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 Tiffany Taylor

Tiffany Taylor

Product designer (Versus Systems)

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is is Tiffany and I am product designer. As a multidisciplinary designer, I do a range of things like user experience design, user interface design, visual design, user research, and user testing. I currently work for Versus Systems in LA, but I also do a little bit of freelance design work when I can find exciting projects. I also had a past life as a front-end developer but I rarely code much now, outside of my personal site or side projects. And I like to do photography and illustrate on the side, mostly for fun.

What hardware do you use?

At home, I have two computers: a 2011 21.5-inch iMac and a 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro. I used to feel silly having two computers, but once I moved to LA I was working remote for my old job in SF and really found that I needed a laptop if I wanted to get out of the house and work from coffee shops. Also, at the same time I'm glad I got my MBP when I did because I do not like the newer Apple laptops with the touchbar. My company laptop is also a 15" 2015-inch MacBook Pro. For photography, I usually use my Google Pixel, but if I want to shoot with an actual camera I will choose from my Nikon D3000, my Instax, or my newest camera purchase (a Pentax Espio 125M 35mm film camera from 1998 that I bought while on vacation in Osaka in December 2017).

I'm not sure it counts as hardware, but for design, I heavily rely on my Rhodia Black Dot Pad for taking notes and to sketch out ideas. The dots help keep things neater than a blank sketchbook. My writing tools of choice are MUJI's Capped Ink gel pens and Zebra Mildliner highlighters.

I work in the game industry so I also have to mention my gaming hardware. I have a Playstation 4, a Nintendo 3DS, and a Nintendo Switch.

And what software?

For my design work, 90% of the time I am working in Sketch. I have been using it since 2012 and and it's become my go-to app for UI design, as well as creating things like user journeys and other UX documents/visuals. Although I even created my resume and business cards with it. For work, now that I work on a team of designers I use Abstract to manage and version-control our shared Sketch files. For sharing prototypes with developers and clients, I use InVision. To sync all of my files for work, I use Google Drive to keep copies of my projects on my home and work machines. When I am coding, I use Sublime Text. I work in Google Chrome because I love their developer tools and plugins. I recently started using a NordVPN since I work in so many cafes and am frequently connected to public wifi.

My current team at work heavily relies on Notion to document things and our processes. It's a great tool! I am considering using it in my personal life as well.

For illustration, I typically start with pen/paper and edit it in Photoshop, but if it's a vector illustration I'll use Sketch. To edit photos taken with my phone, I use Snapseed and VSCO. I only post photos now to my Instagram, since it seems other photo sharing sites are a bit dead now. For photos I've taken with my DSLR, lately I've been using Adobe Lightroom.

What would be your dream setup?

I really need a monitor! The problem is my home office is very small, and my desk is a secretary desk that won't even fit my 21.5" iMac. I'd like a different desk setup so I can add a monitor, but I live in a studio so I have to be aware of space constraints. This was never an issue for me until I started my new job, where I get to work remotely 2x a week.

Also, I don't have a large TV for console gaming. I have been using an old 21" monitor/TV, but I'd like a larger and newer TV. I used to have one of those fancy curved TVs until I moved to my own place, so even though it's an old model now, I think that I'd like one of those again.

And finally, I love my Nikon but it's so heavy. It's a little troublesome to carry around, hence why I use my phone or my smaller film camera. I'd like a smaller digital camera, something small and simple like the Sony Alpha a6000. And I've dropped my poor Pixel so many times. I really need a new phone, but I'm waiting until my phone totally dies before I upgrade. I'm looking at the Pixel 2 because I love my original Pixel so much.