New York-based Brian McLaughlin, Design Director of ustwo, wears many hats, from industrial designer to illustrator to product designer, with over 15 years of experience under his belt. His ability to create immersive experiences by merging design and technology has resulted in collaborations with BBC, HBO, Nickelodeon, Facebook, Netflix, and other leading tech companies around the world. Having previously worked in the gaming industry as a concept artist, it’s no surprise he’s able to perfectly balance empathy and creativity within product experiences that leave an indelible mark. Keep reading to see what Brian McLaughlin selected for his Friday Five, including creative endeavors and pastimes.
I’ve always loved to draw. It is an essential part of how I think and create. As a designer it remains my most valuable tool and one that I lean on now more than ever. A number of years ago I switched from paper to iPad. My app of choice being Procreate. It combines the best of drawing on paper with a host of digital features to help expedite the creative process.
2. Graphic Novels.
Like many designers I struggled with dyslexia and shied away from long format reading. This naturally led me to more visual forms of storytelling and the wealth of sophisticated narratives available as graphic novels. It is a unique medium. The creative combination of imagery and text make it incredibly efficient for storytelling and something that I aspire to in my own communication.
3. Making Things.
When studying industrial design at college it was always the physical prototyping aspect that appealed most to me. No amount of process or user research can substitute for the insights gained from actually making. Whether it’s lo-fi paper prototyping or jumping into VR, the sooner you can start to build the better you can understand the design challenge at hand.
4. Podcast Interviews.
I find it incredibly cathartic to listen to others explain their creative process. Whether it be a comedian, a director or a designer, I find it both inspiring and reinforcing to hear how they apply themselves to their craft and the life long dedication it takes to become the best at what you do.
5. People Watching.
In a world in which we spend most of our time focused on our phones it is important to look up and take in the world around you. Seeing how people interact with each other or observing their morning rituals on the subway is a constant source of inspiration and entertainment.