An exclusive interview with the Senior Designer at Google and Founder of Abduzeedo, Fabio Sasso.
I first met Fabio Sasso at the FITC design conference in Amsterdam. He was giving a presentation entitled ‘The importance of sharing for designers’, the theme of which mirrored several of my own views on the creative industry.
Many of you will know Fabio Sasso from his design inspiration site Abduzeedo, a project that landed him a job as a senior designer at Google in San Francisco.
Why do you believe sharing is so important for designers and creatives?
It’s of the utmost importance because you are helping others and exposing your work and your ideas out there. It helps you to develop your communication skills and enables one to defend a point of view.
Also, sharing has improved my ability to receive and deal with criticism. Besides, in this day and age, the easiest way to promote your work is by sharing it. There are a lot of examples from the folks at 37signals to many others designers.
Abduzeedo has now been an inspiration for millions of creatives, but how did it all begin?
Abduzeedo was created at the end of 2006 after my design studio was robbed. That day I had decided it was the best day to backup and sync my old backup disks, the result was that I lost everything, all my files since the day I started using computers.
After that incident, I decided to create a blog to use it as a backup system. It was way before Dropbox and Google Drive so a blog seemed to be the best choice. We were in the Web 2.0 boom and a great opportunity for me to share my creative process while making sure that everything was secure in the cloud.
You’re now a senior designer at Google, so describe a typical day without using the words ‘there’s no such thing as a typical day.’
My typical day at Google is like any other designer’s typical day, we have problems to solve such as making sure that users have the best experience using our products. We discuss ideas, we create mocks and prototype them to see if we were able to translate these ideas into real solutions.
The most amazing thing about Google is the reach of its products. For a designer, this provides an unmatched opportunity to learn and improve his or her design skills. It’s like the pinnacle of design where you can participate throughout all phases of the creative process, from the conception to the prototyping and launch, with a little difference, its Google and you will reach a wide audience and not a niche one.
Abduzeedo was started as a result of the theft of your computers in 2006. Do you think this was basically an early envisioning of cloud computing, visualising all inspiration in one place?
In some way it was, losing everything is something you never imagine will happen to you until it happens. After that incident, the only thing I could think of was how to prevent that from happening again. Nowadays with services like Google Drive and Dropbox, things are much better, we don’t have to do anything, and everything is saved in the cloud.
Who really inspires you, right now?
I’ve been reading a lot of books about Psychology and Management. I am trying to understand how things work, how people perceive things and how to organise everything in a lean solution.
In terms of designers, I get more inspired by designers that are doing what they love and succeeding; a great example is my friend James White.
Your rise to prominence could be attributed to inspiration, luck and hard work. What would you say the ratio was?
I think it is the sum of all of these things. Like Malcolm Gladwell says in The Outliers and Tipping Point. It’s the sum of several factors that makes you succeed. If I had just luck and no hard work or inspiration, I am pretty sure it would be useless because I wasn’t prepared to take action. Hard work is for me the most important thing because as you said, once things align and all these factors converge you will be prepared.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I see myself doing what I love to do, learning about new things and trying to design better products.
And finally, if you died and were reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?
Eye of the tiger hah!