About Me

A Q&A-style post that summarizes my story

Hello

My name is Marco Pacifico. I’m a product designer who lives in Brooklyn.

What are you working on now?

I work at Capsule. I design the workflows and tools used to run its operations.

You’re a designer who can…?

I make tools that help people get things done faster and easier.

As a founding or first designer, I set up foundational pieces like a design system, user research practice, and a design process. I help untangle and fix design debt.

I design for consumers and business users; for responsive web, iOS, and products that live across multiple platforms.

I’m strongest in the following areas:

  1. Prototyping and interaction design. I make prototypes at various levels of fidelity, from “Wizard of Oz”-style demos to interactive, code-based prototypes that accept and react to user input.

  2. Learning what to build and why. I can go out and talk to customers, do 1:1 interviews, run user tests, and write surveys. I can use analytics to evaluate designs and tell a story of how our product is being used.

  3. Thinking in and building systems rather than standalone screens.

What’s your background?

I did engineering in undergrad and business in grad school. My first job was at an agency that built digital products and practiced user-centered design.

After that I started a company where I designed a product used by retailers like Gap and Sur la Table. It was true 0-1 product design that involved doing customer discovery to validate the problem, and iterating through multiple products and business models.

Post-startup, I’ve been part of product teams as the first or lead designer, working alongside founders and executives to make product decisions.

What’s your M.O. as a designer?

I care about asking the right questions to get to the root of a problem. If we can’t answer “why this?” and “how will we know it’s working?” then I’ll help us find answers.

I make and test prototypes because the feedback helps us learn and iterate quickly.

My best decisions are made based on evidence and logic derived from first principles. I’m a fan of using frameworks to describe problems and evaluate options.

I'll sweat “the other 80%” of work needed to ship. That means doing QA and finessing edge cases. It also means helping my team work as a cohesive unit rather than an assembly line. I do this by showing my process and asking for feedback early to build trust, hopping on calls to clarify ambiguity, and building systems that remove friction.

Where else have you lived?

I was born, raised, and educated in Canada. Besides New York, I’ve lived in Vancouver, San Francisco, and Toronto.

I did the “digital nomad” thing for a year and change. I spent seven months in Rio de Janeiro, and the rest of my time was split between Buenos Aires and Paris.

What are your interests?

I go through phases where I enjoy being a big nerd. Then there are periods where you might find me at an afterparty in Berlin, São Paulo, or Bushwick.

I like reading about science and history and anything that explains people and why they do what they do. Sapiens is a perfect intersection of all these topics. Recently I read Until the End of Time by Brain Greene. The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch is another book I love.

I’m also into photography. I used to post my photos on Instagram, but I stopped because social media is a hell of a drug and I had to quit.

Why did you make this website?

This site is a space where I can do the following:

  1. Publish and practice writing.
  2. Learn to code and apply what I learn.
  3. Tell my story to learn about myself.
  4. Tell my story to connect with likeminded people.

If you’ve read this far and you think we’d get along, feel free to drop me a line. My email is in the footer.

How did you make this website?

I coded this site using React and Styled Components. I use Gatsby to generate static HTML files from the code, and I host those files on Github Pages. The content is written in markdown, using MDX, and that data is pulled in using GraphQL.

It might be over-engineered, but that’s ok. Making this site helps me learn and practice using technologies I encounter in my role as product designer. And I enjoy making it.

I’m using two typefaces by Klim Foundry: United Sans and Untitled Serif. I love all Klim’s work, but I feel a personal connection to the perfectly minimal style of Untitled.

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