Meet the Designer: Eileen Beredo
After a brief stint as a 9-to-5er, Eileen Beredo has been a successful freelance designer for nearly a decade. The decision to stay self-employed has allowed her to dip into a range of industries and disciplines—including branding, UX and UI work, visuals, publishing, websites, and app and product projects—while working from her home base in San Francisco, and exploring the globe with her trusty Macbook. We caught Eileen in the Bay Area and chatted about traveling, tools of the trade, and how bagels helped her find her current creative career.
What drew you to UX/UI design, and how did you get your start?
I’ve always been a visual person, but in high school I got my first intro to the idea of being creative as a career. Back then I worked at a bagel shop and would write out the menus on the chalkboard; my boss told me there was an industry—basically graphic design and typography—where I could develop those skills. At that time, in the early 2000s, the field was really evolving. My parents weren’t exactly open to pursuing something in the arts, but after I got into a selective program at the University of Washington, I decided I was onto something and that I was going to go for it.
How does Adobe Creative Cloud fit into your creative process?
I start as low-fi as possible, with quick sketches on pencil and paper. Then I use Photoshop and Illustrator to make things beautiful.
Let’s look at one of your personal projects. What was your process creating Wanderful Philippines—an app for connecting travelers as they’re on the go?
I had just gotten back from two months traveling around the Philippines and Japan, working remotely as I went. I met so many people along the way who I never exchanged info with; I kept thinking about them all when I got home, wishing I had reached out. That’s where I got the idea for this app—a resource for people to make real life connections wherever they go in real time with other wanderers and digital nomads who might want to meet up, and/or share helpful info that will make exploring easier, safer, and more fun.
Adobe XD had just launched with a Creative Jam themed around “travel,” so I thought it was a good idea to put something together quickly using the platform. It only took minutes to pick it up, and I was surprised by the quality I was able to achieve in a couple hours. The idea of an all-in-one tool is a real game-changer. It lets me iterate quickly, making UI changes that instantly update my prototype; there’s nothing else out there that allows me to do that.
What excites you most about the future of UX/UI design—both in terms of creating it, and engaging with it?
It’s a really exciting time to be a designer right now. We’re moving from more traditional platforms into the digital realm, and the technology is improving so quickly; I can’t even imagine the possibilities for my career, in terms of being able to help people and solve problems. I love what I do. My job never feels like a “job.” If I can make anyone’s life better with my work–either by a little or by a lot–that’s incredibly rewarding.
As for the near future, recently I’ve been working hard on iOS app called Spin to guide people through the auto shopping experience and help them find the best car for them. Our Beta version will only be available on iPad this fall (and I’m planning to design the mobile version using Adobe XD!). We’re looking for Beta testers at the moment, so let me know if you’re interested!
What bit(s) of wisdom can you share with creative folks who are interested in becoming UX/UI designers?
Our field—and all the tools and apps for doing UX and UI design—is just changing so quickly that it’s really important to keep an eye on and explore the latest releases as they develop.
Whose UX/UI work do you look at and go: “WOW”?
I’ve been lucky to work with the talented designer Patrick Durgin-Bruce of Ultravirgo Creative, a design studio in NYC. I admire his passion to work on purpose-driven design projects, and he has an impeccable attention to detail. I also learned a ton from him about what it takes to run your own design studio.
Best tunes for getting into a creative flow?
Lately I’ve been really into Odesza, an electric duo from Bellingham, Washington. Very chill.
- Twitter: @johnmaeda, @MengTo, @tferriss, @alaindebotton, @dsgnpickuplines
- Instagram: @vanschneider, @catherinejkim, @jessicavwalsh, @pauloctavious, @passionpassport
- Blog: Designer News, Subtraction, Invision
- Podcast: Tobias Van Schneider, Nice to Meet You. He’s a self-taught graphic designer who used to be the lead at Spotify; now he’s doing his own thing, interviewing other creatives. It’s really interesting to hear his point of view about how far he’s come and what drives him. I also like StartUp.
- For design/industry news and updates: Behance, Dribble
Hey designers: We’d love to feature you next! Share your prototypes on Behance for the chance to be featured in Adobe XD’s Meet the Designer series. Don’t forget to tag them with #MadeWithAdobeXD and select Adobe Experience Design under “Tools Used.”