Februar 17th, 2013

week #17 – @rhythmspice / Brian

Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is Brian O’Neill and I am a product designer originally from Phoenix, Arizona and now living in Cambridge, Massachusetts and New York City. As a consultant, I usually am hired to design and help build useful, usable, and beautiful web applications that strive to create meaningful human experiences with technology. In addition to designing, I also show my clients how to discover and develop the design thinkers in their own organization via mentoring and participation in the creative process. Since 1996, I’ve worked on award-winning products and services for NetApp, Fidelity, Lycos, JP Morgan Chase, Accenture, MITRE, Elysium and smaller startups like Eons, Akorri, DataXu, UpDown.com, and others. I also am a co-founder of TravelDragon.com, a unique search engine to find and compare adventure tours from the world’s best boutique travel operators.

In addition to being a designer, I am also a versatile multi-percussionist and composer based in New York City and Boston.  I’ve been cited as a „percussion master and musical polymath“ (Boston Phoenix), and have performed in a variety of contexts including opera and classical (South Florida Symphony, Boston Festival Orchestra, Arizona Opera Ring Cycle Orchestra, Flagstaff Symphony), as a concerto soloist (Sun City Symphony), with pop stars (Kristin Chenoweth, Donna Summer, Archie Bell, the Del-Larks), and with jazz artists (Bert Seager, Peter Erskine, Wallace Roney, Ernie Watts). Additionally, I am also the artistic director of the dual-ensemble Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica: a global-jazz-meets-chamber-music quartet which I lead on vibraphone. My Orchestrotica (www.orchestrotica.com) has another formation as the world’s only 22-piece space-age pop band performing the lost music of Mexican arranger Juan Garcia Esquivel.
Keep up with me here:

Share your twitter account with us and tell us what you are twittering about:
@rhythmspice – I critique the user experiences I encounter from the customer perspective; pose the occasional technical questions when I’m designing a prototype in code, and leave room for some fun! In search of great design…
@orchestrotica – Sharing the latest news about my band, Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica, plus discussing spirits, cocktail culture, mid-century modernism, and music industry topics

Tell us about your creative side:
As a self-proclaimed „generalist“ product designer, I love teaming up with teams of sharp product managers and creative engineers to discover the right problems, goals, and tasks to solve prior to designing the user experience. When it’s time to design, my toolbox includes listening to the horse’s mouth (talking to users!), team sketching, pixel-level designs, prototypes, working code, and usability testing.  Over the last four years, I’ve been doing extensive work with big data visualization, and I love distilling large datasets into actionable recommendations and information graphics. While I consider myself a „seasoned veteran“ in the software design arena, I am always learning –particularly about graphic design–by studying what other designers are doing. My background as a professional musician trained in jazz means I know how to „steal“ and repurpose great ideas into something uniquely my own, and this improvisational skill has helped me to move forward as a designer without having any formal training in communications, visual art, or in design.  As a performing musician, I am naturally using my creative side on a regular basis. One of my favorite projects to date is my series of recordings I started under the title, Exotica for Modern Living. The two albums in this series to date were highly-acclaimed by The Sunday Times London, Boston Globe, and were named Top 10 CDs for 2011 by the Huffington Post.  Additionally, the series also features beautiful mid-century modern-style illustration work by San Francisco-based designer, Javier Garcia.

What inspires you?
I think that’s covered above! ;-)

Time travel: Where would you go to?
Palm Springs, 1963 for stunning design and architecture, and hanging with the rat pack on the golf course!

Name your favorite present book:
Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It to the Revolution.

Which tweeter would you recommend for @createandrotate and why?
Illustrator/designer Javier Garcia – https://twitter.com/javiergdesign – I found him online while searching for an illustrator with an interest in mid-century modernism for the aforementioned recording project, Exotica for Modern Living. He turned out to be perfect, amazingly talented and kind-hearted. Javier recently just finished a new logo and brand for my group (see it on my profile at @orchestrotica) and also worked on the CD series above.  It’s been a great partnership working with him as a „client,“ which is something I think all designers should do at some point as it provides perspective from the client’s side on the work we do daily.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>