Meet the Designer: Carlos Pariente
Carlos Pariente keeps busy as a UI designer at Redbility—a Madrid-based, all-purpose digital design agency—and stays busy with personal projects outside the office that allow him to realize his own self-directed branding, UX, and UI experiments. We got the scoop from Carlos on the importance of functional design, the inspirational power of networking, and why coffee and cacti make a major difference in the creative process.
1. What drew you to UX/UI design, and how did you get your start?
I’ve always loved being creative. Ever since I was a kid, I enjoyed designing websites, posters, and more, and even back then I always paid special attention to the use of typography, colors, and composition.
As I got older, I became curious to know more about design as a profession. I found myself working in the world of advertising—where I was lucky to touch upon many branches of design—and I became most comfortable with digital products; that’s how I first began to understand design as a functional thing.
I often find myself returning to this quote by German engineer Ferdinand Alexander Porsche:
“Design must be functional and functionality must be translated into visual aesthetics, without tricks that must be explained before.”
2. What are your can’t-live-without design tools?
Is coffee considered a tool?
I always start with a notepad and pen to express my ideas quickly. Then I turn to programs like Photoshop CC to capture all the visuals; Illustrator CC to develop iconography; and now Adobe XD for prototyping. But if there’s not a nice cactus decorating the worktable and good music playing, nothing makes sense.
3. Let’s look at one of your personal projects. What was your process creating Size Me—an app for measuring kids?
I had the idea for Size Me a long time ago. It seemed so funny to think that people could be measured with a simple tap on a mobile phone; you wouldn’t lose any details about the growth of your child, for example, and could keep the history as a nice record of their height.
I wanted to see what it would take to make it a reality, so I designed it independently, without a client. It was a great start to learn how to use Adobe XD, which allowed me to prototype quickly; it was convenient to be able to check flow and navigation in one package, without external tools that would slow down the work.
4. What excites you most about the future of UX/UI design—both in terms of creating it, and engaging with it?
In this profession, all projects come with their own challenges; the fun part of the process is trying to find different elements that give a punch to the product in both architecture and visuals. Consider a glasses store that allows you to buy online—as most do—versus one that lets you try pairs on via webcam using augmented reality. That differentiator adds value; it’s a “wow” factor.
I think UX design will evolve to become more of a hybrid. UX designers shouldn’t only be concerned with painting gray boxes; they must start with the knowledge and perspective of a visual designer, with a more complete vision for a final product.
5. What bit(s) of wisdom can you share with creative folks who are interested in becoming UX/UI designers?
Inspiration is vital. Learning from other professionals and their projects is very important; attending industry events to meet people and potential influencers is also a good idea.
6. Whose UX/UI work do you look at and go: “WOW”?
It is a pleasure to work alongside my Redbility colleague Fernando Báez. I like his vision, and am always learning from him.
7. Best tunes for getting into a creative flow?
8. Fave follows:
- Twitter: @Redbility
- Blog? Invision