Get to know: James Carolan

Sunny and creative, the Head of Design at Sylo sets the mood for both our app and our office — Meet James, aka Jimmy…

How did you first become interested in design?

I took a class in university called HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) which studied how users interacted with computer interfaces.

There was no turning back when I began learning the science around user behaviour and how design problems should be approached.

In which subjects did you excel at school? Were you ‘arty’?

I don’t know if I would use the word ‘excel’ :P but my best subjects in school were Maths, Physics and a subject called Technical Graphics.

I don’t know if I was ‘arty’ but I was creative in the more practical subjects like woodwork.

You’ve been working for Sylo for about five years now. How has the business changed over this time?

The natural progression of us utilising the blockchain and moving from a traditional business model to a tokenised one was the biggest change for Sylo in this period.

We also grew substantially, which is great because I get to work with more amazing, smart people who love what they do.

What principles do you hold as gospel when working on UX?

Simplicity is king — don’t confuse your users!

I think all designers need to know when to use proven and trusted UX patterns where possible — it may sound lame but it’s actually true.

Know your users and their needs.

If you don’t know these things you’re flying blind!

You’ll find James in the design neighbourhood at Sylo, where watches over the visual, UX and UI team.

What do you do in a normal day?

Apart from debating design decisions, I plan out upcoming tasks and features, and I make sure that the Sylo DApp is on track in regards to design and development.

Where’s your hometown and what’s it like? How long since you left there?

I’m from a small town called Crossmolina; it’s in County Mayo, Ireland. It’s famous for Atlantic Salmon fishing and Gaelic football. We have a small population of around 1500 friendly people; it’s a place where everyone knows everyone.

I was back at Christmas and met my two nieces for the first time, their names Emma and Zoe (adorable). I had an amazing time reuniting with friends and family. It’s been six years since the first I left.

James has also been known to give others in the office a run for their money when it comes to a social spot of Friday night pool.

If you had to eat the same food every day for a year, what would it be?

Umm, I think it would have to be a good steak dinner cooked medium rare.

If you somehow woke up on a deserted island, what would you miss the most?

A creamy pint of Guinness, I am Irish after all :)

James shows the rest of us how to make a cocktail at an NZTE event in Singapore.

Tell us about an event at Sylo that you’ll never forget.

Without a doubt it was the last Christmas party we had.

Share a secret talent…

Playing the guitar.

Repping for Team Sylo at FinTech week in Singapore, from left: Ben Jordan, Co-Founder & Product Director, Scott Twiname, Senior Engineer, and James Carolan, Head of Design.

Describe your perfect day off?

Chilling with good company.

Fill in the blank: ‘If you really knew me, you’d know_____.’

I can’t really play the guitar :)

Tune in again soon to meet another member of Team Sylo.

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