Design at Affinity

When thinking of SaaS software companies, you’d be forgiven for assuming that they aren’t necessarily known for being design-driven, but here at Affinity, we believe human-centered design has a leading role in the success of our customers and the success of our business. Over the last year and a quarter we have significantly grown the […]

When thinking of SaaS software companies, you’d be forgiven for assuming that they aren’t necessarily known for being design-driven, but here at Affinity, we believe human-centered design has a leading role in the success of our customers and the success of our business. Over the last year and a quarter we have significantly grown the design team and our design muscle. We’re excited about this new chapter and thought this would be a great time to introduce you to the new faces on the team.

Agnes Kim

Product Designer

Designer based in SF, excited about building products that will have a positive, lasting impact on the world. Born and raised in Southern California, but fell in love with the Bay after moving here for college. Outside of work, you can find me hiking, doing a DIY project, or catching up on reading.

What are some design books you recommend?

  • Sprint by Jake Knapp
  • The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman

Whose work do you look to for inspiration?

What is your daily ritual?

  • Wake up and stretch (tech neck problems 😓)
  • Make some tea and drink it while watering my plants
  • Eat breakfast while reading the news
  • Start work with some schedule planning for the day, and head into standup/meetings/focus time
  • End the day with a workout, dinner and some DIY projects or TV

What are your favorite hex codes?
#000000&#D5FAE7

Photo notes:
Officially obsessed with plants. My indoor garden is steadily getting bigger as I propagate my plants and add new ones to the family.

David Chan

Product Designer

David is a designer who grew up on the East Coast of Canada and is currently living and working in Toronto. As a designer, David follows Dieter Rams’ “Less, but better” philosophy and believes good design goes beyond aesthetics and should create better experiences.

What are some design books you recommend?

  • Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows

Whose work do you look to for inspiration?

  • Dieter Rams
  • Wes Anderson

What is your daily ritual?

  • Wake up later than I planned
  • Daily grocery run
  • Make an effort to be active by going to the gym, running or taking a long walk
  • Cook dinner
  • Go to bed later than I planned

What are your favorite hex codes?
#E5E5E5&#F5F5F5

Photo notes:
Nike Free Run 5.0: Favorite pair of running shoes
Zerg Plush: From my favorite video game StarCraft 2
Terrarium

Filip Skrzesinski

Product Designer

Filip is a designer crafting thoughtful & intentional experiences. He was born in Poland and grew up outside of Chicago before moving to California to forget what winters feel like. He likes to take things apart and (sometimes) put them back together. With a background in computer science, studio art, and early stage startups, you’ll often find him wearing many hats (though not in real life — they make his head look small).

What are some design books you recommend?

  • A New Program for Graphic Design by David Reinfurt
  • Interaction of Color by Josef Albers
  • Slow Reader: A Resource for Design Thinking and Practice by Ana Paula Pais & Carolyn F. Strauss
  • Ruined by Design by Mike Monteiro

Whose work do you look to for inspiration?

What is your daily ritual?
Making hand-ground pour over coffee for my partner Emily and me the same way every morning for the last 4 years (ever since I did this).

What’s your favorite hex code?
#587E6D (color) #FAFAFA (hex)

Photo notes:
The Vitra Tip Ton chair, designed by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby. Colorful, indestructible, and with a rocking motion perfect for the little boy in me who can’t keep still.

Kaitlin Sullivan

Brand Designer

Kaitlin is a mission-driven brand designer, outdoor enthusiast, and native New Yorker. You can usually find her with a camera in her hand when she’s not at her desk.

What are some design books you recommend?

  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team by Alina Wheeler

Whose work do you look to for inspiration?

  • Photographers: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annie Leibovitz, Ansel Adams
  • Illustrators: Early Disney films, Ernst Haeckel, editorial pieces on the New York Times
  • Designers: Erik Nitsche, Tina Roth Eisenberg
  • Other talented beings: Mother Nature, Marc Maron, Hannah Gadsby, James Turrell, my partner Matt McKee

What is your daily ritual?
Morning tea, sunshine, and a stroll around Berkeley.

What’s your favorite hex code?
#E1E100&#A3007A

Photo notes:
My shelter-in-place set-up with abundant sunshine, a Gerald Scarfe print from Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and my Canon AE1. Currently grooving on Kodak Tri-X 100 film stock.

Sandy Roy

Brand and Marketing Designer

Born in Montreal, raised in Tampa Bay, and now residing in Toronto, Sandy is a brand designer who is passionate about growing brands through good design. In her free time, Sandy loves watching films and annoying her neighbors with her tap dancing.

What are some design books you recommend?

  • Interaction of Color by Josef Albers
  • How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp
  • The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeie

Whose work do you look to for inspiration?

  • Illustrators: Aubrey Beardsley, Elliot Snowman, Kensuke Koike
  • Directors: Terrence Malick, David Lean, David Cronenberg
  • Design Agencies: Red Antler, Concrete, Koto
  • Tattoo Artists: Jessie Preston, Hoode, Nacho Eterno

What is your daily ritual?

I’m not a morning person so I need a little extra time to get my day started.The first thing I do when I wake up is make myself a cup of coffee. After my coffee, I’ll take Morty on his morning walk. When I get to my desk, I always like to read Brand New so I can get some good inspiration flowing before I jump into my work.

What are your favorite hex codes?
#286755&#F1E6E4

Photo notes:
A page from my sketchbook, aka my workspace. All of my creative work, ideas and musings live here. It’s messy, and half the time I can’t read my handwriting, but nothing beats putting a pen to paper.

Travis Ortiz

VP of Design

Travis is a San Francisco based design leader and has been a designer in tech since the early days of e-commerce on the web. He joined Affinity in March 2019 and is our head of design. Previously, Travis led design efforts for Prosper Marketplace and Snapfish. Outside of work you can find Travis DJing, writing, publishing, and hiking.

What are some design books you recommend?

  • Lean UX by Jef Gothelf
  • How to Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy
  • A-Z of The Designers Republic by Ian Anderson

Whose work do you look to for inspiration?

  • Hiroshi Sugimoto (photographer)
  • Robert Frank (photographer)
  • Diane Arbus (photographer)
  • Annie Leibovitz (photographer)
  • Bruce Conner (mixed media)
  • Agnes Martin (painter)
  • Jeremy Fish
  • Shepard Fairey
  • Margaret Kilgallen
  • Barry McGee

What is your daily ritual?
First thing in the morning I do yoga, then make a cappuccino and cook breakfast. Then I walk the dog on Bernal Hill for an hour.

What’s your favorite hex code?
#FF0073 (I've been digging this bright color as a bold contrast to dark colors)

Former teammates

Jason Fain

Product Designer

I was born in central valley California, and my grandma got me into competitive sailing at a young age which allowed me to travel the globe before I was 21. Living 6 years in Europe taught me more about myself than any life experiences before this period. I love the ocean, and like the desert once in a while. I throw clay pottery as it makes me feel very grounded. I am a connector of people and enjoy my alone-time when I can grab it.

What are some design books you recommend?

  • Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
  • Don’t Push the River: It Flows by Itself by Barry Stevens
  • Sprint by Jake Knapp

Whose work do you look to for inspiration?

  • Tadao Ando
  • Modern art museums
  • Airbnb design
  • Yves Behar

What is your daily ritual?
Piano and cello to wake, meditate, write down what’s on my mind… then I begin my day for whats to come!

What’s your favorite hex code?
#CD00EE

Photo notes:
Antique study lamp originally with oil and wick. 1850 made in London near where I lived 170 years later. I wonder who studied near the lamp, and wonder why and how it made the trip to California.

The shelter-in-place photo is simple desk with fresh air, views of the street, and always waving to neighbors.

Mika Kozma

Product Designer

Mika is a product design leader, business strategist, and entrepreneur based in SF. He works at the intersection of design, strategy, and data science. His primary focus is on technology and human-centric design. He joined Affinity in June 2020 and is a Product Designer on Mobile Team. Before Affinity, he co-founded Roadster and worked as Principal Designer at Fandom. Outside of work you can find him playing with his family on a beach, or see him stare at art installations at modern art museums.

What are some design books you recommend?

  • The Startup Playbook by David S. Kidder
  • Ten Principles for Good Design by Dieter Rams
  • The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda
  • Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Whose work do you look to for inspiration?

  • Ai Weiwei
  • Banksy
  • NDT — Netherland Dance Theater
  • Bauhaus
  • I find regular people doing regular things the most inspiring.

What is your daily ritual?

  • Two cups of coffee
  • Morning play time with kids
  • Dog walk
  • 3 minutes meditation

What’s your favorite hex code?
#010101&#F7F7F7

And a few of our favorite design memes…

To learn more about Affinity, visit affinity.co.


Design at Affinity was originally published in Affinity on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Affinity