This week I am sharing a series of posts to reach design candidates in far-flung corners of the Internet to fill this UX/UI designer role at Mozilla Foundation, and to improve the quality of design candidates everywhere! Check this post for a listing of all the topics as I post them.


Next week all of Mozilla’s employees and many contributors will gather in Whistler, British Columbia for one of our twice-annual company gatherings. A thousand people converge in a single place and it is… intense. There is much anticipation and work needed to prepare for such an event. Still, I wanted to introduce three of our designers at the Mozilla Foundation who graciously took a few minutes from their stretched schedules to answer my silly questions. For that, and for all the dedication and joy they bring to their work on a daily basis, I <3 them dearly, and I know you will too.


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_ricardoThe first to respond to my questionnaire was Ricardo Vazquez, perhaps the nicest person on the planet. If he’s not talking about smiling, happiness, good feelings, designing for emotions or microinteractions, then he’s probably out in the wild helping someone do something that matters. He’s extremely dedicated to the craft of UI and he works hard to improve and simplify the interactions of the Webmaker app and platform. He’s based out of the Toronto office. Here are his answers to my silly questions.

Me: What is your design superpower?

Ricardo: My perspective on design is emotional. When I was in university, I became eager to find out more about how we construct our identities as members of society. Do we follow an archetype? Do we deconstruct ourselves in order to fit in a particular community? Questions like these, albeit more philosophical in nature, have ended up guiding my approach to design. When I was doing my undergraduate research I focused on the emotional impact of certain creative outputs on an individual. For example, music accesses deep emotional connections to memories, experiences, and happiness. This can be applied in to UI design as well. I seek to emotionally connect individuals with the products and features I design.

We know you fantasize about other careers. After being a designer, what career would be your second choice?

It is hard to beat design, but in another life I would have loved to represent Canada on its national rowing team. I love rowing. I started during my first year in university and have kept at it since. Rowing allows me to find stillness in my day and focus on the sound of water rushing by me. A close third would be to become a professional trombone player and have the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall.

What is your favourite (perhaps surprising) design tool?

I think it might just be the train! I take the train everyday to work. During this time I am able to find silence and let my mind wander off to unexpected places. Sometimes I encounter a Eureka moment, other times I’m left content with having daydreamed.


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_Sabrina_NgNext, meet Sabrina Ng, UX/UI designer based out of Vancouver. Sabrina’s work has been described as meticulous, insanely thorough and very thoughtful. She designs well under pressure and with huge amounts of uncertainty and complexity. More than any other designer in the org she has also influenced every corner of the Foundation, touching design for nearly every project, from Maker Party branding work to the Mozilla Advocacy website. She’s now leading the design for the latest lovely incantations of teach.mozilla.org.

Me: What was your favourite snack when you were five? What does that say about who you’ve become?

Sabrina: A glass of Ovaltine with condensed milk accompanied by toast with a thick slice of butter, made for me by Grandpa daily. Exercise goes a long way if you have a horrible diet! Also, being aware that not all things from loved ones are necessarily good for you or that you have to accept them.

If you could completely eliminate one thing from the world, what would it be?

Food allergies. I don’t like being limited by a fear of mysterious foods. :(

We know you fantasize about other careers. After being a designer, what career would be your second choice?

If it wasn’t in the realm of design, perhaps some sort of dancercise fitness instructor or occupational therapist. But I have thought about architecture too.


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_jordan-gushwaFinally, meet Jordan Gushwa, Mofo’s newest hire. Jordan lived in Qatar for several years leading a design team at Virginia Commonwealth University before moving back to Portland. He’s taught classes on mobile and responsive web design and clearly has superpowers around branding and typography. We’re so excited to have him on our team and already contributing in major ways, like having redesigned the new Webmaker logo… in four days.

Me: What is your design superpower?

Jordan: Vision. I have 20/15 in one eye. This makes me super good at registration when screen printing. I can also use my Macbook screen at the highest resolution making everything super tiny and giving me more desktop space than other people :)

What was your favourite snack when you were five? What does that say about who you’ve become?

Something grownup like a slice of cold steak out of the fridge. I have always had too much respect for grownups. I hold famous old school designers in higher esteem that I probably should.

If you could completely eliminate one thing from the world, what would it be?

Bad lamps and expensive nice lamps. I’m hitting up all the designer clichés right now but it’s hard to find a nice lamp for under $500! (We have been looking in Portland for a year.)

We know you fantasize about other careers. After being a designer, what career would be your second choice?

I have always wanted to be a chef, but I know it would be terrible. I would like to be a research chef, one that invents amazing new dishes but does not need to run the kitchen any more.

What is your favourite (perhaps surprising) design tool?

A chisel and mallet.


A big thanks from me to Ricardo, Sabrina and Jordan for humouring my questions! I am so excited to hang out with them and the whole team in Whistler next week. People often say they stay where they are because they like the people or they like the work. I feel privileged to say I stay at Mozilla for both.

I hope some poor soul has found my blog posts this week helpful as they think about their next career move. I’ve tried to write with candor and share advice I have found helpful in my own many job searches. Maybe these posts will prompt someone awesome to want to join us, but at the very least I hope it will help some students as they embark on their paths toward becoming great designers.