Kerning from the best — 5 minutes with Julie Delanoy
Kerning From the Best is an article series where I’m having quick chats with remote designers from around the world to learn more about what makes them tick.
What does a typical morning look like for you?
I’m not a morning person which is fine because my entire team is distributed and we rarely work at the same time.
I work from home and start my workday around 10 am GMT after some exercise. I usually work on what I call “alone tasks” — all the things that require focus and no interruption.
In the afternoon, I have time to answer questions, address feedback, help teammates with their tasks and do calls.
How did you arrive here?
I used to make websites when I was a teen.
My first website was probably made in 1999. I was very passionate about this and told my parents it was what I wanted to do for a living, but they weren’t confident that “the Internet” was going to be a viable job option.
I followed a classic high school programme and then started an apprenticeship (50% in school, 50% working at a web agency) to get a Bachelor in Interactive Design and Visual Communication. After that, I was miraculously accepted to the Gobelins, a very prestigious school in Paris where I graduated in Motion and Graphic Design.
Right after graduation, and against the recommendation from my professors and friends, I joined a tech company in 2009. And then another, an another… and ten years later, I’m still a happy designer working in tech.
What do you find yourself having to repeatedly convince others of?
That product design is closer to science than art. Testing and failing is part of the process.
With experience, you can make the right assumptions, but you’ll always need to review them.
Also: I know what I’m doing, thank you very much.
Do you have a mantra?
Keep your hopes high and your standards higher.
Where do you want to go?
Not easy to answer this question because I’m where I wanted to be. I’ve reached my career goal. Now I guess I need a new one.
I probably will put more efforts into my side-projects. Try to make recurring revenue with one of them.
I also want to become better at sharing my experience and knowledge so I should be working on that.
Who do you look up to?
I look up to my boss, Ryan Hoover. He’s probably the most approachable leader I’ve ever worked with.
I also look up to all these young designers, fierce and bold who, even without nice resumés, are making things every day. They are the real thing. It’s an inspiration to me to see these people do things, with minimal resources, and not give up.
Every time I feel a bit down, I remember them, and it pulls me up.
What’s your remote setup?
I work with a 15" MacBook Pro. No external screen, keyboard or mouse. I keep it simple and minimal because I don’t have an actual office or desk.
Daily, I use Sketch, Invision, Notion, Dropbox, Slack, and Grammarly.
I try to keep a limited stack to reduce costs but also to facilitate my workflow.
I also have a scanner/printer that I use maybe once a month, an iPad for illustration work and a huge Cintiq that’s been collecting dust under my bed.
Thank you for following this new series. As always, I’m curious to hear your feedback.
As well as this, if you’re a remote worker, get in touch; it’d be great to feature as many varied designers as possible.
Follow 8px Magazine for all future articles & interviews.
A selection of our other interviews:
- Kerning from the best — 5 minutes with Stuart Williams
- Kerning from the best — 5 minutes with Nicola Rushton
- 2018 roundup: What did the industry teach these designers?
- Asana’s Matt Bond on management, startups and burn out
- Stripe’s Mercedes Bazan on moving countries, not being fearful, and having confidence