Product Designer at Facebook
I'm proud and happy to present you my favorite person in the world:
My husband Robin Clediere.
Born and raised in a tiny village called Luzignat in France, he has always been fascinated by design and the American Dream. After years and years of hard work he finally reached his dream in 2014 by joining Facebook as a Product Designer.
He is one of the most talented people that I know, his designs are neat, smart and creative. He is curious about everything and can't stop trying to improve his skills/knowledge everyday. He is my daily support, always here when I need him, he is my design + life partner and I couldn't be more inspired when I'm around him.
I could spend the all day writing down all his qualities but that's too obvious I guess.
Instead, he's some fun facts about Robin:
#1 - He is addicted to burgers.
#2 - He can recognize any movie song and name it.
#3 - He thinks you have to add butter when you cook bacon.
So you’re a product designer at Facebook. Would you say that designing is your dream job?
I think it is! Designing at Facebook is definitely an incredible experience and an amazing opportunity. It took me some time to get there.
That's funny because, back in France when I got my first job in a web agency, Facebook was the very first company to contact me to say they love my work! At the time, I was very surprised by this email and the idea that I could potentially work in the US.
So I took a shot, did the interview, even though I barely spoke English at the time. Turns out, it was a complete mess. But that email gave me a new perspective about how I could live my life, what I could do everyday for living. So I worked a lot on my design skills, watched a lot of movies in English, and a few months later I joined a startup in San Francisco.
Clearly that wasn't the experience I was waiting for but I did met great people and learn a lot about the possibilities in the US. So, after this I wanted to start from scratch, I went back in France, worked full-time during the day for a startup and freelanced at night!
Then, when the right moment came I contacted Facebook to say Hi! And now I'm working everyday for this fantastic company, designing for tons of people, focusing on a product that I love and use every single day! I feel very lucky to have so much fun when I'm working, being surrounded by talented people, it's an amazing experience.
"Now I'm working everyday for this fantastic company, designing for tons of people, focusing on a product that I love and use every single day!"
How/when did you realize that this was your destiny?
I guess it was at the university and during my internship right before the 2 years graduation.
Basically, I was studying Communication at the University of Limoges in France, and among written, oral and other type of communication, I discovered the visual communication. That was awesome! We started to play around with Photoshop, creating ads and manipulating photos. I loved it so much that I remember spending an entire summer doing tutorials to understand all the tools and what we can do with them! Naturally, I started by adding a lightsaber on a picture of me with a stick! And then I discovered the Web Design, started a portfolio with fake projects and plenty of experiments learnt from tutorials.
At the end of the second year, I joined an agency as an Intern Web Designer in Belgium and I really enjoyed it. I started to design websites for real clients, the iPhone was still very new at the time but I started to do UI work as well and I loved it!
So at the end of the internship, I realized 3 things:
▸ I was really happy to do that every day of every week.
▸ I was getting good at this.
▸ I could live from it.
It has been 6 years since that internship and I'm still having so much fun doing that every single day.
And now, after all these years, you’re a talented Product Designer, working for one of the biggest companies in the world. So far, what project are you most proud of?
That's a difficult question. I'd say, 'See First', which is a new feature that we launched very recently with Facebook that helps you never miss a story from people you care about.
It was a huge challenge to change the Following model which has been on Facebook for years, I did my best to make a very simple UI that visually explains what's gonna be the impact on your News Feed.
I guess it means a lot to me because it was the first project that I worked on when I joined Facebook. I know how difficult it is to ship something for more than a billion people, so I'm really happy my first project came through. I'm very proud of the work I did and the quality of this feature.
Do you have another super secret passion?
I can't say I have another super secret passion, but I am excited about a lot of things.
To name a few, I'm a big fan of Pixar movies, the Star Wars saga, burgers and donuts, NBA (Let's go Warriors), Disneyland, the show Friends makes me laugh all the time, even though I watched the 10 seasons many many times.
I love traveling, exploring the US was one of my dreams and I can't wait to visit more states. Also, one of my goals for 2015 is to get better with a camera.
Who was your favorite superhero/villain growing up? Why?
Buzz Lightyear! I know... not coming out of a comic book but you got to admit, he's amazing. To quote Woody: "You've got wings, you glow in the dark, you talk, your helmet does that -- whoosh thing -- you are a COOL toy."
But beyond that, he is a Space Ranger, protecting the galaxy from Zurg, a terrifying purple robot guy with a Darth Vader voice. He's also one of Andy's favorite toys, always there for him, always there for the other toys.
I guess he has everything you want in a hero, he's powerful, kind of an Iron Man because he is a human being without any superpowers, he's funny, vulnerable, he has a great team. But he also has a dark side when you switch it to Demo Mode!
I was around 9 when I watched the first movie, Buzz was my favorite, I've seen it a hundred times after that. I loved the second movie when I was a teenager and loved the third one as an adult. Can't wait for the fourth one!
You know that Batman has his Batcave and Superman his Fortress of Solitude. What's your favorite place/environment to do what you love?
Facebook HQ. I gotta say, this is a very special place. There's everything you need to do your work, talented people all around you, the space is amazing with plenty of natural light, great furniture, art all over the place. And there's no way you run out of food!
Otherwise, I think I can work from anywhere, as long as I have a chair and power, I'm good to go.
Do you have a favorite object, like a lucky charm or something that really matters to you?
I have a lot of stuff that I care about, could be really difficult to name just one.
When I moved to SF from France, I took a lot of family stuff with me, souvenirs, mostly pictures of my parents and brothers. Some of them are hanging on the fridge, they look about my age on the pictures. Since I'm the youngest in the family, I like to think about what they were doing when they were 26 just like me.
What superpower do you wish you had and why?
Time travel! But not necessarily to see the future and get a head start. I think I'd be more interested in the past.
I had very beautiful moments earlier in my life that I would love to see and live again. Moments with family members who passed away, moments of joy with my brothers and cousins. Unfortunately with time people grow up and life changes, so sometimes it becomes difficult to create those moments again.
I wouldn't change a thing, because even the saddest moments in my life could be interesting to be experienced again. No matter how hard it could be, I could understand better why things happened this way.
And obviously, you all saw Back to the Future, going back in time and meet our own father and mother at the same age as you is so cool! I know that when my father starts telling stories about his youth, I can spend hours listening to him and imagining how he was and if we are the same.
What is your personal Kryptonite?
Talking! I don't know why I always been intimidated by talking in front of a group of people. It's even more complicated now with a different language.
The good thing is, I'm having a lot of opportunities to work on that at Facebook, and sometimes I actually enjoy it... The few minutes before are such a pain in the *** though.
"I think I can work from anywhere, as long as I have a chair and power, I'm good to go."
Who would you choose as a sidekick to fulfill your passion Why?
My wife, you, without a doubt! We have the same passion for design and many interests in common. We like to say that we are "Design + Life partners"!
We worked together in the past, it was a very interesting experience but the environment around us wasn't ideal for that. Now, I'm excited to see you joining Facebook in a few months. It will be the beginning of a new adventure for us, and probably a very unique one to share with each other.
You have a lot of qualities that I don't have: you have a great personality, you're a hell of a cook, know your way around pixels and photography, and god you know how to make people smile around you! For that, I think any team would be happy to have you! You are the perfect sidekick!
What is your definition of a modern hero?
For me, a modern hero isn't somebody who would be on magazine covers or on TV all the time. It's also not necessarily somebody who is saving the world from villains.
We live in a world where people share what they love and what they're good at. That's why I'm inspired by a lot of people, and I bet half of them have no idea that they are helping me every day (and probably others) achieving great things.
I was lucky enough to meet some of them in real life, realizing that we have a lot of things in common, that we had a similar path, and now we're actually good friends. Let's face it, I couldn't do that with Superman!
Do you have people who inspire you everyday? Your very own heroes.
The first person that comes to mind is Tim Van Damme. Tim is a Product Designer at Dropbox, previously at Instagram and Gowalla. I'm still very impressed by his path, all the work he has done and the decisions he made.
Back in the days when Gowalla was up and running, I was a big fan of this app, the design was so compelling and the community was amazing.
I continued to follow his work at Instagram and Dropbox, I was really inspired by his work but I was also very interested in his story. It's even more funny now that I ended up having the same "moving to the US" experience and working at Facebook where he previously worked.
I finally really met Tim during a meetup a few months ago, the "Gowalla kid" inside of me was happy to ask him all kind of questions about his experience there and all the work he's doing now at Dropbox.
Tim was really nice and I had a fantastic time, after all these years looking at his work it was amazing to meet him and talk to him.
One more thing…Mask or Cape?
Mask! I was going with the cape to be honest, but I remember that I like being very discreet and simple. The mask could be very helpful to hide my identity, protect myself and the people I care about. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable with a cape!