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Jury Selection

Luis Vargas
Senior Product Designer, Ryan

Luis Vargas is the Senior Product Designer at Ryan, a global tax service, software, and technology firm. He is devoted to solving intricate problems at the crossings of people and technology. With over 25 years in the marketing, technology, and television sectors, Luis has a unique blend of design, animation, and web development skills. He began as a graphic designer for TV stations and post-production companies. He worked for marketing agencies as an Art Director, creating creative content for clients such as Direct TV, Revlon, Smirnoff, Sprite, Nikki Minaj, Danny Ocean, Kia, Honda, Toyota, and International banks.

In 2008, Luis worked with a team that conducted research before designing, gathering customer feedback, collecting data, and implementing changes based on feedback. Through this experience, Luis realized that design should be based on understanding human behavior, a practice now known as UX. Since then, Luis has focused on SAAS applications (mobile, web, and IoT). This journey, marked by a dedicated commitment to continuous learning and improvement, fuels his passion for delivering compelling visual narratives and impactful web experiences.

We asked Luis to share his favorites across podcasts and VR Experiences as well as movies and tech innovations from the 90s to celebrate the 30th season of The Communicator Awards.

Luis's Picks

Podcasts

NN/g Ux Podcast
This podcast is phenomenal! Terese Fessenden, a Sr. UX designer, uses storytelling and interviews with experts to discuss in-demand topics related to research, design, and strategy. I can’t recommend this podcast enough. I learned so much from it!

The Futur with Chris Do
Chris Do is one of the best designers in the field. Besides his technical skills, I appreciate his unique approach to managing a creative business and sharing his wide-ranging knowledge. The podcast discusses topics that overlap between design, marketing, and business.

Web Rush
I was introduced to John Papa by taking some of his courses. Since then, I have followed him and the podcast religiously! He is an excellent developer with a deep knowledge of JavaScript. Expert guests discuss problems they’ve encountered with their web applications, and the podcast tackles those challenges. His approach to new technologies is always fascinating. The podcast is a must for anyone interested in tech!

VR Experiences

Eleven Table Tennis
I have always loved playing ping pong! Whenever I have some spare time, you will find me playing VR ping pong. It’s my way of taking a break from reality and getting in my cardio! A few years ago, none of us would have imagined standing in our living room and being engulfed in a surreal experience, playing in real-time with people from anywhere in the world- as if they were there with us! VR submerges you in the experience, sometimes losing track of reality and where you are. VR has (and will continue to) change how we use technology. In a few years, augmented reality will be intertwined with our reality. VR and AR combine everything I love – 3D, technology, and good user experience.

Meta Horizon Workrooms
This experience, despite still needing a few improvements, is one of the most remarkable applications in the field. You connect your VR headset with a computer and are transported to a different reality. It’s like you’re really working on the cloud! I do not doubt that the future of technology will involve this type of sharing environment.

Movies of the 90s

Geri’s Game – Short Film (1997)
Geri’s Game is a standout piece that dives deep into the human spirit and life’s joys, capturing the dance between age and wit. Its groundbreaking animation for its time showcases Pixar’s knack for combining top-notch technology with heartwarming storytelling. The main character, Geri, feels deeply relatable and real with his detailed expressions and movements. Beyond its animation, the film’s strength lies in its story, hinting at life’s challenges depicted through a chess game. This mix of emotion, humor, and advanced animation makes “Geri’s Game” a short film that transformed my understanding of what is possible.

Pulp Fiction (1994)
Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction blew me away. Its blend of raw dialogue and standout characters ignited my passion for video editing and storytelling. With its groundbreaking non-linear style, this film profoundly shaped my appreciation for the interplay between sound and visuals. Tarantino has a knack for crafting compelling stories from unique perspectives, turning them into cinematic masterpieces! The movie inspired me to think outside the box, ensuring each project I undertake includes surprising twists and unforgettable moments through multiple variations that tell the story in different ways.

Back to the Future III (1990)
My passion for time-travel movies originated with Back to the Future. I love the trilogy, and if I catch a glimpse of the film, I need to finish it. Back to the Future emphasizes continuity, predicting consequences, and a deep understanding of cause and effect. In a user-centric design, you need to step aside and see the picture as a whole. In a way, you travel to the past (references) and the future (their needs), like in this movie.

Tech Innovations from the 90s

Internet Browsing (Netscape, Internet Explorer)
I first discovered the power of the internet in the 90s. I navigated forums, communicated with others, read, and learned about different topics- it opened a whole world for me. A new way of interacting with other people and retaining information that before was impossible to think about.

Online Gaming
In the 90s, I was introduced to dial-up internet, which completely changed how we played! My all-time favorite game at the time was Counter-Strike. I still remember my family getting upset with me for using the phone line to play online!

Photoshop
I was introduced to Photoshop by my dad. He knew I had a passion for computers and an eye for design. This changed my life; I could not believe this software’s possibilities! I learned to use it with the help of magazine articles and online forums, which prepared me later in life for my degree and career in graphic design.

 

When you enter your work into The Communicator Awards, it lands in front of jurors including Luis.
Submit your projects before the Extended Entry Deadline on March 15th.

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