About Me

George Hester Headshot

George Hester

Hello my friends, and thanks for visiting my website.

Here you'll learn a few details about me, my journey, my skills, my hobbies, my career and a few of my favorite things.

My Journey. My Dream.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

— Lao Tzu

Prior to the start of my web career in 2012 I traveled the world as a professional musician, I was a stage performer on Broadway, a drill designer for competitive marching bands and I've freelanced for various small businesses and local organizations. Some of my design-related hobbies include logo design, branding, video production, photography, image retouching, 3D modeling and animation / motion graphics.

George Hester - Better Half

Art and design always fascinated me as a kid. From observing designers who would sketch and craft concept automobiles to architects drafting designs and renderings of buildings or skyscrapers. In elementary school I loved to doodle on my class notes, drawing my own concept vehicles and architectural layouts while daydreaming of becoming a professional designer one day.

Years later, when the time was right and the technology had evolved, I saw an opportunity to pursue a career as a professional digital designer and I turned those dreams into a reality.

I enrolled in several design & development courses to gain experience and learn the necessary skills for me to take the next steps. That paved the way for me to land my first professional agency role in 2012 – and the rest is history!

George sitting on his motorcycle - Detroit, MI (2022)

Now I'm living my dream as I continue on this journey to be an innovator in this constantly evolving digital world we live in. My free time is usually spent listening to podcasts that discuss art, design, people or life, and I wind down most days with a book about Human-Centered Design, psychology or anything involving the XD space.

People who inspire me are influencers such as Chris Do, Adham Dannaway, Chris Coyier and the late Steve Jobs. Some of my favorite things include: Star Wars, Starbucks, motorcycles, photography, Thai Food, Korean BBQ, console gaming, ice cream, smoothies, snacking, sunshine, Avenir font, and TV shows (past and present) such as Westworld, LOST, Game of Thrones, Fringe, Upload, Black Mirror, The Office, Friends and Scrubs.

Kudos

George combined his skills in web development and photography to build a one page website for me. He did so with enthusiasm, and completed it days before the deadline. Thanks to George's dedication to executing his work to best suit the needs of his client, I felt comfortable discussing exactly what I expected, and was confident he would create the perfect site for me. I would recommend George as a web developer, and a photographer, to anyone seeking a highly supportive provider with an advanced skill set.”

Angela Joerin
Digital Health Director
Clinical Development at X2
My Services

What I Do

UX Research

UX/UI Design

Web Development

Photo & Video

People Skills

User Experience

Communication Icon

Communication

Empathy

Analytics

Curiosity Icon

Curiosity

Software & Applications

Design Tools

Sketch App Icon

Sketch

Figma Icon

Figma

InVision Studio Icon

InVision

Adobe Creative Suite Icon

Adobe CC

Development Skills

What I Code

HTML5

CSS3

JavaScript

PHP Icon

PHP

Credentials

My Résumé

Current Favorite Music

Palemote

Slow Meadow

Spotify

Palemote Album Cover
Current Favorite Book

Pocket Full Of Do

Chris Do

The Futur

Pocket Full Of Do Book Cover
Work Life

My Career

VMLY&R Company Logo

Senior Experience Designer

VMLY&R

Present

At VMLY&R I get to produce high-quality designs and am responsible for influencing the behavioral experience of products for our clients. The goal is to create work that becomes part of people’s lives, to drive value for our clients and, in the best of cases, to impact the world.


Circadian Risk Company Logo

UX/UI Designer

Circadian Risk

2020 - 2021

Circadian Risk is the leading digital platform for assessing, analyzing, and monitoring physical security risks. Equipped with modules to measure risk from vulnerabilities to threats to impact, Circadian Risk enables security professionals to act faster and have trust in their plans to make their organization more secure.

As the UX Designer for the team, I was responsible for understanding the concepts behind product features and brought them to life through flows, wireframes and interactive prototypes. Through research and testing, I vetted my designs against team members and users, collected feedback, iterated, and collaborated with developers to put those designs into production.


Eview360 Company Logo

Web & Product Designer // UX Designer

Eview 360

2018 - 2019

At Eview I worked with many new technologies for the first time, including VR gaming and AR app design and development. Spending many hours getting accustomed to Unreal Engine 4, I was able to explore the 3D gaming world, along with front end design/development and UX in ways I've never dreamt of. It was a blast!


The JRT Agency Company Logo

UX/UI Designer // Web Design Lead

The JRT Agency

2015 - 2018

My primary role at JRT was the lead front end designer for the Mopar Dealer Site - a dealer support portal for all FCA dealerships across the USA and Canada. I was also able to dabble in UX as we performed a complete site redesign that involved starting with basic user flows, journey mapping, empathy mapping, focus group discussions, A/B testing and our incredible team of 25 people spend many overtime hours to design, rebuild, develop and push it to production. To this day I still consider this to be the best design/dev team I've ever had the privilege of working with. Literal all-stars!

By the end of my tenure I was the Web Design Lead, overseeing the digital design team and managing several tasks across the department. I worked mostly on the front end design side of websites, including front end development, email marketing and coordinating a brand refresh and website redesign for The JRT Agency in 2018.


SSDM Company Logo

Senior Web Developer

SSDM

2014 - 2015

SSDM gave me my first full-time opportunity as a web developer. I was able to utilize the skills I acquired from my experiences at my previous job in back end development, knowledge of APIs and database management to tackle some of the most daunting tasks that were asked of me from the very beginning.

Eventually I was given an opportunity to hop into front end web design and work more with branding, ad design, presentation designs/layouts and website theme designs and customization. By the time I moved on from SSDM, I was hungry and determined to focus much more on design and user experience.


Basso Company Logo

Web Developer

Basso

2012 - 2014

Basso was my introduction to the web design and development industry. I started out as a part time contractor while also attending classes at The Art Institute.

The majority of my daily responsibilities included front end maintenance work, copy edits and some minor design tweaks where needed. I worked primarily with WordPress, raw HTML/CSS, PHP, JavaScript, ASP.net, visual basic and MySQL with database management.

School Life

My Education

The University of Michigan School Logo

Music Performance - Trumpet

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor

Prior to any knowledge of the web or web design, I was a musician. I started playing trumpet in 6th grade with no idea how far it would take me. Eventually I would go into college at one of the most prestigious music schools in the state, and to this day I still am in awe that I can call myself a Wolverine. I was in every music ensemble at the school (except the marching band) and I truly loved being able to pursue a degree playing music. I am also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity - Epsilon Chapter. OAS AAS LLS!


The Art Institute School Logo

Web Design

The Art Institute of Michigan

Novi

The Art Institute wasn't my first choice to attend for studying web design, but it was one of the very few schools (close to home) that offered a Bachelor's degree for web design. I pursued this degree but did not get to finish due to financial reasons. Overall I would say my experience at Ai was pretty good, however if I could go back and do it again I would have pursued a degree in Graphic Design which would have allowed me to take more typography and illustration courses, which were not part of my assigned curriculum with the Web Design program.


Washtenaw Community College School Logo

Web App Development

Washtenaw Community College

Ann Arbor

I spent a few semesters at WCC taking courses to improve my skills and knowledge in web design and front end development. I took courses that were part of the Web Application Development certificate program and somehow finished a never-ending winter semester having completed a brutal PHP class that I thoroughly enjoyed - regardless of the pain it put me through!