271 - Nuria Quero
Nuria Quero is a freelance designer based in Barcelona, focused in UX design for interactive experiences and games, through web, AR & emerging tech.
She has worked with companies like The Mill, Unit 9, Nexus or Preloaded, for a variety of different clients such as Nickelodeon, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Lexus, La Liga or Sky.
In her free time, Nuria experiments with other forms of creativity, and publishes videos on Youtube about her daily life with the goal of demystifying design areas like XR or becoming a freelance.
Nuria also coordinates and manages Lovers Magazine, a diverse and inclusive online publication, featuring designers and creatives from all over the world.
Twitter → twitter.com/_NuriaQuero
Youtube → Nuria’s Channel
Inside Nuria's Workspace
One of the things I like the most about my studio is how much natural light it gets. When we moved to this flat in Barcelona, we knew right away this room would be the office space. Me and my husband both work from home, so although this room was initially intended to be the master bedroom, it didn’t make any sense to use it as that. It’s the brightest room in the flat, and working with natural light it’s just a non-negotiable.
In terms of my setup, the first thing I got was the monitor and the chair, and I built up from there. From that February 2021, until now, a lot has changed. We got larger desks, a proper monitor arm, keyboard & mouse, and a few more things. But in reality, my setup is not very fancy. I’ve just got things, as I’ve needed them.
I’m quite minimal, so I don’t need a lot to get work down. A lot of clutter, just makes me anxious. That’s why a have the drawers next to me: anything I don’t want to see, I put it inside, in its own designated space.
Also, I don’t own a lot of tech stuff, for the same reason. But at the same time, when I need something (like a webcam or headphones), I invest in something that gives me a bit more quality and that will last longer.
- Laptop: MacBook Pro 2020 13’
- Tablet: iPad Pro & Apple Pencil
- Monitor: LG Monitor 27’
- Trackpad: Apple Magic Trackpad
- Keyboard: Apple Magic Keyboard
- Webcam: Logitech Brio 4K
- Microphone: Røde VideoMic GO II
- Headphones: Sony WH1000XM4
- Monitor Mount: Huanuo
- Portable Harddrive: SanDisk Extreme Portable HardDrive
- Harddrive: WD Elements HardDrive
- Board: Ikea Skådis
- Stationery: Muji
- Wall Illustrations: Tintin Official Store, Vonik Design and mine.
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Premiere
What is your favorite item in your workspace?
There are a few things I really like having around.
First, one of my latest acquisitions, the Ikea Skådis board that every designers seems to have. It allows me to keep my desk empty but having things I use every day (like headphones, notebooks, etc) at an arm’s reach. And it’s quite aesthetic.
In terms of product, I’m quite obsessed with anything that Muji does. I find a lot of calm in writing down on paper or sketching, and having a pen and notebook that I know I enjoy, feels silly but helps a lot. And I also love the Karlsson Flip Clock that I have on my shelf. It was a gift from a friend and it’s a beautiful piece to have on display.
In general, I don’t like to get distracted by unnecessary things. So everything I have around is either something I use everyday or something that looks nice.
How do you spark creativity?
My secret is long walks. I use my dog Mona to just get out and walk for an hour or longer every day. I’m very fortunate to live in an area in Barcelona, very near to the Collserola mountain range, which is perfect to walk, away from the city bustle.
Lately I’ve been taking part in activities that require creativity but not necessarily looking at a screen: things like tufting rugs, pottery or embroidery are different ways to be creative and try out new things that I can bring into my work.
How embroidery helps designing for augmented reality, you ask? No idea. But I swear it does something.
Books are also a great source of inspiration and in particular, the Counterprint website, and everything they share and publish.
How do you manage work-life balance?
The hardest challenge of working from home and being a freelance: disconnecting from work. It is definitely something I’ve got better at, but it is a hard one.
If I’m working on a project that runs 9 to 5, it’s an easy one. I close the door to my office and turn off my laptop at the end of the day. But that’s not most days.
If I’m not working on anything specific or I’m just in between projects, I still try to keep the 9 to 5 mindset, and do some things to help me separate work and personal life, like meeting friends after work or doing activities that require me to get of the flat.