Uses This

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A picture of Catt Small

Catt Small

Product designer, game developer

in designer, game, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Catt Small and I'm a Product Designer! Like most designers, I aim to improve the lives of people through design. As of January I am working on features to help folks accomplish their goals at Asana, a work management tool. Before Asana, I designed tools that helped creative individuals build small businesses on Etsy.

I also make awkward, emotional video games and organize events that connect marginalized folks to professional opportunities. My most recent publicly-released game was SweetXheart, and before that I created Breakup Squad. The major event I co-organize is an annual conference called the Game Devs of Color Expo. In my spare time, I create professional development resources, write, and draw comics.

What hardware do you use?

I'm the kind of person who finds something good and sticks to it. On a work-from-home day you'll find me deep in my comfy couch, vigorously typing on my personal 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2014 (it still works perfectly!). When I need a larger screen, I move to my Uplift V2 4-Leg adjustable standing desk, plug the MacBook into my vintage 20XX iMac - it works as a monitor, too - and grab my Anker Ergonomic Vertical Mouse. My typing is done via a gifted pink and white mechanical keyboard with cherry MX brown keys, and when I need some serious focus time I put on my Audio-Technica ATH-WS990BT wireless over-ear headphones (purchased last-minute before a 14-hour flight to a speaking gig in South Africa).

In the office, I also have an adjustable-height desk. I like to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day; most days I stand for approximately 2.5 cumulative hours and sit the rest of the time. My work computer is a more recent MacBook Pro, and I have a 34" curved ultrawide monitor for large-screen functions. Shout-outs to capitalism-fed technological improvements for making such a cool setup possible!

And what software?

The tool I use depends on the work I need to do. My dock contains Slack, Sublime Text, Figma, Google Calendar, Google Chrome, and Evernote. Via Chrome I access Google Drive, which is my main form of design documentation, and Asana for personal task management. The Game Devs of Color Expo uses Trello to manage projects, so I also find myself using that regularly. Evernote is my go-to tool for writing, although I'm also currently trying out Notion.

Figma is great for wireframes, prototyping, and visual design but not made for other forms of design work, so I also lean on tools like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for more heavy functions like vector graphics and image editing. When I need to upload my code written in Sublime Text - for the web or video games - to the cloud, I use iTerm to push to GitHub.

What would be your dream setup?

Honestly, my current setups are pretty great! A higher cost doesn't always translate into clear returns, but I'm sure there are minor productivity gains from the more expensive work setup. For example, one giant monitor requires less window management effort. That being said, I don't notice a major difference between my work and home configurations. I suppose in an ideal world, I'd have a newer version of my home laptop and a Bluetooth ergonomic mouse.

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