Design Chats

A Look Inside Design at Viacom

4 min read
Andy Orsow
  •  Feb 19, 2013
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We’re tracking down InVision users inside the world’s most amazing companies to discover their favorite tools, books, methods, and the philosophy behind what makes them so awesome. This week we interviewed Matthew Bredehoft, Product Manager at Viacom in New York.

What are the top 3 essentials in your workspace?

  1. Internet: I need the internet because it’s my main resource for everything I do.
  2. Music: I listen to a ton of music when I do design because it keeps my work flow going. I use Spotify Premium so that whether I’m at home or on the subway, all my music is in one place.
  3. State of Mind: As a product guy here at Viacom, I am very very busy, meeting with multiple brands every day and working on about nine different products at a time. For me, it’s essential to step back and set aside time to concentrate on actually designing.Twitter Logo

Do you ever work outside of the office? Where?

Yeah, sometimes I like to work from coffee shops as long as I have my music and my headphones so I can create that shell around myself and zone out. I work from home occasionally, but it’s not my main place because I am not totally set up there. I am more comfortable in my cubicle at work because I have everything that I need and all my resources are around me. I can ask any question that needs to be answered in the office, but if I am at home I have to email someone and wait for a response which slows down the process. Being here at work at in my cubicle helps me really jam.

Do you do any sketching on paper?

All the time, especially in meetings when we are doing overviews and reviews. Not only do I like to sketch what we are talking about, but sometimes I will just start sketching strange characters all over the place. By the end of a meeting, I usually have a full page full of random cartoon characters and three or four really good notes that I should be concentrating on. I find it easier to take in what I’m hearing during the meeting if I can draw.Twitter Logo

The VPs and higher-ups that I show InVision to are really impressed by how easy it is to see my work and leave feedback right then and there.

How do you present your work to your clients?

I strictly use InVision now. There are a ton of brands coming together here at Viacom and InVision allows me to put my design on the web once. Then the different brands can comment on it and I can make the changes. Because it is all in one place I never have to worry about versions or who has what.

Tell us about some of your other favorite tools for the creative process.

Tell us about the equipment you’re using.

  1. I use both a Mac and PC. Lately I have become more of a Mac guy because it is so much simpler. It’s very visual in the way it is laid out so I can get right into my designs.
  2. I like to have 2 screens, with at least one of them being 24″. I put all my tools and palettes on the smaller screen and put whatever I am working on on the larger screen.
  3. Bose QuietComfort headphones
  4. Moleskine notebook
  5. I am digging InVision
  6. DropBox keeps all my docs in one place

What music do you listen to when you’re designing?

Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

What is your ritual to “get in the zone” when you’re working on a project?

I make sure that I am ready to work. I make sure I have all the notes I need, all my questions have been answered, and I know the direction I need to take it. Then I just block out that space and time, turn on some music, and get cracking.

As a designer, you have to get used to being pulled in so many different directions.

How does InVision help you in your design process?

InVision really helps because I have so many brands and so many product people who need to see my work. With InVision I can put my wires up and get feedback from everyone, all in one place. It’s super easy for me to take down the file, do the work that I need to do, and put it back up. Before I had InVision I used to have to sit down with each individual person and print it out, or sit at their computer with them and ask them to give me feedback. Now they can review it in their own time and space and they can say what they want to say.

I’ve been really happy with InVision. The VPs and higher-ups that I show it to are really impressed with how easy it is to see my work and leave feedback right then and there. It’s awesome because I can address the comments that same day and re-upload the screens for them to look at. They are blown away by how easy it is.

Where does your inspiration come from?

  • Béhance
  • 500px
  • Video game art: I am a big time video gamer and I really like the UI design of those games.

Who do you look up to as a designer?

I like taking all the photography, video games, apps, and mobile web design that I experience and letting it shape my own style. I don’t really follow any other designers.

What is your favorite part of the design process?

Living in New York and working at this job is really crazy. There is always so much going on, so I really enjoy the time that I get to sit back and do the actual design work. Also, nothing beats getting great feedback from people you respect.Twitter Logo

What is the most frustrating aspect of design?

There are so many people attached to one project here at Viacom that it’s hard to please everyone. As a designer, you have to get used to being pulled in so many different directions.Twitter Logo

About Matthew

Matthew is a Product Manager at Viacom in New York. Follow him on Twitter and 500px, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

About Viacom

Viacom connects with our diverse audiences everywhere they are. As a leading global entertainment content company, we know what our viewers want and proudly deliver it across the globe through television, motion pictures and a wide range of digital media.


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