Hulu Designer Spotlight: Theo Robinson

Hulu designer spotlight feature on design manager, Theo Robinson. Man with hat, sitting and smiling off into the distance.

Every so often, we pass the mic to a member of our Product Design team. What inspires them, what are they watching, a new band they love, a book they can’t put down — it’s all fair game. This month, we’re spotlighting proud plant parent & Marvel-fan, Theo Robinson.

What is your role at Hulu? What do you work on?

I am a Manager on the Viewer Growth team. My team experiments across the product with the aim of making it a simpler, more intuitive experience. We focus on the acquisition and retention of Hulu viewers through the Non-Subscriber Browse Experience, Product Marketing Landing Pages, Experimentation, as well as Upsells and Monetization.

What is your favorite part about designing for Hulu?

Coming from the agency side where deadlines and client feedback can tend to influence the overall product vision, I appreciate that at Hulu we get more time to explore research and ideate on projects to develop the ideal product for users. I also like the fact I get to work on products and features that will be used by such a large audience. It doesn’t hurt that my parents actually understand what I work on now.

Any advice for new designers?

My main advice to new designers is to always force yourself to be uncomfortable and learn new things. As a new designer, it can be easy to focus on the aspects of design that you like or feel that you thrive in and tend to neglect the rest. The Product Design world is constantly evolving and changing, adding new tools, styles, and platforms. As designers, it’s our job to learn and grow as well so that we are well-rounded and can tackle complex design problems.

What do you like to do when you’re not designing?

When I’m not designing you’ll probably find me sketching something or watching anything Marvel. I also like to travel (pre-Covid) and experience new cultures, food, music, did I mention food? My favorite cities so far have been Cape Town and Paris.

What inspiration sources do you use/look at?

I look at a lot of the popular design award websites. I’m also constantly pinning and screenshotting interesting work on my phone. Staying up to date on design trends and UX innovation is key to pushing our work to the next level.

How do you stay creative?

I stay creative by being curious and open to new experiences. I think that my creative output tends to reflect the things that I am inspired by at the moment. It could be a book, a new movie I watched, or a trip to another country. Finding ways to see things from a fresh perspective tends to fuel my creativity.

What’s your design mantra?

Make something users love.

How did you get involved in design/what drew you to UX design?

I actually got into design by going to work with my Aunt for an elementary school project. She was an Art Director for a local magazine. That day, she let me design the magazine cover and from then on I was hooked. In college, I studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design. After graduation, I quickly realized that the print industry was on the decline. So I taught myself Web/UI design and paid my dues at my first agency (apologies to those first few clients). After working as a Visual Designer in the agency world for several years I realized I wanted to work on projects more holistically from a UX perspective, which led me to Product Design.

Lastly, what are you watching on Hulu?

I just started watching Snowfall and I’m hooked. I’m glad I waited, the binge-watching is real right now.

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