Nic Bertino

Not magic. Just good design.

I began my career as a web developer working closely with people to design software to make their lives easier. Now, I lead design teams that work within web applications, helping organizations navigate product design in complex software.

My goal is to pursue good design. The definition of good design is a moving target; it’s hard to imagine good design now being good design years from now. Here is what I currently hold as good design:

  • Inclusive: everyone benefits from the design and its outcomes.
  • Technically performant: an experience is as fast as it can possibly be.
  • Ethical: how a design could cause harm is considered and controlled.
  • Gives more than it takes.
  • Measurable: the value of the design can be articulated.
  • Contextual: design considers the environment that it is invoked, including other users and their community.
  • Lightweight: attaining a goal or outcome requires as little investment as possible from a user.

Director of User Experience

AppFolio, Inc (2019-)

Director of Digital Strategy, Web Services Manager, Director of Technology/Digital Media, Webmaster, Technical Specialist

Santa Clara University (2010-2019)

Senior Web Developer

Trumpette, Inc (2008-2010)

Music Producer

Melee, xxvvoo (Forever)

Consultant, pizza maker, K-8 educator, open source contributor

Distant Past

Cover art for Disco Ball, an album released by xxvvoo in November 2020.
Disco... Ball
Cover and Audio Production (2020)
Dance Machines 4 Sale Cover Art
Dance Machines 4 Sale
Cover and Audio Production (2020)

Melee - Disconnected
Cover Direction and Audio Production (2016)
Art by Vanessa Robak
Disconnected album art
Title slide for a presentation about burnout.Interior slide design for Burnout presentation with "How do I measure burnout?" text Burnout
Slide Design (2020)
Burnout (2020) is a talk focusing on how people (and people leaders) can better understand what drives burnout in life and the workplace. It takes a critical look at the drivers/resources model and adds core engagement to help people better understand how to stay happy, healthy, and engaged at work.

Your Tragic Design (2019) focuses on the weaponization of MVP and ableism in Agile development, told through the design of WordPress’ Gutenberg editor.
Title slide from the presentation "Your Tragic Design" with the text "It's a whole new way to use WordPress."Interior slide design for Your Tragic Design with the text "Everyone remembers a bad launch. Don't guess the readiness."
Your Tragic Design
Slide Design (2019)

Photograph of a wood structure in Balboa Park (San Diego) at night.
Misty photo of a San Diego beach with a closed lifeguard tower.

Mention Engine diagram explaining the relationship between dynamic content such as blog posts and events, the people involved in those events, and how those combine to create streams of related content.
Screenshot of the Mention Engine, which has an author and a stream of updates from that author below.
Mention Engine (2013) is a WordPress plugin that created streams of similar content, tying together dynamic content with authors and organizations. It was a way of grouping similar content together for better discoverability.

Screenshot of the homepage of the Santa Clara University design system.
A layout example of a blog page in SCU's design system.

Santa Clara University’s Design System (2018) provided a definitive source for SCU’s visual language on the web.
Photos of the designs system's component library.

Nic Bertino

Not magic. Just good design.