Cloud

From Design
to Implementation

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Mobile

From Design
to Build

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Gaming

Halo 4 Menus &
Scoreboards

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E-Commerce

From Idea
to Market

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Advertising

Architecture
to Animation

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Seattle Designer and Developer

I lead design teams who create products loved by humans, backed by research, driven by principles, and implementable by engineers.

With 18 years experience navigating all aspects of the product life cycle across UX design, development, user research, strategy, and branding in the cloud, mobile, gaming, e-commerce, and advertising industries I would love to use my experience to help you, your team, and product grow.

UX Design

Design, Prototyping, & Research

Front-End Development

Angular, React, Git, & CI/CD

iOS Development

Obj-C, iOS 7 Libs, & CocoaPods

Clients & Projects Per Year

90 Projects, 55 Clients, 17 Agencies, 11 Years

How I Work

Research

Discover, Listen, & Strategize

Design & Prototype

Collaborate, Concept, & Define

Deliver

Detail, Implement, & Measure

Work

My work spans from strategy to design to development. Clients include Google, Motorola, Microsoft, McDonalds, and Cadillac. Co-founder, designer, and developer of PillowMob and UI developer for Halo 4.

Google

UX Lead & Senior UX Engineer

Motorola

UX Lead & iOS Development

PillowMob

UX Design & Front-End Dev

CountOnIt

UX Lead & iOS Development

Halo 4

UI Development

Subaru

Front-End Development

Cadillac

Flash, ActionScript, & Animation

PopMask

UX Design & PHP

jQuery Portfolio

Design & Front-End Dev

Health Counselor

Design & Front-End Dev

Craftsman

Flash, ActionScript, & Animation

CenturyLink

UX Design & Illustration

Illustration

Illustration, Visual Design, & Identity

Photography

Travel & Product Shots

Flash

Flash, ActionScript, & Animation

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J Blair Metcalf

I lead design teams who create products loved by humans, backed by research, driven by principles, and implementable by engineers.

After a decade of advertising industry design and development experience I developed, co-founded, and subsequently sold PillowMob, an e-commerce company that turns your head into a pillow. While PillowMob was running itself I developed the menus and scoreboards for Halo 4. In 2014-15, I designed and developed an iOS app for Motorola that uses end-to-end encryption for group and private push-to-talk secure communications for governments and corporations.

Currently, I am leading design teams that create products that are influencing the direction of Google Cloud.

In my free time you can find me picnicking with my wife and son on Lake Washington, discussing The Atlantic's latest article about technology's effects on society, biking through the Pacific Northwest while listening to African Blues, and daydreaming how to incrementally create a branded boutique hotel in the Cascades for city mice to bathe in the forest.

Design & Development

  • UX Briefs & Milestones
  • Figma & Sketch
  • Lo- & Hi-Fidelity Prototyping
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • User Research
  • Angular, React, & NPM
  • TypeScript & ES6
  • Google Cloud & Firebase
  • iOS Objective-C
  • VS Code, Git & CI/CD

Recognition

My works and products have been seen and heard on: NBC's Today Show, Fab, Wired, Fast Company, Stuff You Should Know Podcast, Gizmodo, Cracked, Incredible Things, Evening Magazine, and New Day Northwest.

Clients
Extras

Feel free to email me, look through my work history on LinkedIn, take a peek at my code on GitHub, or see how I see the world on Instagram.

Contact Me
Google
UX Lead & Senior UX Engineer (2015-Present) UX/UI Design, Prototyping, User Research, Sprint Lead

UX Lead for teams that design and prototype products loved by humans, backed by research, and driven by principles on Google Cloud Platform.

  • UX Lead for Kubernetes Engine (GKE) focused on increasing user task success by simplifying infrastructure creation, offering in-context best practices, and integrating with other essential products resulting in a material increase in revenue.
  • UX Lead for Custom Roles and Organization Policy features unblocking the Identity and Access Management (IAM) launch and satisfying one of the biggest user pain points and represented a material amount of Cloud’s revenue.
  • Conceived of and drove the creation of a design tool to quickly prototype workflows using existing components without writing code and increasing UX velocity. Recruited and led a 22 person UX team to define, design, prototype, and research designer needs and workflows.
  • UX Engineering Lead for a Google Cloud facsimile prototyping framework used across Cloud and critical to 8 launches in GKE, Anthos, and Cloud Search.
  • UX Lead on Cloud onboarding focused on reducing time to onboard by offering customizable packaged infrastructure as code solutions and best practices.
  • UX Lead on GKE’s accessibility certification empowering low-vision users.
  • I or my work was critical to the launch of 7 features, 5 components, and 3 patterns across 7 Cloud products, 11 UX teams, and 8 engineering teams.

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Motorola
Designer & Developer (2014-2015) iOS Development, Objective-C, UX/UI Design, Branding, User Research

Led UX Design and iOS UI development for native iOS and Android push-to-talk apps used by governments, militaries, and enterprises.

  • Led user research and competitive analysis to redesign, rewrite, and relaunch resulting in the platform’s highest yearly revenue due to increased mobile sales.
  • Elevated role of UX in an 87 year old corporation by gaining executive sponsorship to redesign and improve user journeys with modern interaction patterns.
  • Led design critiques and engagement with Q & A, presented design thinking and explorations to leadership, and incorporated feedback to iteratively improve products.
  • Refactored and added features like text messaging to a legacy iOS codebase.
  • These FIPS compliant apps featured end-to-end encryption for group and private communications of 5,000 concurrent users.

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PillowMob
Co-Founder (2011-14) UI/UX Design, Front-End Development, Identity, Flash, ActionScript, & Photography

Co-founder and central to every facet of this viral consumer e-commerce company. We made and shipped 10s of 1,000s personalized face and pet pillows in 3 years around the world for $25 each.

  • Profitable within 6 weeks due to our vertically integrated and on-demand fulfillment model.
  • Using a low-cost viral marketing campaign, we landed a 1 minute and 45 second spot on NBC's Today Show which drove traffic and increased our conversion rate to 11% for our first holiday season.
  • Hired 22 employees to make and ship 16,000 pillows then grew by 25% in our second year by expanding social media marketing partnerships and creating customer loyalty programs.
  • Sold my equity after three successful years and earning 70 times ROI.

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CountOnIt
Designer & Developer (2012-2013) iOS Development, Objective-C, UI/UX Design

Designed and developed a native iOS app that delightfully helped users track goals and chart progress. Gestures allowed for intuitive navigation and editing with an uncluttered UI. Onboarding tour guided users through the feature set without being obnoxious. Feel free to download the project from GitHub and see how I develop.

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Halo 4
Microsoft Studios - 343 Industries (2012) UI Development

Developed Halo 4 menus, scoreboards, and heads up display (HUD). Iterated and polished award winning UI alongside designers, motion designers, and shader developers meeting a marketing deadline for a holiday launch with 4M players in the first 5 days putting the franchises' total sales north of $3.3B.

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Subaru
Acne Productions (2014) Front-End Development, JQuery, RWD, SASS, Grunt, AMD, Require JS, & TweenMax

Working remotely through Github, I worked closely with other developers, the designer, and art director to architect and animate the Compare All Sedans graphs with Grunt, SASS, JQuery, TweenMax, and Raphael JS for desktop, tablet and mobile layouts. During fit and finish, I polished the animations and fixed bugs throughout the site.

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Cadillac
Arc Worldwide/Leo Burnett (2005-06) Flash, ActionScript, & Animation

Led development of Cadillac's website and the Escalade, V-Series, and Team Cadillac campaigns. Managed cross-disciplinary teams that conceived, designed, and developed the site to meet deadlines for new product releases and Super Bowl advertising.

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PopMask
Designer, Developer, & Photographer (2012) UI/UX Design, PHP, Identity, & Photography

Following the success of PillowMob, my business partner and I re-implemented the site's strategy, code-base, and connections, creating a new mass produced, custom product (PopMask) that allows everyone to be anyone. A PHP ImageMagick script stretches user-uploaded photos into correct mask proportions and overlays the pattern required to print and fulfill their order.

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jQuery Portfolio
Designer & Developer (2013) UI/UX Design, Front-End Development, jQuery & SVG Animation

Working with jQuery and SVG animation, I designed and developed an experimental full screen portfolio website. Later, I moved on and went with the present portfolio responsive website.

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Health Counselor
Designer & Developer (2011) UI/UX Design, Front-End Development, PHP, Identity, & SEO

Worked with a small business owner to design their identity and brand in order to develop a low-cost website and blog using WordPress. After development, the site was optimized in order to draw more clients with better SEO.

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Craftsman
Designkitchen (2009-10) Flash, ActionScript, & Animation

Working offsite in Seattle with designers at Design Kitchen in Chicago, I developed Flash experiences for Craftsman's home page and a Gift Finder for a Holiday campaign. Projects required branded animations and a complex GUI with dynamic content to be delivered on-time for campaign deadlines.

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Illustration

Illustrations for band posters and the identity discovery process for small business logos.

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Photography

Shooting as a hobbyist, I have refined my composition and lighting skills to know what I want and how to capture a product shot — or a knockout — that grabs viewer attention.

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Flash
Flash Developer & Designer (2005-10) Flash, ActionScript, & Motion Design

Over a decade of UX design and front-end development experience across frameworks and platforms for Microsoft, McDonalds, Burger King, and Craftsman. Involved in all aspects of the project cycle, ideation, design, and prototyping through to production. Developed and maintained an extensive, custom UI library reusable across brands to increase velocity and consistently set and meet client’s expectations.

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