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Interview with Paula Barcante

Home > Designer Interviews > Paula Barcante

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Paula Barcante (PB) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Paula Barcante by clicking here.

Interview with Paula Barcante at Monday 4th of May 2020
Paula Barcante
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
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 the University of Waterloo’s Global Business and Digital Arts program. 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!

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
PB: Paula Barcante Consulting is a design studio that focuses on creating products that will benefit humanity. Technology has so many effects on our well-being, so we believe it’s up to us to make those effects a positive one.

FS: 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 than before.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PB: I spent a lot of my career designing for large companies and a lot of the time I wasn’t sure how it was benefiting the world or even humans in an individual level. So I would say my passion lies with designing for the greater good, that could be an app, a website, or even an illustration that sparks positivity.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
PB: I don’t think I have a favorite design per-se, but I have a lot of designers I aspire by. 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.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
PB: The first thing I designed for a company was a dashboard for companies to keep track of their advertising click through rates and impressions. I know, boring, right?

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PB: This is a hard one. My creativity doesn’t have a time. Sometimes it comes in the morning, but other times it shows up at 12am. It really depends. However, the times I created something I was proud of were times when I was personally struggling.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
PB: I love focusing on where the product could go. I’m a futurist in nature, so when I design an experience, I design for the future, not the present. I also just adore bringing in illustrations and small delightful experiences throughout my products.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
PB: Designing is my career, hobby, and job. I love what I do. When I’m designing it feels like time just doesn’t exist anymore. It feels liberating to me.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
PB: The moment I ship something, I have so many emotions come through me. I usually feel proud and anxious, but also extremely nervous and scared about how people will use the product and if they will enjoy it.

FS: What makes a design successful?
PB: I believe what makes a design successful is how useful and helpful the product is. As a Product Designer, I am always looking for the human-aspect of the design. Do my users find my product helpful? Would they use it? Does it serve a purpose in the lives? These answers help me determine if the design is successful or not.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PB: This may sound like a broke record, but again, I look at the purpose of the design, how the design itself is fixing that problem, and if the way they are fixing it is the best way.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PB: As designers we are responsible for how people will make sense of the world around them. I believe it’s our responsibility to create designs and experiences that will help society and the environment in a positive way.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
PB: My design inspiration comes from books and designs from other fellow designers. I love using Dribbble as a source of inspiration as I find a lot of amazing product designers post their work there.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
PB: I would say my design style is “less is 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, or copy, or buttons as possible.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
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 I love technology and software, there is nothing as pure as creating something on paper. This is then followed by creating low-fidelity designs on Sketch. Once I have a solid map of all the screens, I like to prototype it and start showing it to potential users. Based on their feedback, I then re-iterate the designs and start building in the visual aesthetics.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
PB: My “golden rule” in design is start with the user.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
PB: I believe having the ability to articulate your designs and be open to feedback is extremely important.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
PB: As a Product Designer, I tend to use mostly software. My favourite ones are Sketch App, Figma, and Procreate on my iPad.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
PB: My most important job experience was my second internship with Amazon in Seattle. I was 21 years old, designing a brand new platform that had never existed before. I learned so much in those 4 months.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
PB: I have worked with big companies like Amazon and Zillow as well as small start-ups like Medella Health, cv19.solutions, Charlie, custom care, NICHE Magazine, etc.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
PB: My next big project is launching Joyster. We are currently open for Beta and are beyond excited to launch early next month!

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
PB: Yes! 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.

FS: How can people contact you?
PB: You can find me on twitter @paulabarcante , LinkedIn, or instagram @joyster.app


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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