Sebastiano Guerriero

Talking with User Interface & User Experience Designers


Hi there! My name is Sebastiano Guerriero, I’m a user interface designer from the south of Italy, currently living in London where I run a web agency, Amber Creative, with my partner in work and life, Claudia.


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

It really depends by the age of who’s asking. For my friends I “do websites”. For my grandmothers I “fix computers”. Most people think I “make money doing stuff on the internet”.

What is your background, how did you train?

I did learn everything from online courses and books. There are plenty of great resources available these days. After my degree in Economics, I started a website and found myself enjoying it so much that I realized I wanted to create websites for a living.

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

Well, the web gave me a job ☺ I don’t know if the web is making this World better, but it’s certainly making it faster.

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

The spoon, the book and the door handle.

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)

The electric switch sounds like a winner.

How is your work day type?

After a rich breakfast I go through the news, take a look at twitter, it’s the best time for reading some articles from my favourites online sources. Then I make plans for the day, I like to set milestones. I generally spend half of the day working on designing and coding web projects, the second half dealing with clients. Finally some time to relax and hang out with friends.

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

One interesting and recent project was the re-design of the Apple store. Not official (unfortunately!). With my partner I spent a considerable amount of time on what originally was just a “project for fun”, and then turned into a viral design. We got bunch of requests from clients who wanted something similar.

Apple store (unofficial)

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

Dropbox. I use it every day, I thought it was a brilliant idea since the first time I heard of it.

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?

I used to make the same mistake. The experience taught me the importance of planning and wireframing before even considering the design phase. I prefer to have a long chat with the client first, make questions and learn as much as I can about the client’s market and background. The wireframing and prototyping are the most crucial parts. If you get that right, the design process is much smoother.

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

I think the designer’s role is always to make things easier to interact with.

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?

Yes, absolutely. UI and UX are so intertwined that it’s impossible to work on a design without considering both of them simultaneusly. About the front-end knowledge, I firmly think UI designers should learn to code; at least the basics of HTML and CSS. This is an indispensable skill these days, when the best tool for prototyping is the browser.

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

I’d define the User Experience as the way the user reacts to something, and the feeling caused by this interaction. The User Interface is that something the user is interacting with.

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?

Considering that the developer I work with is my girlfriend, I’d say I have a “sexual relationship”.

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

I’m gonna launch some new projects soon. Cody (http://codyhouse.co/) will certainly be a great challenge. In 5 years I see myself mantaining and working to make succesfull the 2 project I plan to launch in the next few months.

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?

I like to thing they’ll save the World together. I’m a romantic though.

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?

Dribbble has been a great way for me to find work. The best way to find jobs is to get exposure by showcasing our skills on social networks like Dribbble and Behance. If you don’t have a client work to publish, be your client and work on personal projects.

What book would you advice to a Junior Designer?

Bulletproof Web Design by Dan Cederholm. Time to learn some code ;)

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

I used to design in Photoshop, I recently switched to Sketch designing web interfaces. Adobe Illustrator is my tool of choice for designing icons and illustrations. The other essential companion is Sublime Text. For the project management I find Trello very useful.

Useful tips

My advice would be: quality over quantity. Don’t try to collect as many jobs as you can. It’s crucial in this market to find time to experiment and keep growing. If you can be patient and find time to work on your skill set, you’ll find better clients and get more satisfaction with your job.

We’re living an age full of great opportunities. With the web being the center of the economic world, our role as user interface designers is putting us in the center. That’s a chance for building unique products we can’t miss.

Project : http://ambercreative.co/experiments/apple-store/

Dribbble : http://dribbble.com/Sebastiano_Guerriero


FRONTIERSX November 12–13th, 2015, Milan, Italy

As the meeting point of design, technology and everything interactive, this year we’ll dive deep through innovation and disruption in Banking, Health and Retail industries.

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