Jake Doering

PRINCIPAL / FREELANCE PRODUCT DESIGN LEAD - DOERING.DESIGN

I'm a freelance product designer based in San Francisco. Lover of music, food, travel & culture. I've been lucky to spend my whole life experiencing different parts of California – born in San Diego, I studied at UCLA and lived in Santa Monica before moving to the bay to join the founding team of a startup.

What are you best known for?

I initially moved to San Francisco to join a small and brilliant team aspiring to empower workplace creativity with software. We eventually launched an iOS product called Cassette, which made life easier for creatives like designers, researchers, and writers by automating notetaking for conversations. People were pretty excited about the product, and it garnered the top spot on Product Hunt a couple different times. I imagine I'm known to some people for that project. In general, I hope I'm known as a thoughtful and driven designer who creates things that make life richer and easier for humans.

What or who has influenced your design aesthetic the most?

Stellar design is usually collaborative, so I find myself looking at products and services for inspiration more than individual designers. Some go-to places for inspiration are Airbnb, Headspace and Betterment. Lately, I've been looking at my bank Simple, my health-insurance provider Oscar, and brokerage Robinhood, which all use product design as a competitive advantage. I'm always on the lookout for great new products. Product design is fun because you're constantly surrounded by living textbooks. Opportunities to learn are endless.

What inspired you to become a designer?

I didn't have any idea what product design or experience design was until I was in college. I was passionate about the sciences – particularly neuroscience and cognitive psychology. The arts have always been fundamental for me. I grew up studying music. Architecture has always been a huge interest. I spent some of my college days working in the film industry. I felt like I had all these varied interests, and I was being pulled in all these different directions. It was confusing. One of the most important and difficult insights I found when I was ""figuring it all out"" was that I wouldn't be happy unless I was creating something. I've always been that way, so it seems simple enough on retrospect. But subverting the notions of what I ""should"" be doing for what I actually had loads of fun doing took me some time. I have this belief that our current era in history has elevated product design to possibly the most high-impact artform. We're surrounded by digital stimuli constantly. It's all designed. But when I stumbled into design, I was really just looking for a way to merge two worlds – a way to create like an artist, but be curious and analytical like a scientist too. Design was the perfect vehicle for that.