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Ways We Work

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Shaun Tollerton

Designer at ustwo

Shaun Tollerton is a designer at ustwo. Lover of well crafted interfaces, fashion, technology, travel and serious techno.

What do you do?

I aim to create beautiful interfaces and intuitive experiences for digital products. But if my Mum’s asking I’ll just say I design apps. ;-)

What do you find most rewarding about your role? Most challenging?

The most rewarding aspect is when I come across positive feedback for the things that I’ve designed. That’s when there’s a feeling of success. The most challenging aspect is keeping up with everything that is going on.

How do you stay up to date with trends in your industry/field?

This industry is incredibly fast paced with all kinds of new products, best practices and stories being released everyday. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on so you can have a good understanding and subsequently a well fuelled intuition which assists design decision making.

To stay on top of the game I will try to only follow the absolute best companies, people and news sources out there.

What are your top five applications or programs?

Google Drive, Photoshop, Slack, SoundCloud and Twitter.

Best way to stay on top of email?

I love having inbox zero. I freak a little when the number of unread emails goes above 10. I try to respond as soon as I can. But there are other solutions I find helpful. Having real world conversations as often as possible reduces the need for email. Slack has really helped too as I can chat with the team I’m currently working with, message people directly and have general conversations where necessary.

What is your best time-saving trick?

Ordering Seamless just before I leave the studio so it’s delivered as I arrive at home, haha.

One non-tech thing you can’t live without?

My 946ml Ronnybrook farm bottle. It used to contain chocolate milk, but now serves as my bottle for drinking water out of and I love to drink lots of water.

What does your workspace look like?

ustwo New York has just moved into a brand new space in the Financial District. It’s 16 floors up and there are some stunning views from the roof terrace. There are a variety of places I like to work which include sofas, communal stand up desks or even in the kitchen.

Structure of your typical day, how do you divide your time?

I arrive at the studio by 9am. I’ll eat breakfast, attempt to improve my latte art skills, catch up with people and process emails. At 10am we have the team daily standup where we sync on what we’ve been doing and what we will be committing to that day. Then it’s getting down to business. I love to put on a lengthy techno mix when designing to keep me focused and fast paced. After lunch a bunch of us will play Mario Kart. It’s a great way for us to hangout and keep the energy levels high aka just have some fun. And at the end of the day I like to enjoy a cold IPA or 2 from the beer fridge.

Why do you do what you do, what motivates you and makes everything worth it?

It all stems from when I was a kid. I remember being sat in the front of my Dads car at some traffic lights. Across the street was a large billboard and I remember thinking how cool it would be to see my artwork on there so that everyone could see. I get the exact same feeling today knowing that something I’ve designed is being used by millions of people.

What is the greatest piece of career advice/wisdom you've ever received?

My favorite piece of wisdom has come from Ric Elias, a survivor of the plane which was forced to land in the Hudson back in 2009. He talks about how he’s learnt not to postpone anything in life and to choose happiness over ego.

Who would you like to see featured on Ways We Work?

@almonk @nunosans @miekd