A Forum for Innovation

Introducing Member: Jef Bekes


Company: SolutionSet
Position: Creative Director, UX
Country: USA
State: CA
City: Piedmont
Cultural Ambassador: no
Interests: Agile and/or Rapid Application Development and Design, Data Visualization, Design (Visual, Interactive, UXD, Environmental), Media, Sustainable models for business, design and development, Start-Ups, Technology

Questions and Answers

What will you say about the work you've done at the end of your career?

That I was able to make designers and engineers play nice together and make cool stuff along the way.

Where do you go for inspiration?

First, I turn off the computer. After staring at a computer screen all day, I gain the most clarity and inspiration from interacting with real objects, whether in the garden, kitchen, or finding an excuse to break out the power tools.

How do you build resilience into your work & company?

By embracing the fact that things are always in a constant state of flux. Rapidly shifting landscapes (business, technological, cultural) are a defining feature of our environment and you need an outlook and process that can quickly adapt. As designers, it's easy to get caught up trying to find the perfect solution. If you try to solve everything at once, you're likely to fail; if you focus on the core problem, the rest usually falls into place quite nicely.

What keeps you up at night?

The feeling that either I'm not doing enough or that I've taken on too much. That, and my DVR.

What gets you up in the morning?

If not the kids, then the dogs.

How is your work cross-cultural?

I don't think of my work as intentionally cross cultural, but all my influences, experiences, and surroundings definitely are: growing up mixed-race, studying and working abroad, and now raising two children in a bilingual home. As anyone who lives in the Bay Area will attest, this is the new normal, bring it on!


My work is founded in a strong understanding of the strategic value of design and the interplay between user experience, brand and business strategy. I have a proven record leading cross-functional teams across a variety of project types, from enterprise software to consumer web sites and applications. My experience spans both startups and agencies, and I thrive in fast-paced, highly collaborative environments.

Posts by Jef Bekes

Marty Cagan’s Open Letter To The Design Community

Marty Cagan of SVPG has a brilliant article on UX that is required reading for designers working within product companies. He hits the nail on the head regarding understanding your different internal constituents, the importance of high fidelity prototyping, and how to get design involved earlier in the process in a way that is both meaningful and impactful.


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