Regina Casaleggio

Talking with User Interface & User Experience Designers 


I spend my days working hard to design user interfaces that are a joy to use pleases the eye and delights the heart.

When your friends or parents ask to you what job do you do, how do you answer?

I say: “I design the stuff you use everyday — apps and websites.”

What is your background, how did you train?

I have a diploma in Graphic Design and in Packaging design and did a very short course in multi-media design (when it was still called that). The web stuff is self-taught.

What the web can do to make this world a better place? How did the web improve your life( if it did)?

I buy my all my food, clothes, home and beauty products online. I hate malls. So I guess if it wasn’t for the web I would have to visit those horrid places more often then I would like. If the web keeps on doing that I guess the world will be a better place for all the mall haters like myself out there.

On the more serious note, I have yet to see the web in it self make the world a better place. I mean the web facilitates change, like Charity water, they can get funding and tell people about their projects on the web but they still need people on the ground so to speak. We still need human contact to make a real change in the world. The web and technology can only ever facility change, or maybe not.

Can you show us three examples of interface that in your opinion improved human life?

Pot-in-pot preservation cooling system http://www.treehugger.com/kitchen-design/mohammed-bah-abba-and-his-pot-in-pot.html

The MAMA project: http://www.askmama.co.za/ The Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) is a global movement that seeks to use mobile technologies to improve the health and lives of mothers in developing nations.

And probably any Apple device. (Feels like I have to say that.)

On quora.com, time ago there was a long discussion in answer to the question “what is the most intuitive interface ever created?”; according to Felipe Rocha it is the nipple, in your opinion instead? (http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-most-intuitive-interfaces-ever-created)

Women all over the world have successfully breastfed for centuries, which might lead you to believe that breastfeeding is instinctive and easy. Something that is probably difficult for Felipe to believe because his nipples are not functional but only decorative.

Modern day interventions both during delivery and post partum — such as elective c-sections and epidurals have reversed the standard.

Few mothers today are able to successfully breastfeed, which tells us that the nipple has lost its “intuition”.

Babies and mothers need to be taught to latch, and how to breastfeed, in part due to the fact that breastfeeding is no longer considered the norm, which means there are fewer examples to follow.

In communities where breastfeeding is still the norm, mothers tend to breastfeed easily, while in first world or modern countries, women tend to struggle, with up to 90% failure rates.

If the nipple is the most intuitive interface every created, why do we have such appalling breastfeeding rates?

My point is maybe what we think is intuition is really taught. Thus, there can never really be something like an intuitive interface, just interfaces that closely resembles something we’ve already learned to use.

How is your work day type?

I have a pretty normal workday. I get up; take my Frenchie, Dutch, for a walk. Eat breakfast. Work till the work is done or when I don’t feel like working any more. Life of a Freelancer J

What is the most stimulating and challenging project you have accomplished?

Spend a lot of time with the FreshRealm team lately coming up with a visual language and interface design system.

FreshRealm

What is, among the existing digital services, the one you wanted to do?

Not sure I can pick only one. Like what MailChimp and Dropbox are doing.

Many designers commit the mistake of starting a project directly from Photoshop, is there a perfect design method? What is your approach to the creative process?

There is no wrong or right way to do something, just what works for you.

I take some time to really think through a design problem, trying not to jump to immediate “solutions” but rather trying to understand the real problem. Then I sketch some responses to the problem. Pick the one I think fits the best at that moment and then design that.

The “design” is an important part of our analogic life. What is the role of the designer in our digital life?

Designers are Communicators.

Do you believe it is important for a designer to have a deep knowledge of matters as User Experience, Interaction Design, Product Design, and Front-end development?

For sure.

In which way do you make a difference between User Interface and user experience?

You design a user interface based on the findings of the user experience designer.

What is your relationship with the developers? There are people that have a relationship of continuous confrontation and other of deep friendship, where do you collocate with respect to this question?

I love developers. They are the ones that bring to life what I design.

How do you think that your career and job will evolve in the next 5 years?

I have no idea. I guess I will adapt to whatever the web throws at me.

A famous quotation of David Carson (noted American graphic designer) says: “Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does”. Will the User Interface Design save the world, before, at the same time, or after the graphic design?

The world has very complex problems, maybe design can solve some of it.

What do you think about Dribbble? Is it a good way to get a job? What’s the best way to find a job as designer?

Love Dribbble. Yes it’s a great to get found.

What book would you advice to a Junior Designer?

The book of life called experience.

Always as far as advices: what tools for the design? What tools for the projects management ?

Paper. Pencil. Email. Basecamp. Trello. Whatever works for your team.