I Want To Simplify Design For Everyone

I’m James Cabrera, a product designer with 10+ years experience in visual design, UX, UI, and front-end development for prototyping. I’ve spoken at design conferences internationally and I am obsessed with learning new things.

Refinery29 Channel Pages

I helped to define the overall architecture and visual design of the card system powering Refinery29's Channel Pages. At the Product conception phase I was responsible for creating a fully working prototype to help shape the Product vision and also pitch the overall concept.

Read about the logic here.


I served as the Design Lead on Refinery29's wildly popular debut iOS app. For my role, I set and defined the main UX patterns and interactions while also overseeing the implementation of the visual design through to production. In the concept phase I produced design tests and reinforced content principles to shape the experience of the app. I was also responsible for design iterations immediately after launch.

Read about the design process here.


I led the overall execution of the online experience to Refinery29's premiere event, 29Rooms. I guided the overall user flow & interaction paradigms of the site while also carrying out the entire front-end development of the page within a tight timeline of only a couple weeks.

Visit 29rooms.com

Behind the Headlines

Prior to the 2017 Election, Refinery29 covered the story of Ilhan Omar, a Somali American politician who was running for a seat in the US House of Representatives. We took this opportunity to break down a longer video piece into a more consumable format on mobile web. I served as the Design Lead to direct the interaction patterns and execute on the Front-End Development of this drastically different storytelling experience.

Tempest Platform

At Say Media, I worked as the Visual Designer for Tempest, their proprietary publishing platform. My main task was to define and establish the variables that would visually scale the codebase for multiple brands with minimal impact to the markup. I was responsible for transitioning the first 25 brands onto Tempest.

Tempest CMS

At Say Media, I also had worked as a Visual Designer on the Editor-facing custom CMS for Tempest where I completed designs for story management, editing, and publishing workflows. I also established the foundation for the styling system to be used across the CMS.

SXSW 2017

For SXSW 2017 I organized and moderated a panel discussion on using Brand Voice as a User Interface device. On the panel I had invited Alex Schleifer (Airbnb), Jennifer Puno (ilovecreatives.com), and Matt Hartman (Betaworks) to discuss all types of strategies that can be employed from individuals to businesses on how to leverage Voice to engage with audiences.

Form Function & Class 6

I gave a talk called "Please Recycle: How I Learned To Become A Product Designer" at Form Function & Class 6, a design confernce that was held in Quezon City, Philippines. In this session I retraced my career path to show how the seemingly lazy act of recycling designs actually makes for good Product Design.

World Usability Day 2016

I gave a talk on the design process behind Refinery29's iOS app, ThisAM, at World Usability Day 2016, a design conference held in Rome. In this session I discussed the everything from testing out early concepts to how the launch of the app influenced future projects.


All of my creative side projects live under my asrequired moniker. This is basically my playground for anything I want to try that are outside the constraints of what I'm tasked to do day-to-day for others. This is the work I choose to do for myself.

Visit asrequired.com