> Who, me?
let it = b;
A multidisciplinary world
Hello, I'm Juan Manuel and I'm from Quito, Ecuador. (0.2333° S, 78.5167° W – UTC/GMT -5)
As long as I can remember, I've been obsessed with computer-generated images and sound. Hardware and software. I had the privilege of accessing a computer early on my life (a C64) and haven't stopped playing with them since then.
I started my professional life as a sound engineer and later changed paths to visual arts; which led to UX and UI design.
After working in sound engineering for three years, I decided to give graphic design, motion design and photography a try and I just fell in love with them. During one of my first graphic design gigs, a client asked if I could make an interactive website (using the old Macromedia Flash). I didn't know how to do it but accepted the challenge. After a lot of struggle–and some sleepless nights– I ended up with a complex keyframed-animation, with sound and music that was triggered and synced to some user-events. I remember it being really –really– hard but it also left me with this greater curiosity growing in me; the Web.
This is how my love story with the web began.
A 10 year journey of discovery from knowing absolutely nothing to where I am today. A place where the only constant I have is learning.
From a design perspective, I've worked in extremely different things. I've done sound and motion design for TV, movies, and animated spots. I've done graphic design for businesses and created logos, posters, illustrations and more. As for web and mobile (UX/UI) design –which is what I exclusively do now– I've worked from very simple marketing websites to extremely complex real-time dashboards.
My goal has always been to get better at understanding human-computer interaction and try to make it a bit easier for everyone else.
I've worked for agencies and businesses in Quito, Madrid, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo and Santiago de Chile. I have remote experience working from Quito with companies in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Bogotá, Lima, Paris, Berlin, among others. (Check the Experience page to learn more about it)
I am a big fan of OSS where I try to contribute in any possible way: translations, code, logos, bug reports, etc. ... While doing so, I try to write a variety of blog posts –in English and Spanish– to share everything I learn on the road. (Check the Slides or Medium links in the footer and the Process page)
So, designer or developer?
A 'byte' of both
I'm a designer, who also codes. So I guess I'm a "fullstack" designer –as some may like to call it. I can do research, experience design, interaction design, visual design and UI development.
For the last 10 years, I've been working with screens –computers, phones, TVs, etc– so learning to code was a natural step. It has given me a better understanding of what I'm able to offer with my designs.
I know now, where to push an idea forward and when to stop or limit the design to the constraints of the medium –and even take advantage of that. This has also provided me with a communication advantage when working with developers, as I can better explain why and how design decisions are taken and learn from them while pairing or reviewing code.
Coding has enabled me to build –and customize– the tools that help me adapt my work faster and get the job done.
Hola, olá, hello! ça va bien?
- Visual Design
Tools of trade
What I use everyday
I don't dogmatize tools so I try to use whatever helps me get the job done.
Right now, these are some of my favorite ones:
- Papers, post-its and sharpies
- IA Writer
- MindNode App
- Sketch App
- Framer Studio
- VS Code or Atom w/ my own Hydra Syntax Theme
- iTerm w/ bash-it and my own theme
- Firefox & Chrome
- React.js or Next.js for web prototypes (testing Vue.js)
- React-Native or Framer for mobile prototypes
Get in touch!
In order of preference
(You can check the footer too, lol!)