Ramsés Cabello, MSc

Interview by

Adrián Cubas

18/11/20

Adrián Cubas is one of the new and noteworthy eSports independent journalists of the Spanish scene. 


He is also one of my childhood friends.


As I was putting together the portfolio, I knew that his interviewing skills would be key to unlock the right words and ideas about myself.


We meet in my house in the south of Gran Canaria. Adrian prepared a few questions and we just started chatting a little bit about everything. Here's the full transcription of the interview:


Adrian and me in Dublin in November 2019

Adrián Cubas

Your portfolio is a collaboration of friends: Aday has been helping you with the content, Israel helped you with some photographs and I’m helping you putting together the about section. Is there anyone else you’re collaborating with?

Ramses Cabello →

Yeah, some of my friends from work has been also helping me out reviewing the projects and proof reading some of the text. Most of the project I will publish are solo ones; but there are a few in which I collaborate with friends. I might publish one where I worked together with a group of designers from Mexico. I would really like to include it.


In one of the projects I collaborate with an ex colleague.


I would like to showcase both solo and group projects. It is a mix of work, passion and experiments.

Adrian Cubas →

Let’s start the conversation talking about, who is Ramsés. What are you doing at the moment?

Ramses Cabello →

I’m living in Denmark at the moment. I work for a Danish/American company doing legal compliance software. 


My current position is Lead Designer, I take care of the design of the product and collaborate and organize the team.


It is a really small team, therefore I’m always experimenting in new areas of design, doing a little bit of everything: interaction, visual, prototyping, accessibility, usability, research…


Adrián Cubas →

It looks like you’re into a lot at the moment, please, talk a little bit more about the work at your company.

Ramses Cabello →

I’ve been there for four years now and as I mentioned I’ve been doing a lot of different things.


Ever since I started in the Lead role, there’s a lot more about the human connection, the social aspect of work and the pursue of looking out for ways of collaborating.


In addition to the daily work, you have to put your team before anything else.

Adrián Cubas →

About titles and roles… what’s your current title? what is “Ramsés”?

Ramsés Cabello →

That’s a great question. In the design field there’s always a whole lot of confusion around titles. Even in other areas.I think this happens as well.


Every year a new flashy title comes around and it just becomes the standard. In my specific case I’ve always been comfortable with being an Interaction Designer.


As time passes I feel comfortable with this title and I think it represents what I do and who I am very well. Joining companies this title always gets overwritten but I’m at Interaction Designer after all.

Adrián Cubas →

It is true, there’s always a lot of new ways to label the different roles. Going back to the start, when was your first encounter with design? 


Any influences?

Ramsés Cabello →

Luckily, in my home despite of not having too much resources, we always had access to technology. 


One of my uncles worked in the tech field so we had a computer very early.

Adrián Cubas →

That’s true, I remember ever since we met each other at school, you always loved computers.

Ramsés Cabello →

Yeah, haha, from 5 or 6 years old I was already in front of a screen. I remember the very first time I got in front of a search engine, back then, Yahoo. The very first thing I typed on that input was: Dragon Ball.


During those years, magazines would release together with a CD full of shareware. My uncle would binge into those magazines and had many laying around. I remember using something called: Iconforge.


Probably that was my very first time designing something. With that program you could create icons, cursors and all sort of pixel art like artwork.

I didn’t even know what design was.

My first design program.

Adrián Cubas →

When you were older around 14-15yo, how did that curiosity continued?

Ramsés Cabello →

When we got Internet, I started to play a lot of online videogames. I would team up with friends and we would create clan/groups for games like Counter Strike or Diablo 1.


I would just go on and make a simple website for our team… haha, that was fun.

Screenshot of Diablo 1

Adrián Cubas →

How did you do that?

Ramsés Cabello →

I would use simple tools, back then Flash was the thing. 


I would just code some HTML+CSS, something simple. Any excuse was a great opportunity to create something and practice.

Adrián Cubas →

True! You also did an online forum about House MD… that was quite popular in Spain and South America. So many memories…


Ramsés Cabello →

Talking to you during this interview… I’m starting to realize that I’ve always been doing this. I can’t remember the first day I thought about design. But I’ve been always interested in this. I think design has always been a tool to communicate and share stuff online.

Adrián Cubas →

Once you finished your high school, when did you decided to jump into Industrial Design?

Ramsés Cabello →

One of my teachers, Daniel, he talked to me about this career. I didn’t really know Industrial Design was a thing. But, he always supported me and talked to me about computers and design.


He definitely lead the way.


Studying Industrial Design, helped me deciding where to go next…

Adrián Cubas

In the design field, is there any other areas that you enjoy?

Ramsés Cabello →

Industrial Design was the first step to get really into design as a profession. 


But after all, it was the bridge that helped me connect the early desires of digital design with really making a living being a designer.

Adrián Cubas

When you graduated, what did you do? You got your diploma and then what?

Ramsés Cabello →

Oh… even before I finished I was already working. During my second year, one of my teachers helped me get into a lot of small projects that were already running.


From that year on, I had a lot of opportunities. I met a lot of different people and had good chances to collaborate.

Adrián Cubas

Did you get paid in those jobs?

Ramsés Cabello →

Yeah, since I was 18, 19, years old, I was already getting paid for designing stuff…

Adrián Cubas

Did you get an office job at some point? How did it feel?

Ramsés Cabello →

Working in an office for the first time was… interesting. 


The very first day I went to the office I felt very geeky. I usually talked a lot about technology, design, and all sort of geeky things. I don’t know why I expected people to be the same, but… I was the only one doing that.


I realized I was a nerd haha.

Adrián Cubas

After graduating, did you expand your knowledge?

Ramsés Cabello →

When I finished the degree I got involved in projects for a few years. I also taught design for two years at University.


I really wanted to work hard, I got into all sort of projects, work with all sort of companies and people… but after a few year I stopped.

I felt like I wanted to go back to University and I decided to study a Masters Degree in User Experience Design.


Working helped me understand what I really liked; and so I just went and got more knowledge on the areas that I liked.

Adrián Cubas

Ah, I see, you got more picky about how you wanted to use your time. Let’s keep looking back… if you were to judge your first design project in 2008, how would you do it? 


What would you tell Ramses from 2008?

Ramsés Cabello →

Ah! That’s tough… my first project was designing a B2B syndication system for a company in the UK. I think, with my current perspective, I would judge it very differently. However, I’m sure I’d find things to be proud of.


A lot of things would surprise me I believe. There’s three advices I would give to my 2008 self:


1You don’t need to know everything.

2You don’t need to have the answers, but need to know how to ask. 

3Trust the people around you.


Overall, don’t worry about things. Everything will workout eventually.

Screenshot I designed for Gigit in the UK

Adrián Cubas

Good advice…

Ramsés Cabello →

Most of these advice is the one I’d share with people starting in the design industry. Working with people who just entered the industry is so beautiful; they’re full of energy. They remind you that we are lucky to be doing what we do. It is so cool!


I love working with people who just started, I learn the most from them.

Adrián Cubas

You talked about working for a company in the UK. Eventually, you travelled there to work on site. Now you’re in Gran Canaria but you also live in Denmark. 


Let me ask you… why going outside of Spain to look for work? What are some of the differences?

Ramsés Cabello →

Me and traveling… well… when I was a kid I would never go out anywhere. I didn’t have a chance to travel. When I started being able to travel, I couldn’t stop.


Almost every year I’d go somewhere, visit some friends and have a nice experience. By traveling, you’d meet new people, have new experiences and learn more about other cultures.


Working outside of Spain is a nice test. It is an experience full of challenges you learn to overcome.

Adrián Cubas

Yeah, it is definitely a challenge.

Ramsés Cabello →

I had a chance to meet a lot of people by going outside of Spain.

Adrián Cubas

Your answers are making me think about the next question. 


Nowadays having a good network is very important; what would you say is the key to create a good network?

Ramsés Cabello →

From my point of view, nowadays is really easy to do that. With the social networks we have access to communities that we couldn’t dream of before. It is a great way to expand your network.


The best way to do so is by sharing what you know. Be open and transparent. It is also important to filter out the noise. Focus on what’s important for you.


Adrián Cubas

That’s true. Use your time wisely.

Ramsés Cabello →

Stay focused.

Adrián Cubas

Here’s a funny question. What are the three things you’d take on a trip?

Ramsés Cabello →

Hm… probably something that allows me to communicate, write, sketch… maybe an iPad? A computer?


Also, I’d take a camera! I love capturing moments and interesting things.


Finally… … a video game! Playing games is very relaxing, it is also a great source of inspiration. I love playing.

Adrián Cubas

That’s cool haha. In addition to this physical items, what are the mindsets that you think are very important to always carry with you as a designer?

Ramsés Cabello →

First of all, curiosity. Ask things, question your surroundings, why are things the way they are?


Second… be curious but also learn when enough is enough. Understand how to stop and get to action.


Finally, collaborate. Design is not an individual activity, it is a collective activity by nature. You design for others, you design with others. It is a conversation at a different level. It is about communication.

Adrián Cubas

How do you stay curious? Do you keep you mind active? In 2020, was this challenging?

Ramsés Cabello →

It is important to stay curious to do so I would keep exploring new areas. I’m learning how to play the piano at the moment. You just keep practicing and it becomes automatic at some point. I’m just learning.


This year was different but, honestly, most of my activities are individual ones: music, drawing, photography, learning languages… – I talk to so many people at work that when

it comes to relaxing, I like to do things on my own.


Adrián Cubas

Your 30th birthday is approaching… I wanted to know, how do see yourself in the next decade?

Ramsés Cabello →

I think that I’d like to be able to learn and teach. 


Teaching is an activity of great responsibility; you’re helping others understand something and shaping knowledge together. If I were to do it again, I want a more practical approach to it. Getting curious by doing something and practicing.


Now that I’m approaching 30… all I can say is that time goes by very fast. My focus is the same: design and learning. I’d like to learn more about the human side of design, find new ways to collaborate.


Probably during the next 5 years I’d like to stay on the same track. I want to be on the design field but I want to open up my horizon; meet people form new parts of the world and understand how they approach design. How does collaboration look in other countries? What are some new ways to solve projects?

Adrián Cubas

Thanks for sharing. How do you think the portfolio is helping you in this journey?

Ramsés Cabello →

I was worried about the portfolio. What kind of image would I show? I was really terrified…

Adrián Cubas →

When you talked to me about the portfolio, I saw it as a sort of memory. A place to keep your projects, capture your process, your story…

Ramsés Cabello →

That’s true. I really change the perspective of how I see my portfolio. I just wanted to create a website to capture what I do, how I do it and who I am. Just being transparent about what I love and what interests me.


The portfolio was a perfect exercise to stop and think. How do I do what I do? Why am I doing this?


What’s the next step?

Doing this interview was a lot of fun. It helped me uncover a lot of memories and had a really good time. This was also a big boost of inspiration to write the text on the bio section.


Thanks for reading & thanks Adrian for making this happen.