For the past 10 years, I have been curious about design and technology. I wrote a blog and gave talks about it, I designed and launched iOS apps and I collaborated with amazing brands to create simple, functional and beautiful experiences for their products and services.
Today, I apply the same human-centric, psychology-friendly, UX-inspired philosophy I learned to designing things: digital products, real-world experiences and any system that involves human interaction. Good design solves problems by putting humans first — it’s effective and robust. No bullshit — make it work well.
For the last 2 years, I ran a software design studio based in Paris named Kuma. We notably designed:
Poilâne — an internationally-renowned French bakery that introduced high-end bread to the world, Poilâne needed a new ecommerce experience for their 15,000 monthly clients. A challenging mission, for this is probably the only website in the world using Odoo eCommerce and such a custom interface. The result is a simple experience hiding complex functionality.
Aulo — a platform to video chat with influencers, Aulo is now incubated at M6. We designed the whole product and identity. We created an interface capable of signing up influencers on mobile (and Aulo needs a lot of info).
I have designed and launched 5 apps to the App Store, with varying success. Here are two that taught me a lot and that I really enjoyed working on:
Loop — an iOS app that allowed you to create shared private photo streams that elicited the physical photo albums of yore. We had a strong early user base thanks to our WhatsApp-inspired platform-agnostic sign up mechanism (no Facebook connect, no sir!). Also, and this was back in 2015, we were one of the few apps that detected the country code from the SIM card of the user (instead of system phone settings) — something even Uber didn’t do at the time.
Columize — an iOS app that gave you a Column, your own small publication where you could share interesting reads you stumbled upon. Inspired by the microblogging design of Daring Fireball (and its underlying open web philosophy), this project is what got me started in design and technology.
The blogging world
My love for the beautiful world of software began when I first saw the iPhone — and started a blog about it. This led me to fall for blogging tools and services.
Sundry — the culmination of my blogging experience, Sundry is a synthesised distillation of the best stuff I read in a newsletter format. I had a 70% open rate for the entire duration of the project (40 weeks).
Whytech — the og, a blog in French about Apple and technology in general. I hit 5k visits/day for a couple of weeks thanks to referral traffic — by avidly reading tech news on my favourite RSS reader and breaking them before other French tech blogs. This was back in 2007.
Across the years, I have found beautiful, functional products and tools that I can’t imagine living without. Here are a few:
Byline · the best RSS reader for the iPhone, developed by Milo Bird
MarsEdit · native macOS app to publish on your online blogs
Instapaper · the simplest read-later service
Tweetbot · the best Twitter client for iOS
I have read more than a million articles on technology and design. (That’s according to my 2013 Google Reader stats.) Here are a few selected articles that really challenged my perspective and opened my mind:
We Don’t Sell Saddles
The evolution of microblogging
The variety of news readers