Nathan Borror

Facebook

August 2018 – Present

Product Design Director

During my first couple years back I worked on projects that helped bring the Family more closer together. Now I’m helping imagine a future full of healthy regulation 🖖


February 2011 – April 2014

Product Designer & Product Design Manager

Facebook was my first job at (what was still considered at the time) a startup. Before joining I was trying to quickly upgrade rural newspapers across the country to a more hopeful future from a basement in Kansas. Moving to Palo Alto was a completely new experience.

There were a total of 20 product designers the day I started which seemed like a lot considering I had come from a much smaller team. The first year was a whirlwind, I was tasked with redesigning the mobile sharing experience, adding structured ways for people to say who they were with and where they were (tagging). As Google+ was rolling out I took on more work to help shore up differences with what we considered a serious competitor. Facebook had a 5000 friends limit which penalized public figures so we added Subscribe, a way for people to follow the public posts of people they admired (it was later renamed to Follow).

Towards the end of 2011 I was encouraged to join a small team of designers working on a new OS for a Facebook branded phone. I spent most of my time re-imagining the communication layer which included chat, voice and relationship management tools. This eventually led me to joining a growing team of folks working on a new standalone app called Messenger. While there I helped ship easier ways for people to privately share more kinds of content, see who was active in the app and take over the primary SMS client on Android.

Throughout most of 2012 I had been learning Objective-C in the mornings, to maintain my motivation I started cloning Snapchat. Snapchat at the time was so difficult to use yet so simple to clone — a perfect starter project. I had been sharing progress with other designers and word got around which lead to a mad rush in December to see how quickly we could ship something. Days before Apple’s App Store was schedule to close for the holidays we were able to ship a product similar to Snapchat but with disappearing video, text and pokes! We called it Poke because in many ways it kind of related to fun (and sometimes awkward) feature in Facebook that had been around since its inception.

After the Poke experience the company started to invest more in stand-alone apps, creating an effort called Facebook Creative Labs which spawned a lot of exciting ways for people to interact and share. I got involved in something called Shots and helped come up with the idea Moments.

During my final year I became the Product Design Manager for the Photos team where we grew the team and took on more responsibilities. I noticed myself becoming more distant from the work I loved so I decided to leave and see what was happening outside of the first “startup” I had ever worked for.


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Patents

Because it’s fun to see how patent attorneys describe work 🧐