Johnnie Manzari

Professional Experience

Apple Inc.

2009 — present · User interface design for consumer photography applications.

Slide Inc.
(acquired by Google)

20052009 · One of the first employees, I had the privilege to work with and report directly to Max Levchin, CEO. I was the first designer and built up a team of some of the most talented designers I had ever worked with. We started in an office in downtown San Francisco with nothing more than some crappy chairs, desks borrowed from the landlord, and a server. By the time I left we had grown the company to 120 employees, and 150+ million viewers per month across 200 countries, making Slide one of the most popular developers of applications for social networks such as Facebook and MySpace. Slide was acquired by Google in August 2010.

We filed for a patent based on early work at the company around media playback (US Patent Application #20090241222).


Figure 1: SuperPoke!

SuperPoke! started as a fairly simple application for Facebook that extended the range of options that a person could virtually perform on another from the Poke action that Facebook provides by default, including the notorious sheep throw.

I drew the original sheep, which Kevin Ho and I expanded on in a range of animals. The animals grew to become popular, and now even have their own application called SuperPoke! Pets that allows you to adopt one of them.

Slide FunSpace

Figure 2: Slide FunSpace

Slide FunSpace is a media sharing utility, and one of the most widely used video sharing apps on Facebook. A recent addition is the introduction of branded channels that provide not only a revenue opportunity but the ability to modify the design of the application to better reflect the content being played.

I designed the first branded channel in coordination with Ashton Kutcher's production company.

SuperPoke! Pets

Figure 2: SuperPoke! Pets

SuperPoke! Pets allows people to take the original animals created for SuperPoke! and adopt them. As you care for your pet, you earn coins that you can use to purchase decorative items. You can also purchase premium decorative items ranging in price from $1 to $50.

SuperPoke! Pets grew out of some of the vector illustration work that Kevin Ho and I did on SuperPoke!

Adobe Systems Inc.

19992005 · My early work was on the Adobe Common UI where I assisted with the design of Photoshop 6.0, 7.0, CS2 and Photoshop Elements 2.0 and 3.0. Later I was the lead designer for Photoshop Album 1.0 and 2.0. Awarded six patents. Two are based on work in vector graphics for Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign (US Patent #7,495,670 & 7,750,918). Three are based on design work for desktop photo software (US Patent #7,391,423, 7,945,541 & 8,739,064). The last is for television photo software (US Patent #8,745,520).

Autoplay Interface

Figure 1: Autoplay

When you bought an Adobe product and put in the CD, an autoplay window would come up with installation options. The interface was outdated and confusing because the buttons at the top looked exactly like the buttons down the side, but they behaved differently (the ones at the top were essentially tabs).

As a side project, I decided to clean it up. Improving the interface was the easy part. The hard part was finding who—in multi-thousand person company—was responsible for updating the code.

Selection Menu

Figure 2: Illustrator 10

I helped a co-worker wrap up some interface work for Illustrator 10. He asked for my help on a feature called “Selection Hat”, which you can see in the image to the right was a floating tabbed palette with 10 nondescript icons. Illustrator at the time had roughly 35 palettes, causing a workspace management issue that customers frequently complained about.

I argued to do away with the palette and designed the feature as a menu instead, particularly because it would make it consistent with the Selection menu in Photoshop. It was small victory for consistency and simplicity, but to this day it fills me with much joy.

Photoshop Album

Figure 3: Photoshop Album

After working on professional products for some time, I moved over to help launch a consumer photography product.

The design work I did resulted in a number of patent applications for photo presentation.

Pictured here is a version of the application that was incorporated in to Photoshop Elements.

Awards won between 2003 and 2004:

  CES Best of 2003    Popular Science Best of 2003       PC Photo

    PC Magazine     CNet     PC Magazine     PC World

Read more about the design philosophy in this white paper from Fall of 2004: Photoshop Album 2.0: Ten Design Principles from Outside the Software Industry (PDF).

Heads up interface

Figure 4: Common UI Concepts

Before leaving Adobe I worked with the Common UI team to put together some interface concepts with Britt Miura, Chris Smith and Michael Ninness that would allow artists and designers to focus more on their work by moving the user interface out of the way.

Some of these concepts made it in to Adobe’s CS3.


2001 · (Consultant) I worked as a Product Designer in Hardware Systems Engineering under Leslie Leland and Mike Gifford. I collaborated with Microsoft; designers and engineers across HSE, Pocket PC, and eHome groups to develop a prototype home networking input device.


20002001 · (Consultant) I worked as a Human Factors Engineer in the Human Performance Lab with NASA scientists at the Ames Research Center to test a hypothesis related to cognitive load required by cockpit interfaces. I built the main simulation used in testing with pilots.

Newport Electronics

1998 · (Intern) I was brought into Newport Electronics by Bijan Ghofranian, head of Research and Development, to create a system that stamped meters with an identification number that would be used to track the meter's performance during calibration. The performance results would be stored in a database system that I designed and interfaced with another application that I designed. I learned more about EEPROMs and IEEE protocols via RS-232 communication than I had expected.

Education & Academic Leadership

Stanford University

19972001 · Bachelor of Science with Honors and Distinction in Interaction Design. Coursework in Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Art and Psychology. GPA 3.95/4.00. Elected Phi Beta Kappa.

Foot Mouse Foot Mouse

Figure 1: Foot Mouse

In the Winter of 1999 I was asked to spend an academic quarter making something. It could be anything as long as the process of making it involved 4 different manufacturing processes. I wanted to make something useful. Something memorable. My advisor had walked me through his work inventing the first widely manufacturable mouse for Apple Computer, and I wanted to try doing my own input device from the ground up.

The foot mouse is a fully functional toe-controlled input device. The working model was presented to and used by those that attended the Stanford University Manufacturing and Design presentation in Autumn 1999. The mouse is made of white styrene, brushed aluminum, blue vinyl and steel. Hardware is driven by potentiometers. Software drivers are designed for Windows and map key clicks to the keyboard.

Executive Putter

Figure 2: Executive Putter

Stanford University Product Design Project, December 2000

Machined from stainless steel and rose wood, the Penguin putter conforms to USGA standards and comes with its own matching stand. It is as sculptural as it is functional

As part of the process, a variety of form factors were tested, and various logos were developed. Particularly because the emphasis was on aesthetics, hand sketches in conjunction with foam models were used to get feedback about the idea prior to the final implementation. For the putter head, all the rose wood was hand sanded to match the stainless steel face. A logo was drawn in Vellum, Lasercammed on to sticker paper, and used as a template to sandblast the logo of the penguin on to the face of the putter. The shaft and grip were purchased from Los Altos Golf Co and designed to match the rest of the putter and stand. To attach the shaft, a hole was milled into the head providing 4 degrees of loft and 79 degrees of lie. The stand was machined out of rose wood and aluminum. It provided for the putter and a single golf ball.


Figure 3: Font

Font was developed in August of 2000 using Adobe Illustrator 8.0 and Macromedia Fontographer 4.1

Working on some business cards, I realized that what I needed was a sans-serif textface that is able to hold its form when scaled to large sizes. Font was created to do just that by maintaining bold, simple strokes that are favorable at larger point sizes. The problem with fonts like Myriad and even Helvetica to a certain extent was that they weren't heavy enough for the job. Helvetica Bold is probably the closest you can get to what I wanted which explains why it's used so frequently on big signs.

Stanford University
Teaching Assistant,
Dept of Computer Science

Spring 2001 · CS447 Interaction Design Seminar; a graduate-level course in human-computer interaction, with Dr Terry Winograd and David Kelley.

Winter 2000 · CS377A Captology; a graduate-level course in human-computer interaction, with Dr BJ Fogg.

Stanford University
Artist in Residence,
Persuasive Technology Lab

19982000 · Responsible for brainstorming new products and persuasive strategies, rapid prototyping, and usability testing. Projects include collaboration with DaimlerChrysler on a persuasive in-car entertainment system featured at CHI 2000 (View as PDF).