Fahrenheit 212’s people are the best and brightest innovators in the world. We hail from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and industries, but are connected by a shared passion to make things better and to make better things. Voices of Fahrenheit is a series that shares perspectives from the individuals behind the innovations at Fahrenheit 212 to give you a glimpse into their days and what makes them tick.
This week, we interview Elliott Golden, UX Director on the Design team at Fahrenheit 212.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am UX Director at Fahrenheit. My main focus is to guide the design of digital products and servics to ensure they solve the right problems. I'm particualrly interested in growing a repeatable design process that can account for the messiness of reality.
Where do you feel most creative?
That’s a tough one... my creativity isn’t really mapped to a location. That said, I tend to have a lot of clarity on problems within the first 10 minutes of waking up.
Do you have any rituals for the innovation process?
I’ve learned from 17 years of experience that taking breaks and going on walks is part of the problem solving process. The brain needs a lil time to do its best work.
Where do you call home?
I've lived in the East Village longer than anywhere else (since 1999), but I grew up in North Carolina and Maryland.
What do you never leave home without?
Please enjoy this extremely dry, but truthful answer… keys, wallet, phone.
What is the first thing you do every morning? The last thing at the end of every day?
I like to go out and drink coffee at the start of the day, but routines aren't really my style.
When did you first get into the field of innovation?
I went head first into the startup world in 2008. But I’ve always been a self-employed hustler, so getting to favorable outcomes via problem solving has been my thing since forever I guess.
What is your favorite innovation from the last decade?
iPhone and Ruby on Rails. Ruby is a web application framework that, at the time, was groundbreaking. It simplified the development of complex web applications, and it brought me back from the brink of giving up on web development in 2007.
What are some of your interests outside of innovation?
Beyond tracking down the perfect mango, I’d have to say Bot design and development. If done right, the directness of providing a service mostly through conversation is really compelling. The test, learn and tweak cycle on chat-based products is really direct and more fulfilling than on other platforms. Also, I made it to my 50th state this winter, so it’s not all about design and engineering for me.
What is your go-to reading source?
Medium. I recommend UX Planet, a “Medium Mag” that provides tons of great bite sized and in-depth articles, and Julie Zhuo (VP of Product Design at Facebook)'s page, where she writes about a range of the things that only someone who works with a user base of their size can.
What is your greatest life hack?
Always wearing a hat at the beach.
What is your must-read book?
Siddhartha and The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman.
What is your favorite app?
I’d have to say it would be one that I couldn’t live without… Google Maps.
What is your favorite quotation?
“The public is more familiar with bad design than good design…” -Paul Rand