What Brutalism, Wabi Sabi, and Virtual Reality have in common.

Illustration by Tim Evans

If I had a quarter for every time a designer was asked to make a product fun, I’d have a fortune by now. Fun is one of those words like good, love, and art: so simple and all-encompassing that it eludes definition. So, what do we mean when we strive to make a product more “fun”?

Most interfaces are bound by rigid systems that immaculately align elements to a grid, creating a sense of rhythm and unity. However, in interface design, ‘fun’ is often derived from the lack of order. Like iMessage letting users drop stickers anywhere on a chat…


White circle with an S inside it over a green gradient
White circle with an S inside it over a green gradient

How privacy is the next wave in product design.

I’m writing this during a global pandemic where the world has come to a stop. For the time being, we’re relying on technology to go about our daily lives. Now more than ever it’s worth taking a look at our relationship with technology and how its makers can shape it to serve the needs of its users.

The way we relate to technology is constantly evolving — in less than a decade we’ve seen content move from newstands, to our laps, hands, and soon directly into our eyeballs. This is why I’m a big believer in future-proofing design. This usually…


Why escaping from strong opinions will make us weaker

All illustrations by Ouch!

Behind every product, there are usually hundreds of tiny little battles fought by a disciplined group of individuals who have somehow squeezed the remains of a vision between uncountable constraints. This process involves folks from multiple disciplines with different goals finding a compromise, coming up with a myriad of hypotheses, and validating them with a diverse number of users with their own set of expectations. This is a process I love. It makes the journey of building products exciting and infinitely engaging. However, this process creates imperfect products. Therefore, it can be improved.

There are many ways we could improve…


How the increasingly interactive way in which we experience content will shape our responsibility towards Design.

2019—The Greatest Bastards

All lights go down and in the pitch dark, Mr. Rice walks into The Town Hall commanding an intimacy that the Big Apple doesn’t deserve. A room designed without a bad seat, which once aimed to give people of every rank an opportunity to be educated on the important issues of the day.

Before Mr. Rice’s grand entrance, the audience was performing street acrobatics to retain — or rather discover — focus. In spite of being surrounded by the worst kind of stimulus, Midtown was the destination to find intimacy that night. …


Whether you’re a designer or someone in any creative field, these are a few bite-sized pieces of advice to help you level up on your career.


Principal & Founder at Plume Design

About this series —

Impostores is a series that explores the perspectives of diverse folks — outsiders, immigrants, and minorities — who reclaim the word from the Imposter Syndrome and wield it with pride every day.


Former Experience Designer at AirBnB

About this series —

Impostores is a series that explores the perspectives of diverse folks — outsiders, immigrants, and minorities — who reclaim the word from the Imposter Syndrome and wield it with pride every day.


Senior Design Producer at Intercom

About this series —

Impostores is a series that explores the perspectives of diverse folks— outsiders, immigrants, and minorities—who reclaim the word from the Imposter Syndrome and wield it with pride every day.


Mexican American Product Designer at Invision.

About this series —

Impostores is a series that explores the perspectives of diverse folks — outsiders, immigrants, and minorities — who reclaim the word from the Imposter Syndrome and wield it with pride every day.


Image credit: 3D for Designers

A look into what happens when we design beyond a screen

Like many designers, I started my career as a Graphic Designer. I dealt in picas, carried Pantone books, and swore to measure twice and cut once. Then the web came along and with it came Web Designers. We had to become acquainted with HTML, CSS, Javascript and we’re still trying to keep up with the right way to build for it.

These websites quickly demanded more interaction from us when Flash entered the scene and conquered our hearts. We turned our attention to animation to convey expressive user flows through interaction design. Then, the iPhone showed up and forced us…

Gabriel Valdivia

Design Director at CNN // Prev Jigsaw, Google, and Facebook // Big fan of music, dogs, and bread.

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