Jess Ruefli, Product Designer

Hello. I help companies make useful digital things.

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I've been helping teams design web products and user interfaces for twenty years.


I was the founding design lead for three early-stage startups.


I've created user interfaces for web, mobile, kiosks, and interactive TV.


I've worked for startups, design agencies, enterprise and consumer software companies.


I've been employed as a design manager, design director, visual designer, and a UX designer.


I enjoy moving between exploratory, strategic, architectural, and visual roles.


I'm self-taught. I've made a career out of learning quickly from mistakes and surprises.


My work has been recognized by Communication Arts Magazine, ID Magazine, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

back to topExperience Résumé

DEC. 2014 to PRESENT
UX Design Manager, Autodesk, San Francisco

I provide design guidance for a portfolio of web-based design collaboration products serving architects, mechanical designers, and industrial designers. These products serve over a million users per month and reach the majority of Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor, and 3ds Max subscribers. These products are part of a larger effort to transition Autodesk customers from paid licenses to subscriptions.

I also mentor a small team of designers, helping them build the skills necessary to lead their own projects. I help them (and the teams they work with) see their projects through from idea to execution.

DEC. 2012 to NOV. 2014
Senior Designer, RiverMeadow Software, San Jose

I was employed as the product UI designer for an early-stage startup that specializes in migrating servers to ‘The Cloud’. I worked with executive stakeholders to clarify and articulate the company’s long-term product vision. I created a number of UI mockups and prototypes to demonstrate the aspirational capabilities of RiverMeadow’s server migration technology. I helped RiverMeadow develop an initial functional proof of concept which was used to validate the technology, secure funding, and attract business partners.

MAY 2009 to AUG. 2012
Design Lead, Apigee, Palo Alto

Sonoa Systems, an API infrastructure startup, created sub-brand Apigee to explore new product ideas. As a contractor and an employee, I designed Apigee’s identity and a series of exploratory applications that aimed to make it easier for developers to learn and work with APIs. Apigee was so well-received that the company decided to change its identity. I subsequently directed the rebranding of the company’s marketing site and iterated on Apigee’s applications for software developers.

JULY 2008 to APR. 2009
Director of Design, Swivel, San Francisco

I returned to Swivel and designed Swivel Business, a data sharing platform for small businesses. Sadly, we chose too big of a problem for such a small team to solve. Swivel did not survive.

SEPT. 2006 to JUNE 2008
Design Lead, Odopod, San Francisco

I created the information architecture for a MTV-branded local entertainment guide that launched in over 500 colleges nationwide. I was the lead information architect for a redesign of Microsoft's I directed a visual redesign for

SEPT. 2005 to AUG. 2006
Director of Design, Swivel (formerly Grand Central Communications), San Francisco

As one of five original employees at a social data sharing startup, I facilitated the process of defining the problems the company would attempt to solve. I conducted user research, helped define an overall product strategy, and planned the user interaction to support it. I designed the company's identity and user interfaces for a community-driven site for sharing data.

JULY 2005 to AUG. 2005
Human Interface Designer, Apple Inc., Cupertino

Yes, I decided to leave Apple after seven weeks. Not my brightest move. While at Apple,
I designed a wiki for the Server And Storage Software Group.

JULY 2002 to JUNE 2005
Freelance Designer, San Francisco

I designed a number of Flash-based sites for Nike including and Nike Women's Soccer. I designed Flash-based cell phone demos for Macromedia. I worked on interactive television applications for Yahoo! and NPR. I created visual designs for Stanford University's newly-founded design school.

MAY 2001 to JUNE 2002
Senior Designer, Semaphore Partners (formerly NOVO), San Francisco

I created the interaction design for the BEHR Color Smart Paint kiosk, which can be found in over 1500 Home Depots in North America. I designed the information architecture for the Network Associates web site. I programmed Flash microsites for General Motors / Cadillac.

APR. 2000 to APR. 2001
Design Director, NOVO (formerly NOVO Interactive), San Francisco

I led the design and development of a sales demo platform for BEA Systems. BEA sold over $400 million in software and services with the sales demos we created. I created the information architecture for BEA Systems' sales portal. I directed the development of a sales demo for ATG.

AUG. 1999 to MAR. 2000
Production Designer, NOVO Interactive, San Francisco

I built the HTML for Levis,, and I directed the authoring
of a creative process document.