Meet The Team: Hirumi Nanayakkara

An Interview with our UX/UI Designer

June 5, 2013

How long have you worked at littleBits?

I started freelancing around February 2012, but came on full-time in July.

What led you to the position?

I was in grad school at the Parsons Design + Technology program when a mentor of mine, Adriana Young, introduced me to Ayah. I went to Beirut for a summer and interned for her in 2011 at her nonprofit Karaj-– the first new media lab in Beirut for designers, artist, hackers, etc. At the time I was fumbling around with arduino for school– usually taking hours for me to get what I wanted done, when Ayah showed me prototypes for these bits that snap together with magnets. For example, this jack o’ lantern that took me at least 2 straight days to do, could have been made with littleBits in a matter of minutes. I was dumbfounded.

The Harry Potter Pumpkin from HN on Vimeo.

Ayah and I stayed in touch and I did some freelance work for littleBits in its early days. After graduation, I embarked on ye old job hunt and no other company really compared. Ayah works at hyperspeed. Her vision and motivation inspired me so much as an intern and now as a colleague. I’m very proud to say that I work for one of the few start-ups that is led by a female founder. We strive to enable every person to invent their own creations and the team here is absolutely phenomenal. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends to troubleshoot problems and celebrate victories with.

Describe a typical work day.


I hi-5 this guy a lot.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 10.07.43 AM
I monitor this guy’s bubble nest.

I’m also the CVO*. As the UX/UI designer, I have a very unique opportunity to be the link between two worlds I find incredibly interesting (hardware + software) and make that experience meaningful and engaging.

*Chief Vine Officer

If you could be any Bit, what Bit would you be?

We like to classify ourselves here by what Bit we are. I would say I’m the dimmer because it’s hard to say on first glance whether its on or off, but it has the capability of hitting every variable on the spectrum.

dimmer_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I could be any Bit, I’d have to say the upcoming Speaker Bit.

What’s your favorite thing about New York City?

Where else can you get delicious Korean Fried Chicken at 4 in the morning?

What are your favorite companies and industry trends at the moment?

I’m a huge fan of Bjarke Ingels and his architecture firm BIG. They do such beautiful and playful designs that thoughtfully incorporate sustainable development. I’m forever in love with Everlane and the user experience on their website– everything is so elegantly laid out and so intuitive to use. As far as trends go, annotating what we see on the internet is continually something companies are trying to innovate on. I’m really intrigued by what Rapgenius and Thinglink are doing, and am excited to see how their vision develops. Oh, and Vine. All day. All night.

Any advice for people looking to create with Bits?

yoda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look beyond the Bit, you must. It’s easy to snap together the Bits, but the real magic is what you do with them. Frog Design blew my mind with what I’d like to call “Bit on Bit” action– a Rube Goldberg type of interaction where the Bits control each other.

Build-It Noise Band from ThisThatLab on Vimeo.