I met Darrin a couple months ago via Instagram. We both share a passion for photography and in particular shooting at night. As I talked more with Darrin about what he does, I thought his story of doing design work at Mozilla while at the same time tackling huge side projects–such as his game Lastronaut–was really inspiring. I sat down with Darrin to discuss his path to becoming a designer and dug into how he approaches work and life.
Tell us about what you do?
I'm Darrin Henein, and right now I work at Mozilla. I'm the design lead for Firefox mobile which includes our Android and iOS products, and I've been here for about 2 and a half years. Previous to this I worked at a couple of startups in the Toronto area. I've been doing design and development for most of my career.
My team at Mozilla is responsible for all of the UX and creative for our mobile products. Our big one right now is our Android app, it's the highest rated browser in the Android store, with millions of users around the world. We just soft launched our Firefox iOS app, which will launch globally in November to 45 different languages and in every country - it'll be a pretty big scale release.
On your website you describe yourself as a Design Engineer?
When I started to get into UX design I got really frustrated by not being able to test my ideas quickly and see how things were actually going to work. I'm a strong believer in getting things into people's hands as quickly as possible, playing with the real thing whatever that may be. I quickly realized I should learn to prototype this stuff and I actually really fell in love with the art of coding and the whole development of software engineering. I kind of developed this design track as well as this engineering track. I say engineering very loosely but I think most people know what that means in the software realm - I code.