Shaun Tollerton — ustwo
British product designer living in Brooklyn with a passion for design, technology and adventure.
Design was something I - already as a kid - felt a strong passion for, to create things with my hands using the few resources that were available at that time, mostly playing with nature and with an open eye for new things! I grew up in a small village but was always surrounded by very skilled artists who inspired me. After getting a computer at the age of 12, I became the little village nerd until the day the only thing I was able to use my computer for was photoshop and freehand as my father didn't want to buy me a newer model.
I decided to study computer technologies which was a bad idea because I didn't feel it was the right thing for me. Thanks to a teacher who spotted my talent and lead me into the direction of digital design. I received the opportunity to present my skills and get recognised. One of my first work was awarded in a European Union design contest.
This was just the beginning of a journey full of opportunities and challenges that made me dream and be ambitious to continuously try and learn more. I worked in several design studios and before finishing my degree, my design teacher invited me to work in her studio. After 3 hard years of working during the day and having classes in the evening, I felt it was time for a new adventure. I move to Barcelona and enroll for a Master's in motion design. After that, I was lucky to work with some of the most skilled people and design studios/agencies in the field of digital design.
I usually start my day by checking emails on my way to work or when I arrive at the office. I’m obsessed with cycling since it helps me to start a day with focus and define some goals for the day.
When I get to the office, I either head straight into my first meeting. If I’m running late I make coffee and go over my calendar. Afterwards I spend some time with my team and give some guidance, feedback or briefing for the current tasks. My typical day is usually full of meetings, so I have to be really conscious of the time I do have to design and block off heads down time.
When I’m not in meetings or designing I research and focus on some new projects. After work I do yoga or sports, meet my friends for a drink or spend some quality time at home.♥
Totally random stuff often inspires me. I could be looking at someone doing something on the street or at a train station and will take notes. People's behavior is the main inspiration for my work. When I am working and looking for references or ideas, most of the time, I'll take a look at Twitter or Medium. When my eyes need to look at something beautiful: Dribbble, awwwards, and hoverstat.es. I also visit Pttrns.com and Useronboard quite often.
Uff.. Hard one. But I must admit the best experiences have been through the ones where there was no need for an interface! For example Alexa and Apple pay, we are today surrounded by solutions where interface was used as main guidance but I believe the best design is the one where the user can have a seamless experience! Besides that, I have been a big fan of Timepage Moleskine App and Sleep Cycle, with a totally different approach and way of thinking.
The Antoni website. To do the website of your company is normally one of the biggest challenges since everyone will have an opinion on it. Pushing some boundaries we were able to create some noise in the digital, advertising and dev community putting something out there that we believed would catch the attention of new talent. The result was better than expected and today we see that some big players are trying to copying it.
Other projects, I was proud to be part of the “Grow up” campaign in which we were able to showcase a new way of how to communicate in the Mercedes-Benz world.
Mercedes cAR, an app that gives you the power to configure a 3D Mercedes–Benz model wherever you are, is another exciting example as it challenged us to create a user experience and design in AR.
Working in an agency comes with a new set up for every project: different timelines, teammates, and clients but that is something I like! Facing new challenges and trying to find the right solution. For every project, you need to build trust in the relationship with your clients, understand the project needs and goals. In the last 4 years I’ve been at Antoni, the biggest challenge has been constant transformation. I started in the early days of the agency, helping to foster sustainable growth, recruit talent and establishing the right work processes and company culture.
Be yourself! I know is quite a cliche statement but I have witnessed several designers just following tendencies today instead of trying to create them. Being original is the main path to success and creates differentiation making you succeed. And don't be afraid to risk and show the work. Be curious and realistic, we are all on the same train no matter how much experience anyone has.