Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Laura DeGroot

Laura DeGroot

Web developer, designer, poet

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Laura DeGroot. I'm a web developer, designer, thing-maker, and poet. I work at Format as a front end developer. I like making fun art about space and nature.

What hardware do you use?

For design and web development I use a 2014 15" MacBook Pro. When I'm using that computer as a TV, I usually write or look at Twitter with my 2014 11" MacBook Air. My phone is an iPhone 6. I recently traded a stranger 6 cans of beer in exchange for a Kindle - I've been reading way more than ever as a result! I just finished reading The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick.

And what software?

For development I use Atom to edit text, Hyper for the command line, and Slack integrations for deploys.

For design I use Sketch. It's a weird choice for creating anything that's going to be printed, but I have a licence from work and I've learned it the most recently! It works for me, I usually just make sure everything is tens of thousands of pixels in size before I try to have it printed - so far so good! To edit photos I use Affinity Photo - it's a great bit of software and the price works for me as someone who only edits images once in a while.

My favourite writing app is OmmWriter. It takes over your screen to minimize distractions, and has lots of cute features like a choice of background, music, and even keypress sound effects. I love the sound effect that makes every keypress sound like a rain drop, it motivates me to keep typing! When inspiration comes randomly, the Notes app on OS X and iOS is always in use.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm pretty happy with what I have! I've been thinking about finding a scanner so I can import some drawings and handwriting into Sketch. I don't have an external monitor at home, and that's something I'd like to change. Overall though, I'd enjoy less tech in my life - especially in my free time. Unfortunately it's very useful for accomplishing my creative goals :)