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Today we have a super inspirational interview from Matt Homer, a designer with 13 years experience creating digital products, specialising in designing apps (UX & UI).
Tell us about yourself?
A child of the 80s, born and raised in the north of England. I’m a caffeine addict who loves technology, travel and learning. I have been creating digital products for governments, startups, SMEs, charities and global brands for over 13 years.
My work has allowed me to work and travel to many places, currently, I am in Bali with my partner Judit Layana – an amazing UX researcher a.k.a my secret weapon – who makes sure my work is waaaay better than it ever could be without her testing and insights.
We are currently working remotely on various projects for clients in UK and USA, while also working on a couple of iOS apps for my new design business.
When did you started your design career and where?
I started designing professionally in March 2001 in Bradford. My first project was as an intern for the design studio, SectionE (RIP) – I was charged with designing and building a flash website for a local business, the LoveAppleCafe.
With no formal design or coding training or experience, the majority of this project was learning, mainly by distracting the relevant specialists within the SectionE team with lots of questions… After a couple of months later and a bunch of blood, sweat and tears, the website was launched.
This was a great into the deepened approach to learning, which allowed me to get to grips with Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Flash – a process of learning I still practise today.
Who inspires you to be a designer?
Me. My natural state is to be lazy, but often find myself super frustrated by the world around me. In an attempt to balance this, my mind is constantly trying to solve these frustrating problems, when I succeed, I feel happier. Being a designer allows me to get paid for some of this problem solving.
I think my solutions are most successful when I make my life; or the lives of the customers/users of the businesses I work for; easier and less frustrating.
How does your work day look like?
Since becoming becoming an independent designer again, I am still working on developing a proper routine.
Most days look like this: Coffee, tech news, coffee, email, Slack, coffee, procrastination, fear, coffee, and then, lots work… before retiring for some Netflix time (currently loving The Blacklist and The Walking Dead) and some meaty dinner.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working remotely for several companies, however, most of my time recently has been for a startup called First Mile Geo, who focus on collecting, visualising and monitoring, geo-located data, for conflict zones and emerging markets.
I have been helping them simplify and prettify their current product and making it relevant to more use cases and scenarios.
How do you manage your time?
Badly… But trying to be better! A mix of Trello, Fantastical and Apple reminders.
Where are you currently based and what’s next?
While normally based in London, I’m currently in Indonesia, hiding fromt British winter. Next stop is back to London, but I have my eye on spain and France for sometime in Spring/Summer.
Working in the office for company or you’re freelancer?
While I have spent a large amount of my career in studios or working in-house, I am much more productive and effective working remotely. It’s a shame many businesses still want to watch their designer work in front of them, 9am-6pm, but I guess this is slowly changing…
What are the tools you can’t live without?
Hardware: Pens (sharpie) and paper; MacBook Pro, iPad; iPhone; any devices relevant to the project I am working on; and my wifi hotspot, solar panel and external battery for keeping me connected when the power and wifi dies when working traveling / working remotely (which happens a lot).
Software: Sketch for UI design and wireframing; Slack and Google Hangouts for communication; keynote for prototyping; Sublime Text for coding; Trello for project planning; Overcast for podcasts; and Spotify for music.
What is your latest project?
I am working on a couple of iOS apps, but currently these are in the concept stages and not ready to share… But check my Twitter or Dribbble for announcements and leaks.