Tools help us create beautiful, usable experiences for devices. However, they can also get in the way of creativity: designers and developers sometimes spend more time thinking about process, software, and tools than making. In this talk, Catt will discuss reasons we get distracted by process and tools, why stepping away from process and tools can be helpful, as well as methods to focus more on getting things done.
Catt is a product designer, game maker, and developer. She is currently making awesome things at Etsy.
With a design career spanning over ten years, she has done design work for companies of all sizes including SoundCloud, Bedrocket, and Nasdaq. She started coding around the age of 10 and designing at the age of 15. In 2011, she graduated from SVA with a BFA in Graphic Design and later received an MS in Integrated Digital Media from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in 2016.
An observer at heart, Catt focuses on ways to improve the lives of people through design. She is interested in ways to increase empathy through interactive media. Many of her personal projects center around the human experience and tackle issues related to interpersonal relationships, self-expression, gender, and race.
In addition to her product design work, Catt makes video games by herself and with friends. She is one-third of Brooklyn Gamery, a Brooklyn-based game development studio that also organizes diversity-focused game jams and events. She also co-founded Code Liberation, a non-profit that teaches people of marginalized gender identities to program games, and taught classes for the company until her departure in late 2016. In her spare time, she organizes diversity and inclusion-focused events with Good for PoC. She sometimes draws comics.
Catt’s work has been covered by many publications including BuzzFeed, Black Enterprise, and The Mary Sue. She has spoken at schools and events across the country, including AIGA Design Conference and TEDxFoggyBottom. You can follow her @cattsmall on Twitter and view her work at www.cattsmall.com.