My Work

Me, Professionally

Twenty-five years ago I was rotating tires, repairing flats, and fixing cars.

I was miserable.

I went into the auto industry by way of an insatiable desire to learn. Cars had a lot of history and interesting things to teach me, but as I quickly discovered, it was a finite reservoir.

In early 1994 I met the web.

In 1998 I got my first computer, since then I’ve been in a constant state of learning. Within two years I turned my “hobby” into a full-time job. For the last twenty-three years, I’ve worked on a variety of projects with scales from millions of users to a just handful. Each project offering me a new learning experience and challenge.

My work truly sparks joy.

Photograph of a younger James doing work by street light, the screen is vivid but dark. A bright street light illuminates James typing on a laptop while sitting in an office chair outside surrounded by greenery
“Midnight Oil” ©2009

Currently, I’m working with Augmentir to improve their Design game.

Previously, I worked with Mozilla, RiteAid/Elixir, and AutoZone® on their Enterprise Design Systems; EllisLab improving content management; Amazon in the Books Org; A start up or two; An amazing agency in Nashville; And I even ran a tiny studio for seven years.


I’m a “Principal Designer” for the Augmentir development team, working on building the design systems for the "runtime" and "IDE" applications. Which means I spend a lot of time and effort on thinking about, organizing, explaining, and cataloging design and development decisions into easy to implement and use documentation and artifacts.

2022 / James Mathias

Design System work is the building of bridges across silos, where each silo thinks they are/should be the source of truth, but what we are building is a complex mesh of shared responsibility and that requires cross-functional community.

Source @jmathias

The rest of my work is designing/building screens, and consulting on user experience outcomes.

Process & Approach

I draw a lot of rectangles, write a lot of notes in the margins, and I explain and defend every decision. In all seriousness, learn about my process.