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Johnson & Johnson

Leading JNJ's Orthopaedic Design Strategy

2012 - 2015  |  Designer & Researcher

Johnson & Johnson is the largest healthcare company in the world. Innovating across every spectrum of healthcare, JNJ puts the patient at the center of its company.

Working with the top engineers and having access to various technologies, here is a glimpse of some of my work to keep JNJ at the top.

Business Objective

Become the leading healthcare company in the world through design, research, and engineering.

Design Objective

Fail Fast. Learn Quickly. Take Risks.

Stay nimble and stay motivated. Designing great experiences won't come overnight.


DePuy Synthes is known for its elite engineering, but we knew that what had made DePuy Synthes the best was not going to keep us at the top unless we continuously pushed the envelope. In 2010, DePuy Synthes focused on design to launch one of the most successful and innovative solutions they had ever made: Attune Total Knee System.

Leveraging this success, I was challenged to discover new product development processes that would sustain our recent success for many years to come.



Being on a small team challenged us to wear many hats and being in an engineer-centered company we were forced to learn new skills to keep up.

Officially, I was responsible for the industrial design and human factors for instrumentation across multiple solutions and platforms. Unofficially, I also supported product engineering, material science, product marketing, graphic design and branding, user research, and project management.

Throughout my career at JNJ, I created new design processes, implemented human factors standards within our PDX, created the logo and brand for multiple solutions, prepared product posters and materials, designed and engineered more than 1200 instruments, ran user studies and surveys, researched new coatings and materials, learned new manufacturing processes, managed designers, and delivered a Master Brand Guideline to JNJ's Chief Design Officer.

The following sections are a few samples of my design process and work.


Over my career at JNJ, I worked on orthopaedic solutions across various platforms including knees, hips, shoulders, and ankles. I worked on implants and instrumentation, surgical flows and processes, instrument kits, instructions guides, and even conducted research on new product materials.

One of the most important aspects I focused on was Design Strategy: how we approach design to meet business goals.



One of the responsibilities I had was how we integrate design and human factors into the current development process including user research activities, user testing, and engineering considerations.

The other important aspect of this approach was how this process worked with scheduled touchpoints with our surgeon design team (SDT). Each project required at least quarterly reviews with the SDT throughout the year. Our proposal integrated those touchpoints into our design process.



An important part of design is creating the overall design architecture which includes various workflow analyses. A view of the overall experience is critical to designing the details.

This is an example of an implant construct workflow for one of our platforms. We used this to not only kit our instruments in a logical way, but also label the parts and packaging correctly.

Another example of how I used workflows was on a new surgical technique that required complicated biomedical engineering.

The team was looking to solve a very complicated case using offset implants. It's when the patient's bone constructs are naturally offset, so traditional approaches would not correct it properly without damaging the bone. We had not supported this procedure before, so we were looking to construct our own method.

The team came to me when they were stuck with some incredibly difficult engineering challenges. In response, I built this generic, high-level visual workflow map to review the entire process as a whole, identify any gaps, and make connections across the procedure that drove efficiency and efficacy. The team was highly focused on each step without thinking about the procedure as a whole.

With this simple approach, we quickly discovered that we were missing a few key steps, could combine a couple of steps, add functionality to existing instrumentation, and remove extra steps that could be eliminated.



After successfully launching our first design-driven solution, Attune Total Knee Replacement Solution, it was time to understand the elements that drove our brand and how to scale them across our entire product portfolio.

The process was simple: map out all the key design elements from color to grips, transitions and forms to materials and finishes, and understand which of these elements added to the overall brand value.

I drove this Master Brand Strategy with the help of an ID intern.We used a War Room for this exercise over 3 months.


We translated these findings into "design cards" that outlined what the overall design was, the design method, and the different options for execution. Finally, we categorized them into 6 distinctive Design Principles.


The details of the Master Brand Strategy can be found here.


Each project may require a different method or approach to design. The following are examples of some of the research I've done across various projects at JNJ.

These methods include:

  • Sawbones exercises and workflows

  • Visual informational workflows

  • Double-Diamond Design Strategy

  • Inspiration Boards

  • Competitor Analyses and Benchmarks

  • Procedure Maps

  • Tasks Analysis

  • Nomenclature Reviews

  • Instrument Cost Analysis

  • Touchpoint Studies

  • System-Level Thinking Methods


The following images are samples of my work and design methods I used at JNJ.

From observational research in the operating room to numerous 3D printed models,  my design philosophy was to:

ideate, fail, iterate, test, and repeat.

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