ongoing cycle of identifying problems, exploring solutions, testing, gathering feedback, making changes, shipping to real people, and measuring results. This is how I work.

An illustration depicting the product development cycle



Head of Design 2018

I led design at Netlify where we worked to improve the software development workflow by providing the best way to host your websites and hook it up to powerful backend functionality. I was responsible for the Design Department, including managing and resourcing projects, coordinating and collaborating with other teams and department leads, individual contributor work (both product design and marketing design), and building team processes.

Product illustration for Netlify's core product concept


Product Design Lead 2013 – 2018

I designed and built experiences for the millions of people who use GitHub every day, including recent hits such as Code Owners, Review Requests, and the Checks API.

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Visual Design Engineer, Tech Lead 2012 – 2013

At AppendTo, a front-end shop, I did HTML, CSS, and JavaScript implementations of responsive websites such as,, and

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CURE International

Principal Designer 2011 – 2012

Web & Graphic Designer 2009 – 2011

I owned design for an 1500 person international NGO that operated a network of charitable hospitals around the world.

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workflow illustration of code review collaboration on GitHub

JAG Design Ideas

Founder 2004 – 2016

Provided professional design and development services for a range of clients in the small business and startup space.

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My clients have included organizations such as StackOverflow, AndCulture, CURE International, Spreadshirt, Papertrail, and many more.


I would emphasize his particular thoughtfulness in producing a collaborative environment for peers to offer influence and feedback in his work. He has produced so much context around user problems that I still work off of, and the output of his time at GitHub will remain a great resource for many projects.”

Profile photo of Kathy Zheng

Kathy Zheng

GitHub colleague

Watching Joel's design process unfold was a delight, and the care and mindfulness he infused in every step was inspirational. He is supremely talented, but even above that, he is a thoughtful, conscientious, open minded, positive individual that makes the work environment more inclusive and welcoming for everyone.”

Profile photo of Elizabeth Barron

Elizabeth Barron

GitHub colleague

What stands out most about Joel is that he is an exceptional person to have on a team. People love working with him. Joel communicates well, articulates himself clearly, provides objective feedback, praises when people do well, and speaks up when things aren’t great.”

Profile photo of Cameron McEfee

Cameron McEfee

GitHub manager

Joel is not just a gifted product designer, he also has the patience, dedication and work ethic that motivates the rest of the team. He is one of those colleagues that you wish you could have on every project.”

Profile photo of Jialee Chau

Jialee Chau

GitHub colleague

I consider Joel a rare and genuine soul, an incredibly capable teammate, and strong project leader. I'm thankful to continue to work with him in a volunteer capacity and would be glad to collaborate professionally once again.”

Profile photo of Joel Worrall

Joel Worrall

CURE manager, HospitalRun co-founder

During his time at CURE International, Joel was a key player in transitioning CURE International's web presence from an awful legacy website to a world class platform that has received numerous awards and accolades. Given the opportunity, I would hire Joel in a heartbeat.”

Profile photo of John Kleinschmidt

John Kleinschmidt

CURE colleague, HospitalRun co-founder

I'd been impressed with Joel's design talent well before he joined the team at appendTo. Once on board, his other technical skills were put to use on numerous projects. Joel's passion for his craft and enthusiasm he brought to his projects were immediately visible.”

Profile photo of Doug Neiner

Doug Neiner

AppendTo colleague

Personal projects

an illustration of me digging with a shovel
HospitalRun screenshot


Co-founder 2014 – 2019

An open source, offline first EMR designed for hospitals in resource constrained locations using Ember.js, Couch, Pouch, and Node.

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Dev Tees screenshot

Dev Tees

Creator 2012 – Present

A line of t-shirts for developers started with the help of nearly 500 Kickstarter backers in 2013. screenshot

Creator 2012-2015

A job board and job seeker site for connecting remote employees with new opportunities. Acquired by LiftUX, 2015.

Fizzy syntax theme screenshot

Fizzy syntax theme

Creator 2014 - Present

A custom syntax theme for Atom with bright and bubbly colors.

61,336 6
Resume template screenshot

Resume template

Creator 2015 - Present

A simple Jekyll-powered resume template for GitHub Pages sites.

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Minima screenshot


Creator 2014

The default Jekyll theme that shipped with the release of Jekyll 2.0.

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