A Penchant for Every Pixel
Welcome to my little corner of the internet. — My name is Jonathan Brodheim, but as the domain name suggests, most people call me Jony. I was born in the states, raised in the Bahamas, and am the proud father of a little monkey named Simba. I am a Product Designer currently living in San Francisco and work at LoungeBuddy, a small startup located in the heart of the Financial District. Jony.io is where I share my thoughts and showcase my design work. Thanks for visiting!
When I am not connected to a computer, I am actually a pretty fun guy. Most days you can find me working in my local Starbucks drinking tea, listening to music, and regretting not getting something sweet. Some personal anecdotes: I've
recently become a CrossFit junkie. I use way too much data for my own good. Netflix has become my best friend; perhaps my favorite shows, House and Futurama, will shed some light on my Jekyll/Hyde personality. And although I have yet to find my voice, I sincerely believe Twitter is the one of the most incredible and influential services introduced in my lifetime.
My design background is quite different from most designers in the Bay Area; I received my Professional Master in Architecture from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2014. In this time I've had projects featured in numerous exhibitions and presentations, including my thesis on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, "Unyielding Perspectives: A Museum Between Controversies."
After completing my MArch, I knew that the architectural profession wasn't for me; I was passionate about design and the design process, but not what I was designing. Throughout my life, I have been fascinated by technology and constantly found myself redesigning apps, coding small websites, or writing about my favorite company. It was obvious I needed to combine my passions for design and technology, which lead me to my current career path: Digital Product Design. I can't think of another profession where the skills you develop as a designer allow you to work on numerous platforms with such varied and unique problems.
October 2015, I moved across the country to join LoungeBuddy, a small but motivated startup dedicated to improving the dreaded airport experience through Uber-like airport lounge access: book a pass, and you're in. I am currently the only designer, which means my role is, as you would expect, very broadly defined. I've been able to touch just about every aspect of the company, from the web and mobile products (my primary focus), to partner tools, pitch decks, marketing efforts, and branding development. Having so many responsibilities is obviously demanding, but the experience has also been tremendously enlightening.
In this time, I have formalized our design process, directed early concept development & design ideation, incorporated field research into the product design, collaborated extensively with engineers, and so much more. What's surprised me most about this experience, is the difficulty of bringing a project to life; there are so many opinions, hurdles, and interpretations that affect a product, which are not obvious outside of development. If there is anything I've learned, it is that the designer's responsibility is to minimize these bottlenecks through research, iterative design, and collaboration.
My design process has been heavily influenced by my architectural background, which focuses on research, concept development, ideation, the user experience, and (surprise) aesthetics. Design is cyclical process, which facilitates the evolution of meaningful details that correspond with systematic and reasoned data.
"It's easy to make something look good, but does it work well?"
I am a proponent of utilizing design standards to prove a concept or hypothesis before expanding the palette to employ "custom" solutions. Most products try to be too smart, which ultimately results in a poor user experience. Focusing on familiarity and ease of development are vital in creating a phenomenal product. When a "standard" metaphor is not suitable, this is when you should take the time to explore unique solutions.
I also advocate for product synthesis, where products that have become overblown or fall victim to "feature creep," take time to define their product's purpose and consolidate their feature set. Designing from a bird's eye view engenders a much more cohesive product when compared to working with horse blinders in isolation. Approaching a problem from the macro-perspective allows teams to define standards, rules, and processes — facilitating a better and more refined product.
I have strong opinions about the future of computing and the tech industry, and with the right opportunity, I know I can make a difference in the devices we use to power our daily lives. To be clear:
My dream is to design the next major operating system that accounts for modern problems with synthesized solutions.
If you are located in San Francisco and interested in operating systems or the platform war, ping me for a cup of tea and an engaging conversation.
Aspirations aside, I plan to continue to hone my skills in product design, user interface design, illustration, and interaction design. If you've read this far, don't be an introverted muggle; we should probably chat.
If you are interested in learning about what powers this site, take a look at the Site Credits.
Last updated June 27, 2017