Product designer at Facebook
Let me introduce you to another awesome designer, Christophe Tauziet. Born and raised in France, he developed a strong interest in computer science and technology growing up. His various skills in coding, design and photography brought him to the top and he's now Product Designer at Facebook.
He's always full of news ideas, always here to offer help and good advices. I'm a huge fan of his photographs.
He's a really good friend of mine and inspires me every time I'm around him!
Fun facts that you don't know about him:
#1 - He loves eating pizzas with A LOT of cheese on it.
#2 - He doesn't know how to kill a snowman.
#3 - I'm still struggling at beating him at NBA 2K15.
Can you describe your path to get into design?
I think I've always been interested in designing software. While I was studying computer science at school, I was spending most of my free time designing and building websites, either for personal projects or as a freelancer. My wife Claire was studying design at the time and I was sometimes asking her to teach me how to use a specific tool in Photoshop or how to create a specific effect.
But it's only at Apple that I found myself transitioning fully into design. My ability to both design and code became a real benefit when I left Apple to join Parse, as I was one of the first employees and they didn't have any front-end engineer at the time. Plus, I believe one of the reasons the Parse founders decided to hire me was that I already had a lot of empathy towards developers and a good sense of what they're looking for when trying out a new developer platform.
Since Parse got acquired by Facebook, I've been operating full time as a product designer, and have been using my coding skills to prototype my concepts using Framer.js and a few other tools we have. I continued working for Parse for a little while, and then switched teams to join the Sharing team where I design how people share content with their friends on Facebook, and how they consume their friends' content.
"I guess it’s no secret that I also really enjoy photography.
I really love capturing images."
So you are a Product Designer at Facebook. Would you say that designing is your dream job?
No doubt. I love to create and improve stuff, and I love technology. I’ve found in designing software a way for me to create new experiences that people can interact with, and a medium that is always moving and where everything can always be improved. I love it. And Facebook playing a huge role in people’s relationship with technology on a daily basis around the world, the challenge is huge, and the opportunity of impact even bigger.
So yes, I think I could define being a designer at Facebook as being the perfect job for me.
Do you have another super secret passion?
I guess it’s no secret that I also really enjoy photography.
I really love capturing images.
Speaking of photography, I'm a big fan of your So French! project. Can you tell us more about it?
The project started when I got my first medium format camera. It was a Mamiya RZ67, a beautiful beast that was particularly great for portrait photography. With some help from my friends Maykel Loomans, Elizabeth Gilmore and Chris Connolly, I quickly learned the art of film photography and got myself a Hasselblad 503CX which I've been shooting with since then.
As I was shooting portraits with it, I realized my collection would only get interesting if I had a theme behind it. I had the idea to shoot my subjects wearing a beret, and to call the project So French! It worked out pretty well and quickly most of my friends reached out asking if they could be part of the project.
The project was on standby for a little while but I recently started shooting people again, and am actually looking for some models so if anyone's interested, they should hit me up.
Who was your favorite superhero/villain growing up? Why?
Batman. I’ve always loved Batman. I’ve always loved the story of this young man who lost both of his parents, and decides to honor them by defending the city they cared so much about, anonymously, by fighting crime.
I’ve also always considered Batman to be one of the only “plausible” heroes since he has no super-powers. I guess you could argue Iron Man is the same. Which is probably why Iron Man is my second favorite.
You know that Batman has his Batcave and Superman his Fortress of Solitude. What's your favorite place/environment to do what you love?
My ideal place would be a beautiful coffee shop, with a gorgeous light and delicious coffee. It’d have the sound of the expresso machine, but not too loud. The smell of the beans being ground, people having conversations, and great sandwiches at lunch.
The music in the speakers would go from playing the Beatles and Serge Gainsbourg to playing Daft Punk, and I would have an iMac with Retina display set up on a beautiful wood desk. I would probably never go to bed.
Do you have a favorite object, like a lucky charm or something that really matters to you?
I don’t think I have any lucky charm. I think my favorite object will always be a camera. The Hasselblad 503 CX I have a is of pure beauty. It’s a gorgeous object with amazing capabilities and gorgeous Swedish aesthetics.
I also really love my iPad. I’m pretty sure if 8-years old Christophe could see that someday he’d have a super thin, gorgeous, touch screen that has all of his favorite shows, movies, that can play video games and let him buy stuff on the internet, he’d freak out. We take it for granted today, but holy cow, this object is amazing.
What superpower do you wish you had and why?
Probably being able to read people’s minds. But only when I want, not all the time (that could turn really bad). I think I would benefit a lot from understanding how people really feel, what people have in mind, and what they expect from me. I think that’s my favorite superpower.
What is your personal Kryptonite?
I honestly don’t know. Maybe my lack of memory, that sometimes makes me look like an idiot, or worse, makes me miss something important. I really need to work on my memory.
Who would you choose as a sidekick to fulfill your passion Why?
My wife Claire. We have pretty much the same sense of humor, care about the same set of things (with a few differences, obviously) and really like to argue a lot. Which is why I’d probably never start a company with her though :)
What is your definition of a modern hero?
Smart, altruist, forward thinking, generous.
Can you name 3 people who inspire you everyday? Your very own heroes.
▸ Jared Erondu is a very smart, funny, and altruist dude. We sometimes have conversations about a random work/design/whatever subject and we get really deep in our analysis. I get out of our conversations always inspired. Once in a while I remember he’s only 20, and I begin to wonder where he’ll be in 10 years.
▸ Laura Javier is an incredible designer. She’s smart, experienced, talented, but most importantly has achieved a level I’ve never seen in anyone else at being able to never emotionally attach herself to her design solutions. Which means that she can work really hard on something for weeks, gather feedback, and start over with that new feedback in mind.
▸ Mark Zuckerberg. I'm constantly inspired by Mark and the way he runs Facebook. In just a few years, he managed to create the biggest product on the planet, built a 10,000+ employees company that still often operates like a startup, is involved all over the World in different initiatives, and still oversees product on a daily basis and gives super sharp and constructive feedback to his teams. And when I sometimes stay at work a bit late, I can still see him working at his desk when I leave after 10pm. Inspiring.
One more thing… Mask or Cape?
Probably the cape. Or both? So I feel closer to Batman.