Nic Bertino is a design leader, music maker, and disco lover, getting people close to good design.

A mural shows a woman on the beach eating a donut.

Good Design

As a design leader, I'm responsible for realizing as much good design as possible while minimizing bad (or tragic) design. Design is constantly changing, but here is what I currently hold as good design:

Cover art for Run 2 me by Bertino Sound & Aesthetic Cover art for Dance Machines (Sold Out) by Bertino Sound & Aesthetic Cover art for Disco... Ball by Bertino Sound & Aesthetic Cover art for Disconnected by Melee

Rèsumè (PDF) and my Leader README.


Sr. Director of UX, AppFolio 2019-Present

Currently providing design leadership to the Payments, Screenings, and FolioGuard space after tours with our AI initiative and SMB segment. I work within a cross-functional product development group to help teams create B2B and B2B2C products that people love. I've also led our design system effort, providing UI components to 50+ development teams.

Director of Digital Strategy, Santa Clara University 2010-19

Applied Agile product development to digital transformation projects, including apps, websites, touch kiosks, and digital signage. Launched several key projects and initiatives for SCU's most visited properties and authored the University's first accessibility policy.

Senior Web Developer, Trumpette 2008-10

In my last dedicated development position, our small team was responsible for delivering a new eCommerce engine and fulfillment experience.

Web Development, Freelance 2003-19

Everything from WordPress websites to Magento deployments, with a sprinkle of “how to make the worst interface possible” for a Ph.D.’s dissertation.

Major Projects & Impact


Introducing Figma

Supercharged 60+ product development teams through effortless collaboration. Led efforts to integrate AppFolio's design system with Figma.


SCU's Design System

Launched SCU's design system, which powered websites and apps across the University's portfolio. Launched two major UI revisions on properties receiving millions of yearly visits.

Santa Clara University's Design System Landing Page An atomic agenda component in Santa Clara University’s Design System A layout example in Santa Clara University's Design System


Santa Clara University Website

Successfully launched SCU's major brand and digital overhaul; worked across campus to bring user-centric design to over 40 content owners.


Santa Clara Law Websites/Intranet

Designed, coded, and launched Law's industry-first responsive website with a team of four, which improved task success of key metrics by 10%. Deployed Law's intranet with course planning. Created touch kiosks for students and faculty.

Screenshot of Santa Clara Law's admissions landing page. Screenshot of Santa Clara Law's Faculty profile page showing Brad Joondeph. Screenshot of Santa Clara Law's News page from 2016.


Git/Redmine Conversion

Modernized version control and enabled agility by connecting user stories to code automatically.

Selected Presentations and Speaking



Focuses on how people (and people leaders) can better understand what drives burnout in life and the workplace. It critically examines the drivers/resources model and adds core engagement to help people better understand how to stay happy, healthy, and engaged at work.

Opening Slide from Burnout talk A title slide with 'How do I Measure Burnout?' A tachometer for revolutions per minute shows drivers going up and resources going down, both building towards the 'redline' of Burnout.


Your Tragic Design

The community met WordPress' Gutenberg editor with near-universal contempt upon its launch in 2018. This case study critiques the product's design, its inherent inaccessibility, and how MVP and Agile were used to justify exclusive design, told by a volunteer on the community Accessibility team.

Your Tragic Design slide design showing how WordPress publishes content Your Tragic Design slide showing how Medium publishes content for blogs A proposed publishing model that breaks the process into three phases; content writing, design, and meta input


Modern Version Control

Our small team working in academia successfully transitioned to Git and created a distributed version control system with issue tracking (a la GitHub) using open source tools. We shared how we made it happen.

Slide from Modern Version Control showing how code repositories are distributed Another slide shows how an issue tracker can be incorporated into code repositories A flow chart of how an issue could be reported and resolved via Git


Modern version control: creating an efficient development ecosystem. SIGUCCS '12.