swipe em if ur a freak
nothing's up here
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is it down there->
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i'm not actually this small
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hey mj here
i'm a product
designer for fun
hope my work
makes you think
"hmm not too shabby
What's one more scroll?
Michael Johnston, Jr.
Oh you wanna know more about me? I'm flattered!
I’ve led design at early consumer startups. Driving me to work across the design stack—leading features from ideation to implementation and iteration, establishing design systems, crafting brands, and pushing code.
My design practice is absorbed in better understanding perception and aesthetic theory. Our time spent with screens should be more beneficial + beautiful.
You can find my fingerprints on apps and websites, but sometimes they slip off screens. Scroll down to learn more about yours truly through pictures!
/founding designer
Music fan groups deserve vibrant online listening experiences.
Our mobile + web apps centered on live listening parties—supporting synced music streaming with voice + text chat. My designs balanced these into an intuitive interface, required for synchronous social experiences.
We gave DJs + speakers tools to manage large events while empowering everyone listening to express themselves. Artist + genre specific communities provided space for folks to post and discuss music after the party ended.
I built Campground with the Roadtrip team (friend-focused music app) to focus on the most passionate music communities.
/product design
Novel ways to share music with friends.
It should be easier to collaborate on playlists and share music with friends. I led design for our mobile + web apps through full redesigns and social sharing experiments.
Friends could share a web link prompting everyone to add their favorite summer or other songs to a playlist—no streaming service req'd. Later listening to the playlist together on the app. Voice + text chat included. Folks submitted + voted on songs of the day and more.
These shareable social experiences pushed me to design polished, understandable experiences across all our digital touchpoints.
/product design
Enabling anyone to make interactive stories.
My designs incorporated AI for players to have conversations with characters—leading to unique scenes generated on the fly. Also providing writers tools to generate + edit images, and ideas for where to take the story next.
Experienced and new writers were able to much more easily make click-through decision based stories. I designed our web platform for making + visualizing these stories and a mobile app to play them, from the ground up.
/product design + branding
Turning your timeline into mixtapes.
One of our 'hack week' experiments at Roadtrip (friend-focused music app) checks your Twitter timeline for all posted songs. You end with a sharable mixtape and can even preview the songs on the micro-site.
I speed designed this and other hacky ideas—but this one’s purple, it stays :)
/founding designer
Building a shared videotape.
Sharing photo albums is tougher than it should be. I redesigned our mobile app—making it simpler for groups to add, record, and edit videos in shared albums.
Videos are stitched together on playback. Turning your life into a movie, with clever yet clear navigation from constant prototyping.