We have a strict “no-one-escapes-here-alive” policy here, I trust that won’t be a problem…

The Interview ends and you end the Zoom call. The sensation of centipedes crawling all over your career seizes you, and you shudder as you wrap your arms around yourself. Something definitely wasn’t right with that Company.

The Interview ends and you end the Zoom call. A tide of relief washes over you in an awesome cooling wave, followed swiftly by excitement beyond restraint. You can’t wait to work for that Company.

And why did you have these very real reactions to these very real job opportunities? The flags, man, just… so many flags.

Green flags

Having A Mole. Absolutely nothing will…


Thinking man
Thinking man
Image by Pexels

As an Art Director and Mentor, I’ve seen almost a hundred portfolios from Designers I’ve had to either veto, approve or build up one piece at a time with a mentee. I honestly think Portfolio design is what spooks junior designers the most. When your application is passed over (as it must in your burgeoning career) — you’ll never know if your portfolio was lacking any one piece, not enough information, too much information, or if the whole thing was just fine… and… that’s life.

But what if you could have insider knowledge about the decision-making process an Art Director…


In-house or remotely, video games are evergreen and recession-proof. But landing that job…

So you’re taking your shot at a job in the video game Industry as a UI UX Designer. You’ve got a portfolio (kinda), a resume (ish) and more than enough furlonged freetime to apply to dozens of game companies the world over. But… What if the worst thing in the world happens and you don’t get a rejection letter?

Ah-good-day-to-yous, My name is John Burnett, a UI UX Designer, Art Director and remote UI Mentor of some 20-ish years in the video game industry. …


From an Art Director.

What you could get away with in Portfolio design, circa 2008ish (my professional portfolio when I worked in-house for EA and id Software)

As an Art Director and Mentor, I’ve seen probably a hundred Portfolios from Designers I’ve had to either veto or build up. I honestly think what spooks students and junior designers the most about Portfolio design is they’ll just… never know. When your application is passed over — you’ll never know if it was lacking any one piece, not enough information, too much information, or if the whole thing was just fine… and… that’s life.

But wait where are my manners? Ah good day to yous, my name is John Burnett, UI UX Designer, Art Director and 1-on-1 remote UI…


The Landing Screen I designed for The Saboteur (Pandemic, Electronic Arts)

Whether you’ve taken a few online classes, have a few years of print under your belt or just always have had Hoop Dreams™ to be in the Video Game Industry — you’re… probably really confused right now.

At least that’s the impression I get when students tell me what it’s like out there. …


Transforming a client’s wireframe into an art pass. Shadowrun: Hong Kong (PC, Harebrained Schemes)

Oh hello there, you big beautiful nerd, you! My name is John Burnett, a 20-year UI UX Designer, Art Director and 1-on-1 remote Mentor in the video game industry. One of the most common questions students ask me is how to start a career in video game UI UX Design. In this age of wanting to give back generously, I figured I’d take my notes from my bootcamp and compile a quick guide and a few shorthand rules for all of you with Hoop Dreams™. …


Of course I get it, you’re Indie. Or switching careers. Or fresh out of school — or any number of legitimately good excuses. You’ve got a lot on your plate, and not nearly enough time to master one of the most complicated artforms in the modern world.

I should know, I’m your friendly neighborhood UI UX Designer, Director and Mentor with a specialty in games & apps. Having mentored who-knows-how-many students in UI UX Design, I wanted to give back generously to those students I simply can not teach (just yet!). …

John “TheWingless” Burnett

Award-winning UI UX Designer, Director and remote 1–on-1 Mentor | www.thewingless.com

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