261 - Yann-Edern Gillet

Yann-Edern Gillet is a product designer, engineer and maker working from Paris, France

Yann-Edern Gillet is currently a Product Designer at Specify, Framer Partner, and provides design services as a freelancer. He loves playing with APIs, doing experiments on his personal website, and creating tools and content around design and code — most recently with Framer.

He recently launched Pilcrow, a weekly newsletter dedicated to bringing inspiration, reflection, and tips to designers and makers.

Twitter → twitter.com/yannglt


What is your favorite item in your workspace?

I would say my mechanical WASD Keyboard with custom keycaps. After a lot of research, I ordered it a few years ago and spent hours creating variations to finally get something I love with a matte black base and blue and red accent colors.

I received an Apple Studio Display very recently after winning Framer Awards 2022, and I must say it’s a masterpiece of design and technology.

How do you spark creativity?

Give what your body and brain need to work appropriately: sleep, food, water, inspiration, time, and constraints to explore.

Without inspiration, you’ll do the same things again and again. Without time you’ll never get cool project ideas. Without constraints, you’ll never build them.

Write all the ideas you have the second you have a spark. I got 80% of mine while walking, preparing meals, or tidying up my apartment, so I’ll encourage you to take breaks, breathe some fresh air (with or without music on) and observe your surroundings.

How do you manage work-life balance?

I set boundaries a long time ago: I don’t have my work email on my devices, nor Slack, Figma, Framer, Linear, or Notion accounts. I think removing the possibility of “quickly check if [insert here a reason]” is a big step. But it may not prevent your brain from thinking about it, so I use distractions that don’t require a screen and force me to use my hands for something other than typing keystrokes and shortcuts: I build LEGO sets, cook meals and try new espresso recipes.

This may not be enough sometimes. To fully disconnect, I need to go to the gym, put on my favorite playlist and let the body do its work. Almost two years ago, I started using Endel, a service that provides personalized soundscapes to help you focus, relax, and sleep — backed by neuroscience. I used it every night and for deep work sessions.

What do you think is the main benefit of remote work?

I have the chance to have a dedicated space in my apartment when working for Specify, myself, or freelance clients — this isn’t the case for everyone, so I’m grateful for that. The time you earn by not having to commute every morning and evening is a huge benefit. Creating your very own little studio is also definitely a thing! Also, as an introvert, I appreciated being able to control the ambiance of my space: absolute calm, low-fi beats, or a great Hip-Hop playlist.
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