CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR CREATIVE BACKGROUND?
I am an interaction designer specialising in user interfaces and user experience design. Having grown up in the reunified Berlin of the 90s and 2000s I was exposed to a pretty diverse urban environment which introduced me to all sorts of lifestyles and (sub)cultures. Among my early influences were SNES video games and animated sci-if series from the 80s. As a kid I used to fill stacks of paper with countless drawings of Star Trek’s Enterprise and the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. In my late teenage and early adult years my interest shifted to Berlin’s art scene and the design of the early Web 2.0. I studied Visual Communication at Weißensee School of Art Berlin, exploring graphic design, illustration and a 5 month animation course in Bristol before focussing on the design of user interfaces. I love my profession and don’t see myself working in a different field in the foreseeable future.
CAN YOU GIVE US AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR PRACTICE AND WHAT YOU DO?
My work could be summarised as developing useful and enjoyable digital products that are made for humans – not machines or SEO bots. Designing user interfaces and websites typically involves a good amount of research, nagging clients with endless questions and building prototypes to test what I (or we as a team) have come up with. This often feels like I need to be a psychologist, a craftsman and a business consultant in one person. Ultimately, it’s incredibly rewarding if the team has found a solution that our clients and – most importantly – their users are happy with.
ANY EXCITING PROJECTS OR EVENTS YOU HAVE ON THE HORIZON?
I’m currently working on the design of an editorial system that provides editors and journalists with the tools they need to co-create, publish and distribute articles online. This might not sound all that creative at first, but I’m learning a lot about the daily challenges of editorial teams who need to entertain a large audience. What amazes me is the dedication and commitment our client’s editorial team put into their work. I try to keep up with their high standards of professionalism and the quality of the content they produce. Also, I am going to spend a few months traveling along the Pacific coast of North America later this year which will hopefully bring about new design collaborations and creative opportunities.
WHAT MAKES EDINBURGH A GOOD CITY TO BE BASED?
Edinburgh is a very welcoming city. I don't mean that in a superficial way but based on the year of experience I've had so far living here. I have bumped into a lot of friendly, open-minded and smart people and that's not something one can typically take for granted when moving to a new town. Edinburgh has a lot to offer, including a rich cultural environment, easy ways to escape to nature, events for any niche interest you could imagine and a solid infrastructure. At the same time the creative community here is very tightly knit and it's easy (again, from my personal experience) to get a sense of belonging fairly quickly if you choose to move here.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE THINKING OF PURSUING A CAREER IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES?
Apart from your creative abilities the two main ingredients you need are a big amount of curiosity and the willingness to learn new things. Having both of these will ensure you can adapt to changing working environments, live through creative ups and downs and deal with all the non-creative aspects that come along with it: being able to promote your work, dealing with clients or commissions or overcoming the awkwardness of talking to strangers (e.g. at networking events). If you feel pretty confident about all of the above you've got a great starting point to pursue a creative career.
Find out more about Tim's work via his website here.