Ben Bate

Ben Bate — Streamlabs

Product designer at Streamlabs. Passionate about designing inclusive, effective, and impactful digital products.

What led you into design?

Growing up, I had a fascination with websites and a desire to have one of my own in some form. The first website I ever created was using an early version of Moonfruit. I’d started a small online store selling cases and accessories for Apple products. I loved tinkering with the design and playing with the Flash animations and graphics.

Soon after, I began blogging about design. I started a blog called Pixel Clouds, and then another called Psd-tutorial. I would put together frequent design roundups and features, and challenge myself to fill the BuySellAds spots in the sidebar.

At one point I was running around five separate blogs, mainly focused on design inspiration and Photoshop tutorials. Toward the end of the 2000s was a particularly great period for design blogs. There were some excellent tutorial resources like Tutorial9 and HV-Designs which gave me a perfect starting point.

What does a typical day look like?

On a weekday I’ll usually start at around 8:15 am. I’ll have a coffee mid-morning then take a long lunch and go for a walk. We have a team-wide stand up on a Monday evening UK-time. Afterward, I’ll connect with team members from the US then sign off for the day. In the evening I’ll often get some exercise, watch some sport on TV (anything from football/soccer to baseball), work on an article, and browse through some Medium posts.

At the weekend I typically set myself a small practice project to design an iOS or Android app and post it on Dribbble.

It gives me the chance to improve my design skills and spend some time exploring new mobile UI/UX ideas and styles.

What’s your setup?

2016 MacBook 12”, Dell U2715H Monitor, Rain Design mStand, Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard + Mouse, iPhone 7, IKEA Desk

Where do you go to get inspired?

I love seeing what other designers are creating on Dribbble. I’m also often inspired by browsing through photos on VSCO and Unsplash, as well as reading design articles on Medium. Land-book is my go-to resource for web design inspiration.

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

Since switching last year, Figma has significantly impacted the way I design and collaborate with a team. Its design is simple and effective and it makes it incredibly easy to work alongside other designers and developers. Not to mention, it’s super lightweight and runs perfectly on my 12-inch MacBook.

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

Working at Streamlabs has given me the opportunity to work on a variety of products which are used by over 70% of streamers on Twitch. One of the most fundamental of these products is the tip page.

Viewers on Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, and Facebook are sent to this page to donate to their favorite streamers. It’s evolving all the time as new features are released, and has presented some interesting user experience considerations.

Amongst other things, it’s also given me the chance to work on unique illustration projects as well as extension designs for Twitch.

My favorite recent piece of work outside of my day job is my new website.

What design challenges do you face at your company?

The obvious answer would be working remotely, however, the tools available now make it so much more straightforward. We have talented people working across North America, as well as in Russia and Romania. Using tools and services like Figma, GitHub, Slack, and Zoom allow everyone to collaborate on projects with ease.

One of the most challenging design aspects at Streamlabs is maintaining a simple and easy-to-use interface, while consistently introducing lots of new features.

What music do you listen to whilst designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

Enjoy it! Design is such a fast-moving and exciting industry. There is so much to learn and explore all the time.

Anything you want to promote or plug?

Feel free to give me a follow on Dribbble and Medium.

Streamlabs are hiring! Check out the latest openings.

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