Dangerous Pixels is a digital product design studio, founded by David Kennedy, located in Melbourne, Australia, specializing in UI/UX Product design for Apps and Video Games.
Hi, I'm David Kennedy, freelance UI/UX Product Designer and founder of Dangerous Pixels.
It might sound cliche but I've always had a passion for both art & technology. Growing up in a house filled with art, pencils, paints, computers and all sorts of gadgets definitely meant that I had the opportunity to exercise both sides of my brain when I wasn't swimming or playing basketball. It's no wonder that I gravitated towards Apps and Video Games throughout my career, a perfect blend of the two disciplines.
When I reached the end of high school I had an interesting choice, follow the arts or engineering. I still remember the sad look on my art teacher when I told him I was going off to study computer science. My mum, the artist, had only words of encouragement.
After high school, I studied Computer Science at RMIT University. I worked part-time as a web developer for my dad's company and also the Austin Hospital. In both jobs, I coded websites and web applications but I was a little different to the other engineers. In most cases, I would design elements in Adobe Photoshop and then also build them. It seemed natural to me but in hindsight I don't remember anyone else doing it.
When I graduated, I got a full time job as a web developer and my secret use of Photoshop continued. This was back in the day when the only design jobs were graphics designers. UI Design and UX Design jobs were nowhere to be seen yet.
I worked for a number of years before taking off on a working holiday to Europe and the USA. Taking a break from work allowed me to reconsider what I wanted to do with my career. I could feel the strong pull of the creative side.
When I returned to Melbourne, I started working at a startup as a front end UI Designer & Developer. More and more I started to venture into the design world.
When the iPhone & App Store launched, it was the perfect opportunity to blend both passions and my focus turned to designing Apps & Video Games and I founded Dangerous Pixels. The name Dangerous Pixels is combination of my nickname growing up "Dangerous Dave" and my love of digital - the "pixels", and so the perfect name for my professional work was born.
In the beginning, I was both designing and developing apps but eventually made the transition to full time design as we grew in size. My engineering background served me well as designer as understanding the technical capabilities of the platforms gave me an extra edge.
Dangerous Pixels was run as a small mobile app design & development studio with a few partners and people join but after a few years we all decided to take different paths.
Hitting the pause button on Dangerous Pixels, I spent a few years in large corporate as a UX Design Manager. I grew and learned a lot in these years, growing design teams and tackling all sorts of challenges. I had great feedback as a leader but something wasn't quite right. Eventually I had the realisation that it just didn't make me as happy as being a hands on designer, so I made the move to freelance an hit the resume button on Dangerous Pixels.
The move back to being an individual contributor made an instant change in my overall happiness. My creative energy was revived. Focusing on mobile app design, I soon picked up some work and with the design leadership experience I gained in addition to my technical knowledge meant that I could operate on another level again.
Soon after, the opportunity of a life time presented itself with a move to California to join Apple on the App Store Design Team. We packed up and left for the United States.
Working at Apple was amazing, challenging, fun, terrifying at times but a dream job to work on digital products at a global scale. I had the opportunity to work on the App Store itself, Apple Arcade, Game Center and many other projects that cannot be talked about.
Not to mention the USA itself was a lot of fun: sunshine, NBA, craft beer and technology - it was certainly an incredible place to live and work!
Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we took a short trip back home to Melbourne, Australia to see family, friends and attend a wedding but then the worst happened...
The borders slammed shut. Lockdown. We were stuck in Australia.
We had to setup camp here and I continued to work remotely for Apple but as the pandemic extended on and on with no end in sight (and due to unforeseen family reasons which meant we couldn't risk travelling back to the USA), I had to give up my dream job at Apple and stay in Melbourne.
This was certainly a challenging time in my career, but at the end of the day, everyone was safe and well and that's all that matters.
A few months later, my wife and I welcomed the arrival our son, Benjamin. A bright spark amongst the darkness of the pandemic.
After a break, I started freelancing again from Melbourne, Australia and Dangerous Pixels was once again resumed. I've now been back freelancing for a few years and have had the opportunity to work with a number of cool and exciting startups, agencies and companies from around the world.
The opportunity to get into the gaming space at Apple has encouraged me to add a new layer to my work with designing Video Games and diving deeper into 3D graphics.
This now brings up to date. It's certainly been a journey of highs, lows, twists and turns. Thanks for taking the time to read about me and my journey. I'd love to hear about yours so please reach out and say hello!
Modelling, Texturing & Animation in Blender 3D.
Inclusive and accessible designs including typography, colour contrast and interaction.
Android Platform experience and deep Material Design pattern knowledge.
Expert knowledge of Apple Platforms and design patterns, having designed apps since 2010 and even working at Apple in California.
David started off his career with a university degree in Computer Science and worked as an engineer for many years before switching to design. Deep knowledge of platforms and engineering friendly.
Experience designing for a 10ft experience whether it be a video game or TV app.
Designing for the desktop experience across Mac & PC.
Prototyping and implementing UI in game engine with Unity 3D.
Extensive experience designing for mobile across iOS and Android.
Animation, Micro-Interactions and Motion graphics design using Adobe After Effects.
Combing all his skills to design products end to end.
Designing for iPad and what makes a great UX for these powerful devices.
Expert knowledge of native User Interface (UI) patterns across all platforms.
Expert User Experience (UX) Design experience, from hands on design across all UX disciplines including design, research, testing, leadership & mentorship.
With a passion for Video Games, David worked for Apple on a number of gaming services and has now turned to working on actual games themselves.
Experience designing for the Apple Watch.
If you have a project in mind that you would like to collaborate on, I'd love to hear about it!