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Tim Van Damme on The Great Discontent

Over on The Great Discontent (TGD), Tina Essmaker just published her interview with Dropbox designer, Tim Van Damme.

I have followed the work of Van Damme, maxvoltar, for the past five years. I initially heard about Van Damme when I was looking into the faces behind the, now defunct, Gowalla iOS app. Van Damme, originally from Belgium, was one of their designers. After Gowalla was acquired by Facebook, I then followed Van Damme’s career as he moved to Instagram. Ironically enough, it was not too long after Facebook had acquired Gowalla that they came knocking to buy Instagram.

After spending some time with Instagram after the acquisition, Van Damme announced that his next move would be to Dropbox. He currently works there, helping design their mobile experiences.

This interview was great for a couple reasons. Firstly, Van Damme has been someone I incredibly respect and look up to in the field of design and usability. Secondly, his poise and humbleness while answering the interview questions came across with a genuine honesty that many interviews lack. Finally, there are so many great perspectives that young (and old) designers can take away from how Van Damme approaches his craft.

There were plenty of quotes to pull from, but I feel this one is particularly important, regardless what type of work you may be doing:

Young people want everything immediately, but it takes time. What I love about our industry is that it doesn’t matter what kind of degree you have: you have to show up and show people what you can do. There’s no bullshitting yourself through an interview process. You have to work really hard for it, and there’s an honesty to it that I love.

Van Damme’s focus on family, dedication to his work, and pursuit of humbleness make him someone worth admiring.

Isn’t it nice when your heroes exceed the standards you quietly held them to?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014