We encourage you to google Adrian Zumbrunnen. And not because he’s a visionary interface designer, although he is, but because of his approach to the craft. Design is an incredibly creative and broad field. It encompasses everything from basic visuals and typography to the overall user experience. So, where’s Adrian Zumbrunnen on the design spectrum?
He’s positioned at the very bleeding edge of interface design. As such, he has the potential to shape our interactions with the whole world.
Let’s find out more about this awesoME .MEr!
Who is Adrian Zumbrunnen?
To put it short, Adrian Zumbrunnen is a Zurich-based designer, writer, and coffee lover. In his own words, he designs with function and emotion in mind. He’s focusing on creating emotional experiences at the intersection of art, design, and AI. Currently, he’s working at Google, leading an interdisciplinary design studio called “mono”. They’re trying to improve Google Assistant with a focus on conversational design. Before joining Google, Adrian ran his own business, Design Studio AZ. There, he worked on a variety of projects including a new WordPress content engine and Mindful, a writing app.
His breadth of skills and accomplishments allowed him to work on some of Google’s most innovative projects. This includes the previously mentioned Google Assistant, Lens, and the interface for Android 12. The latest iteration of Google’s mobile OS is shipping with the next Pixel phone.
Writing and Speaking as important Methods of Expression
He considers writing an essential aspect of his work. Adrian frequently writes opinion pieces about various aspects of design. What’s more, his articles cover everything from the latest design trends in the tech industry to philosophical musings about the concept of design itself.
His writing reflects his skill at self-expression and his ability to convey meaning through practically any medium. The writing style is crisp and clear, Adrian does have his own flair, but it’s above all functional and focused on the clarity of the message.
Considering his expertise, it’s unsurprising that he often speaks at various conferences and seminaries. After all, people want him to share his knowledge and experience. Like his writing, Adrian’s speaking engagements cover a breadth of topics, mostly concerning the process of design. His style is fun, engaging, and even gimmicky at times, with lots of “it was so captivating you didn’t notice I was holding a bar of Swiss chocolate” kind of moments. All of this is part of his charm, and it’s clear why he’s one of the best-known names in the world of design.
Adrian Zumbrunnen: Personal Website as a Method of Self-expression
Do you think such a renowned designer wouldn’t take care with how he presents himself to the world? Adrian’s personal website is a user experience dream. Everything is clear, easy to scroll through and navigate, and has a rather “tactile” feel even when you’re browsing it with a mouse and a keyboard.
His website isn’t just a functional presentation of Adrian as a professional (and a coffee lover). It also serves as an easily accessible online portfolio. Moreover, you can see his work and his thought processes while he was solving problems. Also, he never forgets to credit his coworkers. In fact, he takes special care to thank them for their valuable contributions to various projects they worked on.
Of course, experimentation isn’t foreign to Adrian. What’s more, once he famously made his website into a chatbot once, which didn’t exactly go as expected.
Interface Design Principles
Flow and motion are practically necessary for user engagement, and Adrian Zumbrunnen is a big proponent of motion in UX design. He even writes poems about it! However, he also noticed a trend of over-animating menus and other interface elements. This results in products that look nice but don’t actually solve problems. Motion pulls focus; and since we can’t help but look at things that move, it’s a design element that needs to be used carefully.
Too many designers overdo it and just create a user interface that distracts the user or conveys the wrong message. Adrian’s experience allows him to focus on what really matters and go with the one-thing-at-the-time approach. Its aim is to imbue focus, clarity, and calmness. Of course, this introduced some limitations, but his team was up to the challenge. They managed to find compromise solutions where needed.
He values teamwork and small teams in particular. After all, as teams grow in size, the investment they have in a particular project decreases. And according to Adrian, great products are made by people who care.
Adrian Zumbrunnen is definitely someone to keep an eye on. His visionary and creative drive pushes him towards the biggest challenges. And since he’s positioned at one of the world’s biggest tech companies, designing next-generation interfaces, he’ll have a significant impact on shaping the way we interact with technology and even each other.
He’s not someone who will just think in terms of creating an interface. Adrian will think of concepts that will facilitate creating that interface and the whole user experience.
It’s clear he’s a brilliant mind, and we couldn’t be more proud to have him as a member of the .ME family. Best of luck with your future endeavors Adrian!