Meet Brandon Mullins
Bold Penguin’s UX/UI Designer
Bold Penguin wants to create a commercial insurance experience that is entirely frictionless for business owners, agents, and carriers alike. That’s why we brought in UX/UI aficionado Brandon Mullins to design a user experience that is so intuitive, it feels like second nature. Keep reading to find out what makes his mind tick.
Career philosophy: Listen more than you talk and look outside of your comfort zone to find answers.
Hobbies: Mountain biking, playing video games, podcast production.
Superhuman Power: The ability to fly.
What does a UX designer do?
UX designers create the best possible experience for users of a product, software tool, application, website, etc. Because experiences come in limitless variety, a big part of being a UX designer is knowing a bunch of different disciplines and how to apply them to achieve a specific outcome.
What led to your career in UX/UI design?
I skipped college and started as a designer right out of high school. For a few years, my focus was mostly print, but I always loved the idea of the Internet as a medium. Eventually, I started to design website experiences. Then, I joined a small team of interactive designers where I was exposed to a bunch of different types of projects, including development, 3D, augmented reality, motion graphics, whatever was experimental at the time.
What brought you to Bold Penguin?
I’ve always had a thing for startups because of the excitement, the fast pace, and the chaos. I knew Ilya (Founder and CEO) and Ben (Co-Founder and CTO) from prior work, and they contacted me when Bold Penguin was gaining traction. At the time, I had my own business and limited availability, but I did freelance work for the guys when I could. Eventually, I was sold on the idea of going to work for them full time. I knew what kind of leaders they were, I saw remarkable potential in the product, and I really wanted to get back to focusing entirely on my craft.
What is the boldest thing that you've ever done?
My boldest move happened recently. I bought an RV, which was a big investment. The entire time I was making the purchase, I kept asking myself if I was crazy. But I love mountain biking and adventuring, and an RV is going to make long weekend trips more accessible and more fun.
What does an average day look like at the office for you?
My day-to-day can feel a lot like the movie Groundhog Day. Once I design something, I will rework that design over and over again until I nail down the best experience. I also get a lot of surprise projects, like designing posters, animating videos, or working on our website experience.
What do you find most fulfilling about your job?
I love when I get to see somebody use the experience I designed and validate that all the assumptions I made were correct. It’s a great feeling when the experience is as easy as I intended, or when someone is pleasantly surprised by something I created.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Not knowing anything about commercial insurance. But, in many ways my lack of industry experience is valuable. It allows me to get inside the mindset of business owners, who also don’t know much about commercial insurance, and create an experience that makes sense to them.
What makes you particularly good at your job?
I’m very good at removing myself from my work and looking objectively at the experiences I design to find ways to improve or enhance those experiences.
What is your mission for Bold Penguin?
I want every interaction that a user has with our company to feel like it’s a part of one brand. I want to make life as easy as possible for the small business owners, insurance companies, and agents that use our products.
So as a non-commercial insurance person what would you say to get somebody interested in or excited about commercial insurance?
I would focus on the statistics. We’re turning a 20-week process into a 20-minute process, which is crazy. That's a huge deal, especially if your business is at risk and in need of coverage.
What makes a technology company successful?
Adding value to someone’s life. Be it their job or their everyday life; too many tech companies focus all of their attention on the technology, and not enough attention on how that technology serves a greater purpose. Bold Penguin is really good at balancing both.