288 - Mandy Thao
Mandy Thao is a Product Designer in New York City.
She is currently a Product Designer at Squarespace where she actually began as an intern in 2021.
Prior to that, she was a Made in the Future Fellow where she was mentored by design leaders from Loom, Netflix, Google, and more.
Twitter → twitter.com/itsmandythao
Inside Mandy's Workspace
- noho move chair with sunset topper
- Macbook Pro (16 in, 15 in)
- iPad Pro (11 in) with Pencil
- AirPods Max
- AirPods Pro
- Magic Mouse
- LaCie hard drive with Ivation case
- IKEA KYYRE stool
- Concrete coaster
- Tech pouch
- Muji open flat notebooks
- Handmade ceramic cup
- Hanging pothos plant
- Ponytail palm plant
- Rice paper pendant light
- Sleeping Snorlax figure
What is the most useful item in your workspace?
Airpods Max, surprisingly! The noise cancellation is great. They also look nice on camera and add a tad of volume to my hair - a tiny, but very important thing. No bad hair days with these!
How do you spark creativity?
Lots of ways depending on what's needed. Sometimes it's inspiration and I'll browse social for a few minutes to get some juices flowing. Other times sitting in crit and being awed by others lights that fire. Many times though, it's just being very conscious of my schedule and making sure I have chunks of uninterrupted time. Another exercise I've been doing recently is imagining what mentors or stakeholders would say about the work in front of me (does anyone else do this??). That usually gets my gears turning on how to push ideas further.
How do you manage work-life balance?
Definitely by setting realistic expectations and communicating them to my team. What changed the game though, was enrolling in a class. In the past, I'd find myself working late simply because it was fun. But it's important to keep healthy boundaries and once there was something exciting and creative I was expected to do after work (even if just once a week), I learned to log off more consistently.
What do you think is the main benefit of remote work?
If you couldn't tell from my setup, I like moving around during work and not being too stationed. Changing environments has powerful effects on my mentality and productivity, and remote work has helped me make full use of this. I'll spend time at my desk, move to the dining table, sit in a cafe, out on the roof, or pop into the office. It's made every day feel more dynamic and allows me to have diverse experiences to break up the work week.