LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Paula Barcante ("PB") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

PB : Art has always been a huge part of my life. Early on, I denied becoming a designer because I didn’t think I could make a living. 1.5 years into university, while studying Economics, I realized I was giving up on a dream. I quit and applied to a University of Waterloo’s Global Business and Digital Arts problem. That was the best decision I ever made. Originally, I wanted to be an Art Director, until I went to a UX Design conference and fell in love with the ability to use psychology and human interactions in my designs. Later that year I was accepted into Amazon’s UX Design internship program in Seattle. The rest is history!

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

PB : As a Product Designer, I design virtual experiences. This could be a website, a mobile app, or a smart hardware.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

PB : Create a portfolio you are proud of, even if it's just filled with school projects.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

PB : My secret recipe of success in design is always putting the user first.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

PB : Some that come to mind are David McCandless, the designer of “Information is Beautiful” and Olimpia Zagnoli, an Italian illustrator. I absolutely love how real and unique these designers are. David McCandless really displays how information can be displayed in a way that is digestible and beautiful. Olimpia’s illustrations are just so unique and deeply engaging.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

PB : Design for me is creating a beautiful human centric experience that makes an action (virtually or physically) more efficient and beautiful than before.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

PB : I believe my curiosity made me question every design decision I made.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

PB : Joyster (project that won) is what I am most excited about right now. It’s a mental health app that allows people to create journal stories in seconds to keep track of their mental and physical symptoms. Joyster aims to help with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, or any other mental health symptom. We are currently open for beta and will be launching early next month.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

PB : Design has the power to change the world positively or negatively. I believe it's up to us to work towards a better world. We are the ones who define how people experience the world around them.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

PB : Joyster (project that won) is what I am most excited about right now. It’s a mental health app that allows people to create journal stories in seconds to keep track of their mental and physical symptoms. Joyster aims to help with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, or any other mental health symptom. We are currently open for beta and will be launching early next month.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

PB : I would love to see more design leaders, especially female ones.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

PB : I always start my designs with pencil and paper. I find it easier to erase things and re-draw or re-arrange on paper. As much s I love technology and software, there is nothing as satisfying as creating something on paper.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

PB : Less is always more. I like to simplify the design, copy, and steps as much as possible. I believe in making efficient, delightful, and purposeful experiences. I always try to find a way to decrease the number of screens, copy, or buttons as necessary.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

PB : As a Product Designer, I tend to use mostly softwares. My favorite ones are Sketch App, Figma, and Procreate on my iPad.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

PB : When I was 19 years old I interned as a graphic designer for a local magazine. The Art Director of the company taught me a lot of typography, spacing, visual hierarchy, and colour schemes. Additionally, my first internship at Amazon was tough. I had to figure everything out on my own, it was like throwing a baby in the pool to see if it swims. I think that experience taught me a lot about being self-sufficient as a designer.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

PB : - 100 things every designer needs to know about people by Susan Weinschecnk - Living with Complexity by Donald A. Norman - Nudge by Richard Thaler, Cass Sunstein - Electric dreams by Ted Friedman

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

PB : Favourite colour is tea. Favourite place is Vancouver Island. Favourite food is definitely sushi. Favourite season is fall. Favourite thing and brand is furniture by FLOYD

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

PB : It was obvious to my parents, but not to me.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

PAULA IS AN AWARD-WINNING, FULL-STACK SENIOR PRODUCT DESIGNER WITH OVER SIX YEARS OF EXPERIENCE WORKING FOR STARTUPS AND LARGE COMPANIES LIKE AMAZON AND ZILLOW. SHE EXCELS AT UI/UX, MOBILE, INTERACTION, AND RESPONSIVE DESIGN, AS WELL AS BRANDING AND ILLUSTRATION. PAULA IS DRIVEN BY THE THRILL AND SATISFACTION OF CREATING EXPERIENCES THAT ARE NOT ONLY BEAUTIFUL BUT ALSO FUNCTIONAL, PURPOSEFUL, AND DELIGHTFUL.


Joyster Mobile App

Joyster Mobile App by Paula Barcante

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