Joshua Taylor

Joshua Taylor is a prolific digital product designer and startup advisor who helps companies launch new creations. He works across user testing, high level UX and UI design, interactive and motion prototyping to design products that are incredibly easy and delightful to use. More than desirable products, he helps design successful and sustainable companies.

Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, he has evolved into the go-to design guy for massive brands such as Evernote and Airbnb. At Evernote, he was a Design Director, and at Airbnb he worked on major new features across their web app, as well as Android and iOS. He really knows when the sweet details amount to something spectacular.

Joshua’s design philosophy is to move fast, make and finish things. He revels in getting to know users and talking to leadership in order to figure out what a product should be. In short, he builds products for the people that actually use them, making their experiences more rich and engaging.

Q. Which Disney princess would you want to be?

Princess JasmineYou gotta go with Jasmine. She is the coolest, with flying stuff and magic stuff. I am normally told which princess I am, I don’t get to choose.

Q. What was the last app you had to delete because you loved it a little too much?

This took me a while. The answer is 2 Dots. That was for sure addictive. It is gone now, but sometimes I re-download it if I am going on a trip. I also got rid of Twitter for a while. That was great, because Twitter is just evil. When I am done with twitter I feel very negative. When I am done with Instagram I feel very positive. Just a lot of complaining.

Q. What is the one thing in a hotel room that creeps you out the most?

Airbnb logoThe thing about hotel rooms that creep me out is that they are all the same. No matter the name of the chain, it feels like you are a cog in the wheel. It’s not any one thing, it’s just every thing, which is a different type of creep out.

Q. Do you still have a case of CDs? Where is it?

Yes, one is in my attic. My car case of CDs got stolen, but I have some good stuff. The second rate CDs are in the attic. Burned from Napster with clever titles written on them.

Q. Worst thing for Orlando’s reputation, N’Sync or Creed?

This is an easy one. N’Sync is flyable in my book. Creed is horrible, by far the worst of those two options. Funny story, the lead singer of Creed, Scott Stapp, said he got his inspiration from how much he hated church. Well, he went to our church and he had scathing things to say about people I knew. These days, I can put on like Dashboard Confessional and have a throwback day, which is bad but oh so good. I tried to do that with Creed and I just couldn’t do it. It is some of the worst music.

Q. Do they allow post-it notes at Evernote?

Evernote LogoNot only do we allow post-it notes, but there are Evernote post-it notes. You can take a picture of them with your phone and it will organize them. It’s pretty rad and we worked with 3M to develop the organization. Your phone knows exactly which color they are, so you could match a color with a tag. You could take a photo of an entire wall of post-its and it will recognize them and map them, strip out the color and you’d be left with just the text. With handwriting recognition of the text, it will assign the info to the right place. It was awesome integration with 3M and post-its.

Q. What’s the last new thing you tried?

Oh man. I have no idea. I am trying to build an app on my own right now, and trying to do it without raising money. It’s called Parrot, and there are so many new things with it, each week, each day.

Q. Do you have a guilty pleasure podcast?

There’s two ways to answer this. If you say guilty pleasure, you have to go with a podcast called My Dad Wrote A Porno. It is hilarious but very raunchy and I only made it through a few episodes. But my true guilty pleasure is This American Life. I keep wanting to move past top 40 podcasts, but I keep coming back because it is so good.

Q. Would you rather have to take care of a vulgar parrot with a Brooklyn accent or listen to a year’s worth of Rush Limbaugh’s podcast?

I’m going with the parrot. You can figure your way around that one. I’m gonna say ‘no comment’ about Rush Limbaugh.

Q. What’s the worst design critique you’ve ever received?

This isn’t exactly a critique, but a few years ago, at Evernote we had something happen, a security issue, and we made all of our members reset their passwords. We had to do it over a weekend, too. We got a review on the app store, when people were trying to reset their passwords and it just wasn’t working for some, and some person just wrote “Login to my nuts, Evernote.” That person was obviously frustrated and understandably so. We took it and printed it on coffee mugs for some of the team.

Q. What’s the one product you couldn’t live without?

This is a tough one, but the one product I couldn’t live without is probably my toothbrush. A few days without a toothbrush and you start to feel pretty gnarly.

But wait, there's more....
Dumb Questions with Joshuan Taylor
The Complete Series of Interviews