Finding great designers is not really a challenge, but finding outstanding designers is. And today we have an outstanding designer on insta5. Matt Dempsey is a really talented UI web designer. He has done some really fantastic stuff like Inception Explained, and Comic Sans Criminal. Currently Matt is working at Camayak.com, but has also interned at Facebook. I hope you like the interview.
Q. What was it like interning at Facebook?
A. Pretty incredible! I was working in the Product Design team. Interns are treated exactly the same as real employees and get to work on real projects that make a real impact. I worked on redesigning the Help Center, including the new interaction when you click Help in the top right menu on Facebook. I redesigned and created a standardised template for every email Facebook sends (there are a ton!), plus a bunch of internal tools and helping out wherever I could on other projects.The company is extremely open, nothing is hidden or secret. Interns know everything that's being worked on and are all welcome at the weekly Q&A with Zuck, where the company's priorities, projects and statistics are discussed openly. We were introduced to timeline in our on-boarding session, months before the public knew it existed. You're trusted and respected from day one which helps build an awesome work atmosphere. The perks are incredible: impressive accommodation with free shuttles back and forth, amazing free food for breakfast lunch and dinner, drink and snack stations, a Macbook Pro and iPhone to work with, extremely flexible working hours and so on. The best part though is undoubtedly the talent you're surrounded by. The Facebook Design team consists of some of the best designers in the world, and is growing fast. Getting feedback every day from designers whose work you admire taught me way more than my whole design education has thus far. Those guys are awesome.
Q. Where do you hope to work in the future? What do you hope to do there?
A. I currently work with an awesome startup called http://Camayak.com which is going to revolutionise the way journalists collaborate and produce content in news organizations and college newsrooms. We're in private beta right now and it's going really well. I've also just finished my second year of a Graphic Design degree here in the UK. I'm a firm believer in working on things you're passionate about, and wherever that may be I hope to be simplifying products and interfaces and making things easier and more enjoyable to use.
Q. What's your favorite artist? Song?
A. This is a tricky one, I don't really have one. I listen to trance and house music all day long, DJ sets, radio shows, whatever I can get my hands on! I need upbeat music without too many words to keep me focussed. Armin van Buuren is a bit of a hero of mine.
Q. What advice would you give to your eighth grade self right now?
A. Make the most of your free time, focus on what you love and teach yourself the things you want to learn. School didn't teach me web design and I wouldn't be here if I hadn't bothered to research and experiment with it in my own time. School will always feel too much like hard work, then you'll get to college and realise school was easy, and that college is hard! Then you'll get into a job and realise both were easy! Make use of your free time now and learn as much as you can. It'll help you make a more informed decision about your career path later on, and hopefully lead to a more enjoyable life!
Q. How would you describe your attitude toward life, in three words?
A. Passionate, positive, focussed.
For Matt I designed a wallpaper focusing on his initials. Check it out, and buy it here
The proceeds from any wallpaper's being sold, will go to Matt's preferred charity...Charity Water.
Big thanks to Matt!