KimWalker (Product Designer at Loom)

Kim is a London based product designer with a background in typography and graphic design, currently working as a Lead Product Designer at Loom, and previously at MetaLab.

He/Him • London, UK • April 22, 2024

What led you into design?

My first contact with design probably came through piecing together bits of Lego when I was just a few years old. My mum always had some kind of creative project on the go and my dad was restlessly building or fixing things. I suppose product design, my job now, contains aspects of both of them - my mum's artistic curiosity and my dad's engineering instincts.

A photo of Kim aged around four

When I got a little bit older I remember spending countless after school hours at the boxy, beige PC we had creating games in Kilk & Play, browsing the depths of Encarta, and making word art in Creative Writer. The computer was an escape and a source of endless possibility, and that was before we even had an internet connection.

A picture of the software boxes for Creative Writer, Encarta, and Klik & Play

When the internet did arrive, I hung out in forums for bands I liked and made artwork for bootleg live shows which surfaced on Limewire inspired by the work of record designers I started to admire like Peter Saville (Factory Records), Stanley Donwood (Radiohead) and Andy Votel (Twisted Nerve Records). Soon after, I made my first website - a fansite for a local band, lovingly crafted in MS Paint and brought to life in Dreamweaver. Design for me was always intertwined with music.

I was nudged towards a degree in graphic design and found myself, a little accidentally, studying Typography at Reading University. It was not quite what I anticipated - I thought we would learn how to use Photoshop but instead, we went deep into how paper was made, how antique printing presses were operated, and made rubbings of early Roman letterforms.

In the end, the grounding in typography is something I’m still so grateful for. No matter what you’re designing poor typography will always let it down, and good typography is probably the foundation of anything well-made - product, page or screen.

A photo of Reading University's Typography Department
Reading University's Typography Department

I graduated, rather naively, into a recession and struggled to find a footing eventually landing some work experience through a friend at a small digital agency in East London. I made everything from ad banners to Flash games to packaging and slowly picked up the principles of UX and web design. I was unsure about how to navigate the early stages of my career in design - digital product designer wasn't exactly a job title at this point, but I knew designing interfaces was something I did enjoy, was at least ok at, and the skill seemed increasingly to be in demand.

In the long run, I feel fortunate to have moved gradually forward along this path, working mostly within agencies with a strong focus on products (Mint Digital, MetaLab). Agency work can be a little relentless, but the quick pace and constant stream of new projects and clients really teach you how to generate ideas quickly, work collaboratively, and hone your craft.

Loom, where I work as a designer now, is my first product job. I still feel like I'm learning how best to operate in this environment but it's been an amazing journey over the last four years, and I feel lucky to be part of a small, supportive design team working on a product that myself and many others enjoy using daily.

What does a typical day look like?

My typical workday could generally be broken into three parts: (1) catching up, (2) making stuff, and (3) collaborating.

Between 10-12 I (1) get caught up on the Slacks and Looms and all the notifications from the day before - I work 5-8 hours ahead of the majority of my teammates, so there’s usually no shortage of things to pick through as I get my head into the day.

Between lunch and ~4pm is when I’ll get (2) focused on Figma and get the bulk of the making part of my job done.

Between 4pm and 6pm is when i’ll spend my time syncing with my team (3) as they begin to emerge online in the morning in America. I try and set pretty firm boundaries and stick as close to London hours as I can, so optimising the time we do have together is critical.

This represents a good day. The reality, especially working remotely, is that time does't always feel so neatly divided. Focus becomes hard with a lack of structure, so I have to work hard to create that for myself. It also takes time at the end of my day for the work part of my mind to switch off since the most intense part of it (the meetings, conversation, and decision-making) takes place right at the end.

Going outside usually helps; I live right between two wonderful parks (London Fields & Victoria Park) and spend time in one or the other daily.

A photo of a tree with my shadow, in London Fields, Hackney

What's your workstation setup?

I've tried a lot of co-working spaces over the last few years - and will soon be splitting my time between home and a new studio - but the majority of my time has been still been spent at an old wooden desk at home in Hackney, East London.

A photo of my workspace at home

I'm lucky to have good light and a decent amount of space to spread out in here. I'm currently using a 16" MacBook Pro which is a bit unwieldily but worth it for the larger screen size when working on the go.

Detail photos of a calendar and a lamp in my home workspace

My desktop is always a mess - every few weeks i'll just dump all the screenshots, downloads, and files in one 'Sort' folder which I hope to eventually get to clearing out. It currently stands at 7,271 items. I've always thought someone should write a ..Magic Art of Tidying Up but for all the digital stuff we're hoarding, I could certainly use the help.

I don't think there's anything special about my setup but I am a big fan of small menu bar apps like FlagTimes (quickly see timezones of colleagues) and Hand Mirror (check what you look like on camera) and Tyke (tiny disposable notepad).

A screenshot of my desktop wallpaper

Recently, Microsoft To Do has become my go-to app for organising life and work tasks. I tend to navigate my phone just via search or Siri app suggestions, so I keep the home screen itself distraction-free with a few carefully selected widgets to help me stay on top of things.

Screenshots of my iPhomne wallpaper and home screen

Where do you go to get inspired?

The majority of my time at Loom has been spent designing their iOS and Android apps and i've found Mobbin indispensable for getting the lay of the land at the start of a new feature or project. It’s granular categorisation makes it easy to compare multiple approaches to the same design problem across a broad spectrum of apps, and I also appreciate how they are continually making small improvements and keeping the content fresh.

I work on a mix of desktop and mobile right now, but still find drawing from mobile solutions one of the best ways to reach a simple desktop implementation.

A screenshot of

A couple of other sites to shout out: is great for less conventional mobile design approaches. And Fuse.Kiwi for more graphic design, type, art and all other kinds of interesting internet™

A screenshot of Fuse.Kiwi
A screenshot of

A book I always find rewarding to revisit is The Laws of Simplicity by technologist John Maeda. We often talk about desiring 'simple' solutions to things, but having a (simple) framework or set of rules to guide your decision making helps avoid meaningless minimalism. It can be applied to both design and business, but also more broadly as a way of looking at the world. (And at just 129 pages it's truthfully one of the few design books i've read cover to cover.)

A list of John Maeda's Laws of Simplicity

For actual inspiration to find me, I usually need to distract myself in some way. I often have my guitar or this small Yamaha keyboard at my desk. Playing around with either one of these can help open up space for me to problem solve and sort through scattered thoughts (at the expense of anyone else within audible reach).

A photo of Richard Sera sculptures at the art gallery Dia:Beacon

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

I've enjoyed some of the more wacky and whimsical AI + Physical things which have started to emerge. A couple which stand out are Poetry Camera by Kelin Carolyn Zhang & Ryan Mather - a camera which prints poems of the things it sees. And the AI rhyming clock by Matt Webb - a clock which creates a short poem to tell the time every minute. I love how both leverage the technology to create these little moments of unpredictable joy, and still carry a uniquely human touch.

A photo of the AI rhyming clock by Matt Webb

Similarly, i've been fascinated by Spotify's new Daylist feature. The titles are increasingly unhinged but strangely accurate, and it's quickly become my go to way to choose what I listen to while working.

Screenshots of Spotify's 'Daylist' Feature

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

I joined Loom as a mobile product designer in 2020 and though i'm no longer anchored just to the apps, it's still some of the work i'm most proud of and have had so much fun making. I'm especially pleased with the fit and finish we've been able to achieve with a lot of what we've shipped (I want to shout out Britt, Sika, Nicolette, Rodrigo, Jesse, Brett, Ben, Jeff, and Luis for all their work ♥).

The mobile apps (Android & iOS) are a companion to Loom on desktop (a place to get caught up on on the go), but also a recording surface in their own right, and we've generally bounced back and forth between these two areas continually levelling up the viewing, recording, and 'catching up' experiences within the apps.

Screenshots of designs of the Loom mobile app

Most recently, our improvements to home and notifications have made it faster and easier to stay in the loop away from your desktop. Home provides all the critical jumping-off points you need to get to caught up; notifcations allows you to respond to comments and gather complete context without needing to navigate back and forth from your videos.

The home screen and notifications screens on Loom for iOS

Theres a couple of old side projects which i'm still fond of, despite having not touched them in years. The first is 2016.Promo which is just a big, typographic interactive list of good news from the year we all loved to hate.

A screenshot of the website

The second is Nice Portfolio, a directory of great design portfolios. In it's current format it's basically just a single button on a page but I'm hoping to finally refresh it again in 2024.

A screenshot of the website nice

In more recent times I've found myself less inclined to spend time making things for the internet outside of work. Since 2020 in particular, i’ve tried to experiment with a lot of different creatives pursuits and mediums to see what sticks. Most recently I’ve had fun exploring shape and colour making these cyanotype-style prints at home.

Sunograph prints by Kim Walker

What design challenges do you face at your company?

As much as Loom has evolved and increased in complexity over the years, I personally think some of our most important challenges remain some of the most longstanding and fundamental.

For example: how can we get people to feel more comfortable being on camera? How can we allow them to easily recover from mistakes in their recordings? How can we get them to edit their videos quickly and easily? We’re continually making progress on all of these fronts - I recently helped work on a beta of Live Rewind, a feature which allows you to erase mistakes as they happen, rather than having to abandon your recording or rely on editing down the line.

Despite the maturity of the product, I get motivated by the fact that video messaging for work is still a relatively new concept, and there is still so much potential there to unlock.

A screenshot of Loom's Live Rewind feature

Looking ahead, I think how we continue to thoughtfully integrate AI into the product without diluting Loom’s naturally human qualities will continue to be an interesting challenge for design, and above all keeping the product simple and easy to use in an increasingly competitive field - to draw on one of John Maeda's Laws of Simplicity:

"The more complexity there is in the market, the more that something simpler stands out"

What music do you listen to while designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

I used to think that good design could essentially sell and speak for itself. The reality is that in most working environments even the best design needs to be amplified, attached to a convincing narrative, and given bright packaging to reach it’s full potential. At the very least it needs to be clearly communicated by you. This is especially true when trying to innovate and set a new, expansive vision for something.

Relatedly - and this one comes up a lot here - but don’t be afraid to share your work early and often, regardless of how rough or incomplete your thinking is. When it comes to product design, I don’t think an idea of mine has ever become worse by trying to explain it to someone or recording a quick Loom for design critique. It can feel unnatural to design in public, but increasingly i’ve seen that the most well-adjusted designers are those who can make others feel heard and included in their design process. I'm still guilty at times of shutting myself away and getting frustrated. This is an especially easy trap to fall into when working remotely!

Decorative element

Finally, try and make the space to reflect on your work and be proud of any successes you’ve had, even the tiny ones. Nothing is ever perfect, a lot is out of your control, and the amount of time spent on any one thing won't necessarily correlate to how good or valuable it might turn out to be. Starting a ‘brag book’ of your own or with your manager to capture your successes can be worth trying - it’s great to have quick access to these when building a case to step into a more senior position, or starting the horrifying task of assembling a portfolio.

Anything you want to promote or plug?

A shameless plug but check out the Loom apps (iOS / Android) if you are interested. You can get in touch with me at, i'm still lurking on Twitter as @kimw, and you can find the rest of me at

Thank you for your time!