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Passionate Visual Design

Making beautiful visual design and user experiences is only a small part of what I do. If you want to know more about how I view the world through design, what my process for solving problems is like, or learn about the sort of skills I possess; please scroll down or pick a section: My Bio | Theory | Resume

A Brief History

Born in Buffalo in 1984, I started creating art at a very early age. By age 10 I had learned how to draw freehand all of my favorite video game characters. By 17, I was showing my oil paintings and colored pencil landscapes in art galleries. By 20, I had taught myself how to code websites. Now, I have taken the knowledge I have learned up to this point to create complete design solutions for my clients.

Having spent the majority of my first decade on Earth in a hospital, I have learned to tap into my empathy, my patience, and my logic to see myself through stressful and confusing situations. It was art that originally helped me focus my mind on a task and see it through to completion, and that same focus guides me through complex problems today. By combining my history of fine art with the logic of computer science and human interaction, I am able to offer a unique perspective on any design problem.

My Design Theory

For me, design is about a lot more than making pretty pictures. I have spent the majority of my professional career developing myself into a T-shaped person. Namely, I have a wide range of skills that I am very proficient at, and a deep understanding on the underlying idea of how those technologies should be used towards design problems. As a combination designer/developer, I have the ability to draw, use tools of the trade like Adobe products to create assets for websites, create wireframes for interaction problems, code without the aid of a WYSIWYG interface, animate in both 2D and 3D, and most importantly, combine all these skills and more into a coherent design solution. As a T-shaped designer I make it my job to understand my client's business, his end goals for the project, and the realistic scope of the design problem. But I am also thinking about the problem in a more abstract way, looking to innovate in areas where there may be missed opportunities, and understanding conceptually the needs of the end-user in relation to the task at hand. My definition of design is the process of combining these skills into a successful solution for my clients, while always keeping "Pro Lector" ("For the Users") in the forefront of my mind.

My Design Process

The most successful designers don't rely on inspiration, they have a process that has been developed over the years to create great results. My process relies on three main skills that I use to get the best possible design solution:


The single most important skill for a designer to have is the ability to talk to clients. I listen while they explain their needs, which enables me to approach the project from the right perspective. The client is an expert on their business, but using communication I can become as much of an expert on the client's business as possible, which will enable me to come up with appropriate and groundbreaking solutions.


Once I understand the problem from talking with the client, I use research to get inside the head of the users who this product or interface is actually being designed for. Having a great deal of empathy for the users enables true innovation to take place, making sure that design solutions are as simple or as complex as they need to be, and ensuring that the actual visual design will be interesting and eye-catching to the people who are looking at it.


Taking the information of the first two steps, I sketch many different design solutions down on paper. By working quickly through ideas that don't work, I can find a great solution without a large cost of time. The goal here is to "find something great, throw it away, then find something better." Once the best concepts are complete, I pitch the idea to the client, who approves the direction to proceed towards.

My Resume

Jonathan Kempf

UX Enthusiast/Designer/Developer

[email protected]
Social Links:
Twitter @KempfCreative | LinkedIn Profile

Job History:

July 2013 - Present

Verizon Wireless

Piscataway, NJ

UI/UX Developer

Implemented and developed user interface designs for a variety of enterprise level projects. Using technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, SASS and Grunt, wrote code for e-commerce projects, internal applications, and global site search widgets. Using progressive enhancement, made sure all company applications were able to work on dated browsers such as Internet Explorer 8, but also had enhanced functionality for modern browsers and mobile devices. Used my skills in responsive design and mobile development to implement a complete responsive revamp of the Verizon Gadgets & Gear e-commerce website, designed to work across all phones, tablets & desktop computers. As a result of this transformation, sales went up 66% YoY, and conversions went up 120% YoY.

January 2013 - January 2014

Blue Rose Photography

Buffalo, NY

Web Designer/Developer

Complete mobile-first redesign and development of a wedding photography website. The current design was dated and not driving business to the client, so I was tasked with creating a new style which focused on a clear call to action and the photographers unique value proposition. I focused only on the most important content, while keeping the barrier to get in contact with the photographer extremely low. Working with custom typography and the photographer's pictures, I was able to give this new website a professional design facelift while still keeping a large amount of the personality that set the client apart from others. Using Drupal, I translated the design into a finalized product that the business owner could update and use to interact with clients. Blue Rose Photography gained several new clients as a result of this website.

July 2011 - April 2013

Seevast Inc.

Getzville, NY

Graphic Designer

Created a company-wide set of design standards. In charge of day to day design and content maintenance of company websites, our main advertising platform product, and client campaign assets. Led company initiatives to create new advertising formats, resulting in 6 new possible revenue streams. In 2012, led the redesign of the our front-facing corporate website, creating a custom responsive grid. The redesign resulted in boosted SEO, a fresh look that more accurately presented the companies value proposition, fixed usability issues with mobile users, and reduced exit rates while increasing engagement with our users. Also, I executed a design refresh to the main product of the company, an advertising serving and campaign management platform. My UI change both increased productivity and updated the visual style to match the company website. By using future-proof UX, my design refresh enabled the advertising product to scale up with new features without breaking the layout, as it would have done before the interface redesign.

May 2012 - April 2013

Operation Backbone

Washington, D.C.

Web Designer/Developer

Developed a complete identity, web presence, and social media strategy for a multi-million dollar non-profit that treats wounded U.S. soldiers. Working with the founder, several head surgeons, and top officials in the United States military, I was able to convey the message of the company through a custom logo and identity system. This process culminated with the creation of the company's website, where donors and founders could actively work to treat patients and keep track of their programs and progress. Executed on a content strategy plan conceived by myself and vetted by the shareholders, the program is now able to accept new patients, track their treatment, and post results on the website.

October 2012 - November 2012

Spruke LLC.

Buffalo, NY

Web Designer

Executed a complete redesign of, the website of a musician and DJ. Taking inspiration from both the electronic music genre and from the clients most beloved video game, I presented a design style that was completely unique and infused with the musician's personality. Utilizing HTML5 and CSS3 to progressively enhance the website, the finalized design is both responsive and optimized. The success of the website was measured in thousands of new twitter followers, the clients main method of interacting with fans.

January 2012 - December 2012

Gregory Lamberson

Buffalo, NY

Web Designer/Developer

Redesigned and developed Gregory Lamberson's website. By completely rethinking the direction of his dated online presence, I brought his website up to a standard where he was able to effectively market his new books and movies in a way that matched his style. This was a complete code rewrite, using modern web technologies and the Drupal CMS. I turned Greg Lamberson's website into a full social media hub with filterable lists of content, a unique design style with custom illustrations, and a one-stop shop for all his work. As a result of the new site, Gregory Lamberson saw a 25% increase in Twitter followers, a 10% increase in site visitors, and a 1:30 increase in engagement with the site.

"I would recommend Jon for any UI/UX Design Lead position he would choose to take on. His ability to work equally well at high-levels and focus in on details is what makes him an exceptional interaction designer and design lead on complex problems. Jon possesses a clear understanding of what is needed to produce a successful design and has the ability to communicate this to all levels, from users to PMs to stake holders. Jon brings with him a strong knowledge of everything happening in the design world, as well as strong technical aptitude. Jon is innovative, knowledgeable, flexible, results-driven, and a pleasure to have on your team --Jon is the definition of a design professional." David Casion, President and Chief Technology Officer at Seevast
"Jon is a motivated and passionate designer with an artful eye who consistently produces exceptional results. Jon demonstrates great initiative and is an effective communicator making him a great team player. He is always willing to learn new technologies and take on additional responsibilities. I would highly recommend Jon in any similar capacity and would welcome the opportunity to work with him again."Michael Ivancic, Director of Development at Adiant
"I've had the pleasure of working with Jonathan on several projects over the last few years. Jonathan's professionalism, creativity and attention to detail is second to none. He always shows a deep passion for his work, which is always completed above and beyond my expectations. I would highly recommend Jonathan to anyone looking to employ someone of his expertise." Michael Kelly, Director of Sales at AdBlade
"Jonathan is a pleasure to work with. He is an excellent graphic designer, is always interested learning more about the domain, in understanding the user base and takes extreme care in designing the best user experience possible." Karthik Prasanna, Hulu - Content Platform
"Jon Kempf is always my first choice of graphic design artist and worth the money. He is professional and prompt, and the quick turnaround on which he responds to requests lets you know you are paying for a designer that cares. His work is original and bright, and he has never failed to deliver on a look that I can only describe in my head. I recommend him highly for both web design and print."William Boulden, Senior Engineer Level III Project Manager at Seevast.