James DilworthHello!

I design, prototype and bring to market websites & interactive products. I've worked with big companies and start-ups, non-profits and government, sometimes freelance, and sometimes full-time.

I enjoy tackling challenges and figuring out elegant solutions. I care about strategy and the big picture, but I also like fiddling with details and getting the code right; a nicely crafted UI interaction or a well written function will make my day. I can be opinionated and headstrong, but I also listen well, enjoy working as part of a team and I love seeing results.

If you have a project and need help, reach out! - I like talking!

Leadership Roles

Web Mahout
April 2013 - October 2015
Hortonworks develops and provides support for Apache Hadoop and related ecosystem of open-source big-data projects. It is the fastest growing enterprise software company ever reaching $100 million in annual revenue in just four years from inception.

As part of the marketing team, I managed the company web operations through it's fast growth startup period and past IPO. This included design, technical implementation and working throughout the organization to keep a myriad of stakeholders and interests happy.

  • Designed and built an advanced internationalized website on top of a Wordpress CMS
  • Designed advanced integration with Marketo
  • Constant tracking of design changes and their impacts on user behavior.
Habitat for Humanity International.
Project Lead - Social Fundraising Intiative
June 2010 - June 2011
Habitat for Humanity is one of the largest homebuilders in the world, currently building over 50,000 homes a year, around the world, many with the support of volunteers.

Working for the SVP for Strategy, I led an initiative to explore new ways to inspire, encourage and empower volunteers to raise money and promote Habitat's work through social media.

  • Developed a strategy for experimenting with social-fundraising with the volunteer Global Village program.
  • Led recruitment of 100 volunteers across six trial teams and worked throughout the organization to help them raise three times more than traditional volunteers using the new tools.
  • Managed development of WeAreHabitat.org - a social fundraising platform built with Drupal on a tight budget.

This work is now being continued with dedicated Habitat staff.

James displayed real leadership in driving a high-risk project that required diverse groups, geographically and philosophically, to agreement by creating lasting relationships and diving into the project with both feet on day one.
Dave McMurtry, SVP Strategy
Interim Head Product Management
Jan 2010 - May 2010

FirstGiving is the US arm of the highly successful British business JustGiving. A 20 person business helping nonprofits raise over $40million per year. During this engagement, my accomplishments included :

  • Leading a company-wide process to evaluate and then set the product strategy & roadmap for 2010.
  • Introducing an agile development process and leading it through two very successful product cycles.
  • Team-organization including clarifying roles, hiring and removing staff.
James is a gifted internet professional who brings an insightful, innovative, and results-driven approach to product strategy and development. He combines keen product intuition and strong technical knowledge with a commitment to understanding and delivering to the customer's needs. James is an inspiring leader who delivers both quality and rapid results. He has been a strong partner to the entire team at FirstGiving and key contributor to the business. It's been a pleasure to work with and learn from James.
Nancy Dickenson, CEO
James' passionate, adventurous, and roll-up-the-sleeves attitude coupled with his strong business sense, technical knowledge, and product development experience is essential to any successful team. While at FirstGiving, he regularly encouraged and motivated teammates to take on challenges that seemed impossible, yet at the end of the sprint, goals were achieved. James' collaboration with the business and his desire to understand the user and their needs always influenced the product built. It was an honor and privilege to work with and learn from James.
Beth Lingard, Product Manager
Head of Product Management
Mid 1998 to early 2001

Intra.net was a collaborative platform for sharing corporate information; a forerunner of MS Sharepoint and a forerunner to wikis. We conceived the idea while building corporate intranets in Hong Kong. Over the next two years we moved to California and grew to over 100 people.

I was largely responsible for the strategic direction of the product, which included developing alliances with partners, marketing & public relations, and designing and positioning our offerings. I had the final say on technology solutions, and continued to work hands on to write technical white papers and build UI prototypes.

Through rapid release cycles, we leapfrogged our competitors to deliver an 'ASP' service localized for 12 different regions (including Asia), and made it available on wireless devices. Intra.net was sold in 2002 to Vialect

UX, Design & Dev Projects

Most of my work has been freelance with clients; sometimes direct and sometimes with agencies such as Organic, Rocket, and the 280 Group. Play with the options below to see what I've done.

Landing Page Optimization

Working with the marketing team at RocketLawyer, I designed and prototyped a number of different landing page improvements for their incorporation business. We're still waiting to hear back on how some of the ideas are working out.

Mobile App Development

Currently in development, a mobile app to allow people to quickly and easily share activity plans, and see what there friends are up to.

Front-end Development

A fun little site that will calculate when you'll turn one-billion seconds old. Integrates with Facebook to also help you find their alternative milestones

IA/UX Design

Interactive wireframes to communicate ideas for an overhaul of one of Toyota's main web properties

Eaton Kiosks
Front-end Development

CSS and front-end code for a set of touch-screen kiosks for a large auto-parts manufacturer.

IA/UX Design Interactive Prototyping

A social-fundraising and blogging platform to enable Habitat for Humanity volunteers to fundraise and share information about their projects.

IA/UX Design Front-end Development

ApexMD was a powerful search tool to help doctors find the most appropriate and available specialists within top medical centers. Targetted at physicians who need to make a referral, or patients who need a second opinion

James not only designed a fantastic-looking physician search site for ApexMD.com, he was instrumental in the invention of our search process. He quickly got his head around the complexities of advanced healthcare delivery and how it needed to be packaged so that it was easy to understand for patients, yet comprehensive enough for professionals.
Billy Franz, Wrigley Web Services
IA/UX Design

One Recovery is a social-network to provide support to people recovering from addiction. It supports treatment centers to maintain continuous contact with cohorts in post-treatment.

IA/UX Design Interactive Prototyping
Wrigley's Candystand is an online gaming site that builds brand awareness for Wrigley products. I took on a fairly technical project to improve the usability of administration for Wrigley's Candystand.com . This meant designing a system which would be easier to learn, more efficient to use, and more fool-proof to prevent mistakes.
With his insights in user interface design James helped us build a new system that not only enabled us to manage our web applications more efficiently but also gave us the flexibility to grow the platform over time as needed. He was a critical factor in the success of the project and I would highly recommend his services.
Billy Franz, Wrigley Web Services
IA/UX Design Visual Design

In 2007, I worked on several projects with The Princeton Revew, including one high profile one to redesign college guides which are the foundation of their online business.

Projects were in association with Rocket Communications & NoDots

"James is that very rare creature who can speak the languages of both business and technology fluently. I've worked with him on several projects in which he has made significant contributions to both the business strategy and the code base. Having a consultant who can quickly put together functional prototypes with his own two hands is invaluable."
Ken Riley, The Princeton Review
IA/UX Design Front-end Engineeering
Working onsite as a contractor for Rocket Communications, I helped Yahoo put together a website to raise awareness of climate change for Earth Day, 2007. We designed the site to motivate people to take action themselves to help reduce it.
James is an extraordinary professional UI designer and a web application expert. He is able to engage with clients to quickly understand their product domain, user needs, product goals, and the overall project technical capabilities. Clients are always happy with their experience working with James, because he is professional, charming, intelligent, and creative
Michal-Anne Rogondino, CEO Rocket Communications
IA/UX Design Interactive Prototyping
IHS Energy (NYSE:IHS) is the largest provider of data and information to the energy industry. I helped IHS visualize and prototype their next generation of information services.
James has the uncanny ability to quickly understand the business domain and provide insights that those of us in the the trenches can overlook. His designs pointed the team in new directions from the status quo and made us rethink our user and business need from a fresh perspective. All this was delivered in a practical, professional and fun demeanor.
Mark Pawson, IHS Energy
IA/UX Design Interactive Prototyping

Trilliant sell networked metering technology to power companies.

Trilliant needed help developing UI flow & layouts for their 'Unity' product. I helped them refine their requirements, and then rapidly took them through a live-code prototyping process to figure out and test workflows and user-interface methods.

James worked collaboratively with the management team to help us visualize ideas and prototype them through a clickthrough web prototype. I was delighted at James's ability to quickly understand our business and design to meet our customer needs. James was fun to work with and highly professional. I thoroughly recommend him.
George Khadder, Product Manager, Unity Line - Trilliant
IA/UX Design Front-end Development
Each year IronPlanet sells hundreds of millions of dollars worth of used construction equipment to businesses all over the country through their online auction sites. I did a complete redesign of the marketing related pages and design templates
IA/UX Design Front-end Development
DDRnet enables companies to self-insure their employees with dental, vision and health benefits. Their automated claim processing is unique and likely to make a huge impact in corporate benefits. I designed the system.
IA/UX Design Interactive Prototyping
Think Dynamics, recently purchased by IBM, is a leader in data center automation and software for just-in-time provisioning of servers. I was brought in to improve usability, and prototyped numerous changes to the user interface.
James did an awesome job! He quickly understood the complex technical nature of our product suite, and worked well with our sales and marketing teams to clarify the points that were most crucial to buyers. He delivered a user-interface prototype that was clean and easy to understand. His work had an immediate impact on the product, and made the sales process much easier."
Alan McMillan, CEO Think Dynamics
IA/UX Design Front-end Development
Between 1997 & 1999 I led the design of a number of strategic technology initiatives for the HK Government including establishing a long-term and public strategy for government services online.
I am delighted with how you came in and worked with our team at our offices to complete this project. Your hard work to meet such a tight deadline is greatly appreciated. You went above the call of duty and the results show it.
Colin Sankey, Head EU
Simple Website
Design & HTML Development
I've been a member at Golden Gate Toastmasters for quite some time, and have also completed the Competent Toastmaster and Advanced Toastmaster programs.
Simple Website
Simple Website Design
Exact Audience is a San Francisco based startup providing technical consulting on online advertising strategies
Simple Website
Simple Website Design
Robert Darr travelled through Afghanistan during the Soviet war. He's just published a book about his experiences, but also wanted to make it available online.
Simple Website Wordpress
Website Design, Wordpress CMS
Racing Yacht Management do just that. If you have own a competetive sailboat and need to keep it in top form, this is the company to call! They helped me!
IA/UX Design
Interaction & Visual Design
Pandigital are the biggest manufacturer of digital photo frames. In 2008 I helped them design a touch screen interface to manage the functionality of the frame.
IA/UX Design Interactive Prototyping
Requirements & UI Design
As part of a drive to improve accountability and transparency following the return to Chinese rule, The Hong Kong Government set about development of a Management Information System to track progress on all policy objectives. I designed it.
PHP Development
Sharp Real Estate is a private real estate group. This is a brochure site with a small catalogue that can be updated by the client.
IA/UX Design PHP E-commerce
E-Commerce Website (PHP/MySQL)
Centurian Health distributes books to health care providers and large employers. This was a simple database driven site to let purchasers browse books, and place bulk orders.
Simple Website Wordpress
Wordpress CMS
Tom is a friend of mine and needed a site that he could build out quickly and easily by himself.
IA/UX Design E-commerce PHP Development
Ecommerce Website (PHP/MySQL)
Prescription911 is a Seattle based online pharmacy selling low cost prescription drugs to elderly and uninsured customers. Designed and developed by me.
IA/UX Design PHP Development
Rapid Prototyping (PHP/MySQL)
EcoSynergy is making it possible for individuals to understand the enviornmental impact of the products they buy. I've been advising them on their product strategy and am developing version 1.0 of the product in PHP/MySQL.
IA/UX Design
UI Design & CMS
In an effort to improve good government practices accross different departments, the Efficiency Unit of the Hong Kong Government contracted me to design an internal site that would be a central place for government employees to learn more and discuss good government.
Simple Website
Visual Design
A quick little site design and layout that I threw together in short order for a small business on a tight budget.
Simple Website Design
A simple website design for a friends paragliding company.
Simple Website
Website Design
The Arques School in Sausalito, CA provides apprenticeships and courses in wooden boatbuilding. I designed a simple website designed to attract new apprentices and keep interested public informed about progress on many of the historical boats being built at the school.
IA/UX Design E-commerce
Ecommerce Website
Daisy Arts manufactures and sells high end leather bound items including photo albums, journals and accessories. I redesigned the website and set up an e-commerce solution.
My online portfolio contains a more substantial list of over 30 web projects


I've launched a few businesses myself :

2005 to end-2006

At experienceTHIS, we packaged and sold gift-certificates for experiences, such as spa-days, whale watching trips and even soviet jet flights.

I formulated the business plan, developed product packaging; hired (and paid for) four staff, grew channel partnerships with several Bay Area retailers and dozens of suppliers, built systems to manage online sales and distribution through retail outlets and sought additional investment.

Some hard-won lessons came out of this experience.

SF Debate
2007 to Present

I started SFDebate in 2007 as a forum to encourage open debate around political issues. Based on the oxford-style of debate, the group meets every other week to discuss and debate topical issues. SFDebate was absorbed by the commonwealth club where you can still go to events today.

Next Event :


Skills & Errata

I've accumulated a wealth of experience in product strategy, project management, UI design, end-user research, rapid-prototyping, online marketing and optimization. I still code, specializing in front-end prototyping.

Favorite Tools

  • Interaction Design
    Illustrator, Balsamiq
  • Visual Design
    Illustrator, Photoshop
  • UI Prototyping
    HTML5, CSS3 & SASS, Javascript, jQuery,
  • Web Tools
    Firebug, Chrome Dev Tools, Git, SVN, Google Analytics, Omniture
  • Backend Systems
    LAMP (PHP), CodeIgniter, Drupal, Wordpresss,
    ** worked with .Net, Java, RoR environments on the template side.
  • Project Management
    Trac, FogBugz.
    ** I'm a big proponent of Agile
  • Sales & Marketing
    Salesforce.com, SugarCRM


Most of my education has come on the job and from the school of hard knocks! - But FWIW I did once go to school

BSc. (w/ Hons.) - Business Management - Cardiff Business School, University of Wales, United Kingdom