Joe Tennis is a customer experience advocate, facilitator and story-teller who applies design thinking and service design methods to solve complex problems. He will customize his offering to fit your needs, including  large-scale enterprise, start-up and philanthropic clients. He has been responsible for all aspects of the user experience for mobile applications, wearables, and desktop/tablet apps & web sites. His client lists includes Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, Digitoy Entertainment, The U.S. Department of Energy, Charles Schwab, WR Hambrecht + Co., Ziff-Davis Publishing and many smaller enterprises.

Much of his time is devoted to consulting, writing and speaking on design thinking, user centered design, disruptive innovation and  methods for designers to communicate their proposed solutions. His ongoing work focuses on research & development of custom solutions that optimize the productivity of creative teams.

Mr. Tennis has taught advanced interaction design in the graduate and undergraduate programs at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he was also guest lecturer. Tennis developed and taught workshops in Interactive Design at Kala Institute in Berkeley where he was instrumental in the establishment of one of the San Francisco Bay Areas first electronic media labs and instructional facilities in 1993. It was here he developed an early networked white-board, chat and push publishing system (‘Trial & Error’, 1995)

As a contributor and technical editor to several books on innovation methods including ‘Creative HTML Design’ (fist edition, New Riders Publishing), ‘Lingo Sorcery; The Magic of Lists, Objects and Intelligent Agents’ (second edition, Wiley Press) and ‘Magical A-Life Avatars’ (Wiley Press).

He has a 6-Sigma Green Belt certification. He is certified by  Creative Good in their Listening Lab research protocol. He’s co-created, borrowed and learned countless other methods for gathering, analyzing and synthesizing and presenting information in the pursuit of creative ways to solve vexing problems.

Things I value

Things I believe:

  • Working with smart people is about as much fun as you can have
  • Computers can do a lot of things better than humans, like repeated transform data, and keep track of things.
  • People’s time is important, so having a developer spend 100 hours on something so a million people can save 15 seconds is well worth it (by a factor of around 40, which may not be cost justifiable, but, for 20MM users, it might be).
  • You can’t teach common sense and you can’t fix stupid
  • …in content over cosmetics
  • As much documentation as you need, and not a bit more
  • As little documentation as you can get away with, and not a bit less
I like… …over:
Smart people (competent problem solvers) Lots of people (scaling with bodies)
Agility Fake planning
Accountability Process as a weapon
Communication Documentation
Documentation False assumptions
Action Time wasting
Patterns Thoughtless discrepancy

Apps/Sites I love:

Park Mobile (I know, that’s geeky)

Paper 53

I like to like ByWord, but I use Evernote, and I pay for their pro service


Trello, but more on the iPad

Paypal – the new Paypal


Mint’s alright


I used to like Zite, but now it’s gone

I like the Twitter app, but not as much as I used to – in general, Twitter has gotten cluttered, and it’s stock price reflects that.

I like to like Weather Cube, but I mainly use Yahoo (evidence of scrolling over widgetry), and sometimes Wunderground’s app. I just downloaded Poncho Weather, but have not tried it yet

I like a little music synth called Figure, as it has almost no chrome

Apps/Sites I don’t like:


I don’t particularly like FlipBoard

Facebook. It’s about as much fun as a cel phone bill