Interview with Nicolas Amarelle from United States

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Nicolas Amarelle

Choosing what to where every day is tough, so Nicolas Amarelle came to the rescue to pick your wardrobe for you!

Interview with the 2021 Vega Digital Awards Winner - Nicolas Amarelle

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

I’m Nicolas Amarelle, CEO and founder of CodigoDelSur. We have been in the business of mobile & web development for the past 14 years - pretty much since the first smartphones were launched!

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a digital designer/artist?

I’m actually a computer engineer by trade, but creating things has always been a passion of mine so it was definitely not hard to take the leap into product development!

As for why digital - It’s such an interesting time with rapid technological advances, I felt like it’s time to bridge the gap between toy product and tech.

On a bigger picture, I believe in teamwork - that we are better, stronger, and determined together. Working with art direction means solving business problems in different ways. This requires many good people, the will our belly to connect and inspire people in different ways. The intention is to bring the unexpected when people would never expect that connection. I believe it all, and I dream about a better creative World.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

At CodigoDelSur we specialize in designing & building digital products for startups and enterprise clients. Over the course of the past 14 years we’ve had the chance to work with some of the most innovative companies out there, and we continue going for more!

4What’s your favorite kind of digital design and why?

Is actually hard to just go for one kind of digital design as our favorite because the endless possibilities to improve something in many ways or create something new, keeps amazing us wherever is in product design, branding, animation, website, or any other.

5To you, what makes a “good” design?

A good design is one that is attractive, innovative, intuitive, and something that people actually want to engage with. So many companies fail to understand what their users expect, and that failure is often reflected in their product’s design and user experience.

6Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

We always aim for a design that is easy for everyone to understand, even when the app has multiple features to use, we still find a way to create a clean and organized design. It will ultimately depend on the type of project, its industry and its target audience, but we want to keep it modern and always innovative.

7Tell us about your design process.

It varies from project to project, as some clients may already have an idea of what they want, and some others have no clue of how they want their app to look like. When it comes to adding more screens to an existing app or a website, it is important for us to know if the client wants to keep the existing style or shift to something new. When it comes to a project that we have to start from scratch, the team has a first planning meeting with the client to know all the details: screens, features, color preferences, etc. Within the first week, we work on the first designs providing multiple styling options for them to choose from so we have a starting point and we can take it from there.

8Where do you draw inspiration from?

We part from the client's ideas and with that it is easier for us to picture the way most of the project would look and the best way for the users to use and find everything in it. We like asking for help from other members of the team too, not only because of their experience, but also to have more ideas and feedback that can help us get to the best version possible.

Alternatively, I recently mis-took a piece of broken plastic on the street for something completely different, which spawned a new game concept.

I try to stay in an abundant mindset. This keep ideas flowing.

9What current trends in digital design (or really anything digital related) are you most excited about?

Following digital design trends is extremely important so we can use them to our advantage and continue to innovate, instead of sticking always to the same style. There are many new trends this year and it’s hard to choose one as it will ultimately depend on the kind of project we are working on. Some trends may be industry-specific so we have to be familiar with all of them to make sure we have all the input to then create outstanding and innovative designs for our clients.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2021 Vega Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

We’re absolutely thrilled to have won this award! It helps us validate our plans for future products and prove that we’re indeed moving in the right direction..

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2021 Vega Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

We choose to submit our work for Outfitted because we’re absolutely aligned with their mission, which is to empower people to make a better use of their wardrobes, while fighting the waste generated by the fast fashion industry in the process. The app has a sleek look & feel, as well as a very intuitive layout.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The biggest challenge was the timeline that we had, as there were many features to be added that exceeded the scope of an MVP, so we had to narrow down that list with the client to make sure that we could focus on the main ones and deliver those in the best way possible. It’s better to have fewer features but the ones we include are awesome and blow your mind, instead of having multiple common features that don’t make your app stand out from the rest. So we chose to focus on some specific ones in order to deliver the top-notch app Outfitted is today.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

We have actually won multiple awards over the course of the 14 years we’ve been in this business, but with each award comes a fresh new feeling of satisfaction and a renewed energy to keep going for more!

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about the digital industry?
  1. How we can use it to minimize world problems, whether it is the environment, daily work or connecting with people.
  2. That it’s always evolving and at a fast pace so you’ll never get bored. There’s always something new and we have to be constantly learning and adapting.
  3. It encourages innovation.
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the digital industry?

Uruguay has been a beacon in the engineering space for quite some time now, and we’re absolutely proud to have played a part in this process. Education in engineering is excellent, and from a regulatory standpoint there are many benefits, as well as certainties, for companies to set up their operations here.

16Where do you see the evolution of digital industry going over the next 5-10 years?

It’s already in process and evolving at a fast pace but everything involving machine learning, drones, artificial intelligence and IoT is the future of the digital industry. We are already experts in drone related apps, and are diving into all the rest to be prepared to help our clients with that expertise.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring Vega Award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Follow your heart and your gut, but always make sure to listen to your audience and understand exactly what they want!

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the digital industry?

A lot of practice, learning from someone else's work and studying about the subject they want to improve. Also, following closely new updates, tools and frameworks that constantly come up to stay up-to-date.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

That most of our successful projects were projects we were convinced that they would never succeed.

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

The ones that inspired most of our country’s entrepreneurs: our 1950’s national soccer team that were able to become soccer world champions against all odds.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Be committed to your business, continue learning and adapting to changes, and never settle for the comfortable things. Even when it seems that your company is doing awesome, it can always be more awesome, so don’t ever stop pushing.

Winning Entries

Outfitted - The ultimate outfit discovery app!

Outfitted - The ultimate outfit discovery app!

Outfitted is the ultimate app for outfit discovery that expands your wardrobe possibilities! This outfit curation and discovery tool is designed to redefine your relationship with your wardrobe and your style. The idea behind Outfitted is to transform your closet by making it 100% virtual. It allows you to add your clothing and generate outfit suggestions for every piece. With this app, users can explore new ways of wearing pieces…
(read more at Vega Digital Awards)

Nicolas Amarelle

Choosing what to where every day is tough, so Nicolas Amarelle came to the rescue to pick your wardrobe for you!

Need more fashion ideas to stand out from the rest? Check out our interview with Shaly Guo here!