I've always admired the beauty of print and the power of great story telling. As a huge fan of magazines; I grew up reading National Geographic, Life, Popular Mechanics and many others.
In a magazine, each page is a small composition of a larger piece, and every bit is trying to pull you in to read the story.
Stories flow from one into the other one, your eye surfs page after page, jumping from headline to sub headline, to photo, to pull quote and into the story. You can easily scan a magazine at a high level to understand the whole, and dive in deep the moment something catches your eye. I just love that, and I think we had forgotten about all that magic on the web. On the web, we've placed so much emphasis on navigation, on allowing you to move everywhere from anywhere. Stories live within monotonous templates, and content gets pushed away, disappearing under the weight of user interface chrome and ineffective advertising. Neither readers or publishers win, and the sense of a large composition is lost, with content vanishing in a sea of noise.
At Flipboard we are laser focused on delivering an immersive experience and allowing you to quickly discover and dive into the best content of everything you really care about.
In late 2009 the rumor of Apple launching a tablet device made it clear that reading, as we know it, would never be the same. When I met Mike McCue and Evan Doll, we clicked immediately when we realized we all had been toying around similar ideas.
I joined Flipboard, just before the company was founded, and I helped build the brand, product and team from the ground up. Today, as Head of Design at Flipboard I am involved in every aspect of the experience and design of the product. I work along an amazing group of people and I am reminded daily of the power of the sum of all our efforts.
We are a design driven company, but we believe that design, as the ideation process, is not only the responsibility of the design team
— ideation should be encouraged throughout the company. World changing ideas can come up from anywhere, and everyone in the organization needs to be aware on how all the work we do surfaces in the product.
Flipboardʼs mission is to fundamentally improve how people discover, view and share content across their social networks. Flipboard was named Apple's iPad App of the year and one of TIME's Top 50 Innovations.
I grew up in Argentina, and after a few years into Architecture college, I moved to Tokyo on a Monbusho scholarship where I studied Graphic Design. As soon as I arrived to Japan I became fascinated by the incredible contrast between culture and technology. At school, my studies were completely analog; I studied traditional techniques, classic design and typography, in addition to learning to speak, read and write japanese.
Internet usage in Japan took off a little after than it did in the U.S. However, during the late nineties and early zeroes, internet-capable mobile phone usage exploded; the internet was happening, but it was leapfrogging the desktop and going straight into a much more personal device. I realized that the future of publishing and communication design was going to happen there, so while I'd spend my days at school working with analog tools, I spent all nights in my student dorm learning how to code.
Programming lead me to discover a completely new world in Design. While modern software provides for faster visualization of an intended result, that will always be confined to the tools that creates it. By learning how to create my own tools I could push the boundaries of what was possible. I could create a set of rules, based on simple parameters and generate design. When I realized that algorithmic design was not confined to static images, but it could also be interactive I became perplexed at the possibilities.
As inspiring as the internet is as an instant news delivery platform, it didn't take long for many to become overwhelmed with the amount of information we were consuming on a daily basis. As soon as I realized about this phenomenon, it was clear I'd have to figure out a way to trim things down. After a few attempts at doing information design with digital tools, I noticed how I was following analog patterns; I was still doing all the hard work by hand. Combining coding with design allowed me to create programs that would parse through raw data and generate visualizations that would tell stories that otherwise would have been hidden in numbers. Swapping the static raw data with live feeds was the next natural move, and with it I discovered exactly what I wanted to do.
Newsmap was born from the need to simplify how we consume the news. If you wanted to get an impartial view of the world, you'd have to jump through many news sites and manually compare how different publications from different countries give more or less prominence to specific topics. When Google News launched I was amazed at how they could aggregate so many stories from so many publications from around the world. But above anything, what stroke me, is that they where able to algorithmically cluster different articles that report on the same story. In my eyes, this was an absolute feast. Yet, I wanted more; to get an overview of what was happening in the world I still had to click through many pages. I knew that with a little elbow grease I could turn the data from the aggregator and visualize it in a single screen.