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Interview with Christopher Downer(@cjdowner)

Knicks now.

Today's interview is with Christopher Downer. Chris is a interface designer at Real Mac Software, a company responsible for some of the most beautiful and functional Mac apps in the store.

How/why/when did you get into UI design?

I first got into UI design as a hobby when I first came across desktop customization on sites like DeviantArt and MacThemes Forums about 5 years ago. I already had some experience with using Adobe Photoshop and first started out creating icons, before moving into designing various themes and utilities before working on an iPhone UI for a friend's app. It was something that I really enjoyed and wanted to take more seriously once I learned a career could come out of it.

What is it like working at Real Mac Software?

I've been working as a designer there for just over two and a half years now and it's been amazing to get to work with some talented people who I can call my friends. I get the opportunity to learn new things every day and get to work on some exciting projects which you should hopefully see sometime soon in the future!

What does your workspace look like?

It's a 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display connected to a 27" Thunderbolt Display. I'm currently using a Razer Orochi mouse to design with as my much-loved Magic Trackpad no longer connects to my Mac. My desk is usually littered with a variety of print outs with drawings and annotations on them, empty cups of coffee, and a tin of Dutch peppermints.

In your opinion, will Johnny Ive do a good job with Apple's future UI?

It's hard to say. A lot of people will have high expectations of him to "right the wrongs" and radically change the UI for OS X and iOS, but I don't think we'll see that great a change in a short amount of time. It'll definitely be interesting to take a look at new products that become available for the two platforms and try and see if his influence has made its way in there.

What can we expect from you in the future?

From what we've currently got in development at Realmac, 2013 is looking to be a great year. I'm not sure about plans that I have for myself in the future just yet, but hopefully I'll get to continue on working on some amazing products, making things enjoyable for people to use!

We are just chipping away at that 100 number? Big thanks to Chris for answering my five questions.

David Silverman