Hi, I’m John
I’m John Dilworth, not to be confused with the legendary animator of the same name (John R. Dilworth) whose fan mail I occasionaly receive, or my distant cousin who uses my name and email address to sign up for every single dating site in the UK.
I am a designer and an artist. Some have issues with that, but I have problems trying to keep the two separate. I even like to cross over to the dark side and write code. I think design and art happens in any medium—code editors included.
I’m also a manager. I find most corporate manager-ly things thoroughly annoying. However, I care lots about people, and the most rewarding benefits of my career have been watching people I’ve had the opportunity to “manage” grow into amazing designers and leaders.
I’m currently working at Ancestry as Sr. Director of User Experience.
I’d love to see job titles, corporate hierarchies, and everything that goes with them go away. I do a little directing, but mostly I like working with a team to make stuff better and more beautiful.
I have learned a few things in my career, including the fact that ideas are never good because of someone’s position. I have also learned that sometimes what we really need is a little less action, and a lot more chaos.
Writing on Design
“Designing” is a complicated job, and designers everywhere are all trying to make sense of it.
I've written some perspectives I've had about design and creativity, along with a few other stories I hope people find entertaining.
A Wrinkle in Tool Time
Fold space and time to make the user experience better for our customers.
Design Snake Oil
Does design make a difference? Or are we modern peddlers of digital snake oil?
A law to remember for design communication in meetings.
Chaos is your friend. At times it can even be way more valuable to your life than order.
Travel & Exploration
As much as I like my job and the corporate posturing required to move up the career ladder, I love exploring the world even more.
I’m working out how I can make my job duties exclusive to exploring the great outdoors, visiting the world’s most beautiful places, investigating art museums, and cultural history.
Texas Hill Country
Leprechaun & Blarney Canyons
Upstate New York
70 miles on the Susquehanna
Other Creative Outlets
I don’t entirely separate art from my design work. I do enjoy expressing ideas that have nothing to do with my job artistically.
Creating art is therapeutic, and I just love doing it.
While most design work you do for a company is ephemeral and will be gone in 5–7 years, art can last generations.
The latest art series I have been working on explores famous inventors and their relationship with their technology. Sometimes it’s a friend, and sometimes it’s a monster.
The Father of Television
This portrait of Philo T. Farnsworth shows the relationship of the inventor of television with his invention. After television had made it into homes everywhere, Philo lamented how it was used mostly as a vehicle for advertising, rather than as the benefit to humanity that he imagined.