Web designInterview

Dropbox's Tim Van Damme on working with talented people

Dropbox's Tim Van Damme on working with talented people

The designer who left Instagram for Dropbox talks to us about healthy growth and the buzz of seeing people using the apps he's worked on.

Tim Van Damme is one of the 10 nominees for Designer of the Year in the 2014 net Awards. He was born in Belgium and now lives in San Francisco with his young family, and works for Dropbox. We quizzed him to find out more.

Give us a summary of your career so far.

I started out as a freelance web designer, and transitioned over to mobile design as I joined Gowalla and moved the the US. After Gowalla got acquired by Facebook I took a job at Instagram and worked on various projects up until about 6 months ago when I joined Dropbox.

What have you been working on over the last year?

A wide variety of projects, including redesigning the Instagram Camera flow and designing their new video feature from scratch, and redesigning Dropbox and Mailbox for iOS 7.

What have been the particular high points of your career?

I've been fortunate enough to work on a variety of high-profile projects that were all received with high praise. Every day I feel lucky to be working with the most talented people in this industry. Of course nothing beats seeing someone using an app you worked on in public. It's the ultimate compliment.

Who and what influences and inspires your work?

I get inspired by teams that consistently release quality updates. It's like music, inspiring through consumption.

What are you excited about at the moment?

Seeing Dropbox grow as a company. Previously I've only worked with small teams, and it's inspiring to see this company grow in a really healthy way. Besides sharpening my skills, it puts me in the best seat to learn about how to build out amazing teams.

Tell us about an important lesson you've learned in your career.

Learning to plan long-term is really hard, but also the most important mental change I've gone through in my career.

Name an 'unsung hero', someone you admire who deserves more recognition for their work.

Right now I'm working closely with Josh Puckett and Yi Wei, and they're two of the most talented designers I've ever had the honor of working with. Looking over their shoulders and listening to their feedback has been invaluable.

Vote in the net Awards!

Celebrating the best in web design and development, the 15th net Awards is open for public voting until 24 March. With a record breaking number of nominations this year, it's set to be the biggest and best yet. Have your say by casting your votes here.

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