I'm James Acklin, a product designer and front-end developer focused on usability, prototyping, and tooling.

I work full-time for Nielsen in Pittsburgh, PA. I've created digital experiences and tools on the Web for startups, large agencies, and Fortune 500 companies for about a decade. My design practice concentrates on human-centered design methodologies and high-fidelity prototyping with an emphasis on in-browser deliverables.

I'm currently interested in the following:

  • p2p web projects using the Dat protocol
  • Practical VR
  • Voice interfaces
  • Light, single-purpose web apps
  • Screen-free computing

Occasionally I conduct branding exercises, help software companies and websites with interaction design problems, and do general graphic design work on the side. Email me if you'd like to work on a project together.


  1. At Nielsen, I research, prototype, design, and contribute production JavaScript for all user-facing features of Rhiza, a web-based data visualization tool (formerly a ~30-person startup spun out of MAYA Design, acquired in 2017) specializing in geospatial analysis and user-programmable workflows.
  2. I have worked with consumer packaged goods brands (the family of Nestlé ice cream brands, Del Monte foods, CLIF, Premier Protein), academic institutions and non-profits (The Winchester Thurston School, The Sarah Heinz House, The String Orchestra of Brooklyn), software vendors (VIA Oncology, Management Science Associates), retailers (Avalon Exchange, rue21, JOAN Boutique), restaurants (Primanti Brothers, Big Burrito), industrial and B2B concerns (HEICO Fasteners, HarbisonWalker International), and am beginning to branch out into the outdoor category (Aspire Racing/Jeremy Powers, the JAM Fund, and Dirt Rag Magazine).