portrait of John Wayne Hill

Hi, I’m
John Wayne

I lead teams in crafting best-in-class experiences. I’m experienced in hiring, leading, and growing teams for new products & spaces. I drive concepting, vision, and execution across platforms. With over 14 years of experience in bringing products to life, refining and iterating, I lead teams through empowerment, inspiration, and by asking questions.

Design Leader

Over 14 years of experience across a range of industries, platforms, and experiences.

I lead teams in creating best-in-class experiences. Directly managing all types of designers, leading multiple teams on multiple products, and truly collaborating across the board.

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John Wayne Hill with design team member
John Wayne Hill with ancestry design team in utah
Core Strength 01

Background in Delivery

I work within ambiguity to deliver best-in-class customer experiences; thinking both long-term and enabling short term value and learnings.

  • iOS (iPhone, iPad)
  • Android
  • Web (mobile, desktop)
  • Custom Platforms
Core Strength 02

Directional Approach with Partnerships

I think holistic, with a point of view that changes with new information; bringing others along to ensure proper consideration and better decisions

  • Creative Direction
  • Critique Culture
  • Workshops
  • Experience Strategy
Core Strength 03

Immersion and Strong Opinions Loosely Held

I immerse myself into the customer’s point of view to build up empathy, working within constraints and business goals to create directionality that changes with new information.

  • User Research
  • Prototyping
  • Service Design
  • Futures Thinking

Featured Work

Latest work from the past two years which I directed and lead

Product screens showing Ancestry Mosaic for iOS

Ancestry Mosaic

Discovering the culture and traditions behind your DNA

A new way to discover more of what of what makes you, you. Mosaic featured a patenable, custom interaction to quickly save relevant content answering the question "What does it mean to be Irish/Norwegian/Cuban?".

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Product screens showing Ancestry Mosaic for iOS

AncestryDNA Traits

Understanding more about your traits, both seen and unseen

A premium add-on for DNA kits and results, Traits helped customers learn more about themselves, what they inherited, and where they might have gotten a trait. Traits launched across all platforms including iOS, Android, and Web.

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Additional Case Studies

Work that I've directed, lead, and contributed individually.

Two iphones showing the Ancestry DNA Story product

Ancestry DNA Story

Helping people uncover their origins across the world.

Two phones showcasing the 2020 vision for Ancestry, lead by John Wayne Hill

Ancestry Product Vision

Moving from fragmentation to a cohesive product experience

Aerial Photography case study with drone controller on landscape background

Aerial Photography

A cohesive, easy to use flight & camera control system

Person using the Launcpad exhibit at the Museum of History and I

M.O.H.A.I. Launchpad

A cohesive, easy to use flight & camera control system

Experience and Background

14+ years in design; 9+ years leading projects/clients; 5+ years experience managing and leading teams.

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portrait of John Wayne Hill

Grew AncestryDNA from 1M to 20M+ customers

Brought AncestryDNA Traits to market, selling 5M+ upgrades and kits.

Overhauled AncestryDNA apps to 4.8 rating

2017 Red Dot Award

2014 Interpretive Interactive Installations Award

2013 GOLD | Best Museum Environment

John Wayne Hill with Ancestry UX team designing and painting a mural in Lehi, Utah.

Leadership without ego; I empower design teams.

“John Wayne is an amazing mentor and leader. His voice and strategic point of view is integral to the success of our team. He has led multiple products to launch and is continuously doing a great job at pushing everything forward. He is an asset to the design team and he is valued by all of us.”

“Gifted and direct in guidance. Confident, unflappable, articulate, & candid.”

“Great designer and compassionate leader.”