The Setup


What do people use to get stuff done?

Mike Kruzeniski

Mike Kruzeniski

Former principal design lead (Windows Phone)

Who are you, and what do you do?

Until just recently I was a principal design lead on Windows Phone at Microsoft. But, this summer I'm moving down to San Francisco and joining Twitter's design team, where I'll be working on their desktop and mobile sites and apps. I'm an experience designer, interaction designer, UI designer, and industrial designer - meaning, I try to work on products from every possible aspect that I can.

What hardware do you use?

Since I'm between jobs at Microsoft and Twitter, my answers are based off of what I've been using most recently at Microsoft. For work I use a loaded up Lenovo Thinkpad with a 15.6" display, and that's pretty much it. I've never gotten in to using multiple displays because I spend a lot of time back and forth between meetings, workshops, and the desks of colleagues or designers on my team. It's easier to stay light and mobile with just the laptop. To compensate, I keep the display resolution as high as my video card will allow, to get as many pixels on there as I can. I'm terrible for keeping dozens of apps and documents open at any given time.

I have a bunch of Windows Phones from HTC, Samsung, and Nokia, but the one I'm using now is the white Nokia Lumia 900. My phone is always within very close reach for my calendar, email, phone calls, taking notes, and all the other mobile stuff that phones are great for. While at Microsoft I would also use one or two test phones to dogfood Windows Phone software in progress. I also have an iPhone 4 to stay current on iOS and the apps there.

At home I have a 2009 24" iMac 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo all in one desktop computer with a wireless mouse and keyboard. I use it for email, the web, writing, and a number of side projects. I have an iPad 2 for doing all of those same things, but from the comfort of my bed or sofa.

I have a Nikon D7000 for photography projects, though it gets used far more often for taking pictures of my daughter. At the moment I'm looking at the Sony Alpha NEX-5N to have something smaller, more portable and inconspicuous. For video projects, I've got a Flip Mino HD. It's very basic, but it takes a beating and does what I need.

I've got a Western Digital 2TB external drive for backing up all those photos and side projects.

And what software?

For design work, I live in Photoshop and Illustrator. But a lot of my work is collaborating with our Engineering team, which means I spend a lot of time in Outlook, Word, and building presentations in Powerpoint.

For projects that I work on at home I still use Photoshop and Illustrator a lot, but also Coda for HTML and CSS. My website is built on Wordpress, and I'm working on a new site on Tumblr. I've been giving Sparrow a try for a while now for email, and really like iA Writer for writting.

For web browsing I jump back and forth between IE10, Safari, and Firefox.

I read books on my Nokia Lumia and my iPad using Kindle.

What would be your dream setup?

If I could, I would have one computer for everything. It would be a tablet that ran all the software I've mentioned above, and worked with a pen, for sketching in an app like Paper. I like to be mobile when I work, especially for sketching and writing down notes. The more I could treat it like a sketchbook, the better. But, it would wirelessly connect to a keyboard, mouse, and a large display - let's say 30" - at my desk, for getting the kind of stuff done that's hard to get done with just a finger on a touch screen.

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