Interview with Tara Mann(@taramann)

Before we get into this amazing interview, I would just like to extend a huge ongratulations to my brother for graduating from Northwestern University. 

I can only hope to be half the man you are, and hopefully I'll be on my way in following your footsteps at NU next year.

Also currently watching the NBA Finals and if for some reason Kyrie Irving reads this: YOU ARE INCREDIBLE AND PLEASE STOP PASSING...I WANT YOU TO TAKE EVERY SHOT.


Tonight's interview is with Tara Mann. Tara is a talented designer working at Twitter. She is also one of the funnier interviewees I have had on instantbight.com.

I'm so grateful Tara took the time to answer my questions and also learned that one of her good friends went to my high school...small world!

How did you get into design?

I was always interested in the aesthetics of things, but couldn't quite piece together what that meant for my career. I ended up applying to art/design schools for college and ended up at Parsons. It was there that I became immersed in this world of interaction and product design. I did a bunch of freelance work in college, which led to a job at a startup. That was my first professional experience in tech and it's been a pretty exciting ride ever since. 

What is it like working at Twitter?

It's amazing to work on a product that has such a big impact on the world. Watching huge cultural moments happen on the platform is a great feeling. At Twitter, designers have the opportunity to contribute their ideas in a meaningful and collaborative way, in a supportive and tight-knit environment, it's awesome.

What does your workspace look like?

I recently moved away from a two-monitor setup to just one Apple Cinema Display, with my MacBook Pro next to it in a BookArc from Twelve South. I use an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil for sketching, and like to wear over-the-ear headphones (Master & Dynamic MH40 at the moment) while I'm working. I keep my desk super minimal and neat, clutter stresses me out. 

When you aren't working, where could someone find you?

I'm interested in comedy as well as tech, so you could probably find me hanging around some comedy club in New York, or just taking long random walks while I listen to podcasts. I also watch lots of TV, way too much. 

If you could talk to your 18 year old self what would you say to her?

I would tell her it will all work out and to not doubt yourself so much, imposter syndrome is the worst. 

What is it like living in NYC?

I recently moved back here from San Francisco and it's been a great transition. Building products in New York is especially interesting, as you're living in a more culturally diverse environment outside of the main tech hub. It gives you a different perspective on real life problems to solve for. It's humbling. 

What can we expect from you in the future?

I hope to ship a few fun side projects, as well as continue to learn and grow as a designer. I have no idea where I'll be in five years, but I sure am curious. 

David Silverman