Interview with Chas Barts, UX Designer at Google

Chas is a designer and artist living in New York City. In his own words “I am fascinated with people. That fascination drives my design and art.”

You can follow Chas on Instagram.

If you have any questions or are interested in being interviewed, feel free to DM me on Instagram or reach out on LinkedIn!

How did you get into UX?
I left a career in advertising to pursue product design. It started with convincing people to let me design their brand/website/app… I loved designing but I also wanted to own the product. In 2016 I moved to NY to start a company and wound up joining Google.

Do you have a design philosophy?
I was left breathless after touring an exquisite restoration and remodel of an old estate. It was clearly a masterpiece and I deconstructed four qualities that make a masterpiece.
1. Function: Design things that work really well.
2. Appeal: Design things that captivate you with beauty or thought.
3. Authenticity: Design with materials, shapes, movements, etc. that are true to their context.
4. Meaning (the greatest challenge): Design things that create personal meaning in the life of the user.

What are some of the top challenges you’ve faced working in the tech industry?
My biggest challenge is connecting with the impact of my work. In the tech industry, the most efficient products win. It can be a challenge to tie that to a meaningful outcome.

How do you see UX evolving in the future?
When someone asked Charles Eames what he saw as the future of design he did not answer but showed clips of plants and animals in nature. I like to think our understanding of humans will increase which will allow us to find and design more harmonious relationships between people and products.

What are the most common mistakes you see in UX portfolios?
There are not enough good ideas. It’s easy to copy a style but it is hard to drill down to specific user insights and design beautiful ideas around them.

Do you have any tips for anyone looking to get into the UX field?
Yes! Develop your UX skills in conjunction with your interests. Care about something and throw yourself into it…create your own project if you have to. The UX skills will be your tools to allow you to dive into your passion.

What words would you use to describe an awesome designer?
An awesome designer has a crisp point of view and the knowledge to back up why. Develop your opinion and ask yourself why until you don’t know…then go find the answer by study and research.

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