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A picture of Savannah Million

Savannah Million

UX designer

in cartoonist, designer, mac, podcaster

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Savannah Million! I am a UX designer in the civic tech space. I spent a few years working on Healthcare.gov and currently I am designing enterprise software for the vertical transportation industry. I also draw comics, and I also have co-hosted a couple of podcasts (Roboism and Quest Quest).

What hardware do you use?

Much like nearly everyone else in my industry, I am drinking! that! Apple juice!!! All day I am refocusing my eyeballs between my MacBook Pro, my iPad Pro, and my iPhone. However, I consistently ignore my Apple watch's reminders about it being Time to Stand Up. My non-Apple devices include: Skullcandy headphones (old, discontinued), an unremarkable Dell monitor (size: regular), and a Logitech bluetooth keyboard (smudged). Okay, and I have an Apple mouse. It's fine.

I do a lot of digital drawing on my iPad with Procreate, but for traditional media I love Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens and Midori notebooks. You know I have a cup of those Muji gel pens on my desk – of course! – and I also possess a single perfect mechanical pencil, an Uni Kuru Toga with size 0.5 lead. (You may have noticed I have a penchant for Japanese stationery.) Here is an embarrassing combo-breaker: I also enjoy using Papermate Flair pens. They're awful and smudge all over the place, which forces me to not overthink what I'm drawing. I try to recommend them to fellow over-thinkers, and usually they respond with, "What? Those are terrible." It's true! They are.

I used to go to a studio to record podcasts, and haven't done much podcasting in the past year-ish. I do own a microphone with this foam shield arm attachment thingie so I have the option to record at home and have the audio be, y'know, decent. I have been very fortunate to work with hosts who handle all of the hard parts about recording shows: I show up and talk and haven't even learned the proper name for the foam shield arm attachment thingie.

Until someone invents a way for me to hydrate digitally, I will continue to use my Zojirushi water bottle. (Does a water bottle count as hardware? It probably gets as much use as my myriad of Apple devices.)

And what software?

Every day I have Slack, Figma, Spark, 1Password, Trello, and various Google Docs open. A lot of my work involves talking to people, writing stuff down, and reading stuff that other people wrote down, but I have the most fun tinkering with prototypes in Figma. I organize most of my digital life inside of Notion and Airtable. I grumpily use Adobe products when I have to. I've been working remotely for about six years now, so I'm no stranger to every flavor of video call software – Zoom? Google Meet? Google Hangouts? Slack Call? Skype? FaceTime? WebEx? Cisco AnyConnect??? Here's another secret: I dislike all of them. (But I do like talking to people from the comfort of my home.) I write code infrequently, but when I do, I like Hyper, Visual Studio Code, and GitHub.

What would be your dream setup?

I feel incredibly lucky with my current home office set up. I have a dedicated room, plenty of storage and desk space, and a reading nook with a chair. I even have a robot lightbulb that shuts off at 5:30pm every day to signal that it's time to stop working. Ideally, I would love to have a bit more natural light so I could entertain more plants. It's for the best that I don't, though, as my cat Pye loves to snack on plant leaves. C'est la vie!