Julia Korbut is a NYC based 3D artist and freelance multidisciplinary designer.

I help bring new products to market with design expertise, collaboration, and craft: from concept, strategy and brand identity to digital product design. Over the past ten years, I’ve created web and mobile experiences from consumer apps and lifestyle e-commerce to social games, AR face filters and custom emoji. Nice to meet you.


Making money less awkward


With an original combination of finance and social media and ubiquity with the youth, Venmo is probably one of the most liked financial apps out there. My responsibilities at Venmo varied for my three-year tenure, from internal tools to in-app multi-platform design. My initial focus was Operations, serving almost a dozen internal teams and ensuring the app itself adhered to regulatory, security and privacy standards. Later on, I made sure promotional efforts were consistent across different platforms and collaborated with internal and external partners. I’ve also designed and maintained Venmo’s exclusive, seasonal emoji set.

Venmo's custom emojis were created as an additional layer of self-expression content within the feed. The challenge was leveraging existing technical capabilities while providing added interest for day to day use. The resulting emoji set was well received and became a sort of secret knowledge for friends to share. Discovery was subtle and contextual as well, relying on emoji autocomplete to provide relevant and surprising combinations. These custom emoji turned out a success, increasing engagement such as likes and comments on posts. They were also one of the first tools used in collaborating with third party brands directly in the feed, as a great social marketing device.


New money for the internet generation


Bitcoin was supposed to be for everyone but ended up being owned mostly by old money. Gracias exists to change that and to put crypto in the hands of more people outside of the finance world. It's also all about learning by doing. Finance, and cryptocurrency specifically, is full of confusing and lengthy documentation and explanation. This is made evident by 'explain bitcoin to me' ranking high on Google searches. Sending Bitcoin to friends is one great way to get familiar with crypto, whether as a token of appreciation or just as a way to get used to virtual coins.

For Gracias, I’ve designed a brand system inspired by early internet retro-futurism for early internet money. With a hand-lettered wordmark (that even forms into a pattern) it certainly stands out in the crypto space. This brand system went beyond just colorful Y2K aesthetics though. My focus when creating a brand system for digital products is always the end-user experience. So the brand system was a useful tool in designing the app in a more nuanced way: Utilizing pauses in user flows as opportunities for the brand to shine, via bright avatars and emojis. Brightening up endless form fields and onboarding flows with visually appealing typography. And using type to make crypto's notorious long decimal points clear and visually appealing instead of hiding them altogether.


Not just for coffee snobs


Go get em tiger, or GGET for short is a coffee brand in LA with a cult following. Founded by barista champions, it takes quality seriously without sacrificing hospitality – or alienating non-coffee-nerds. I helped launch their all-in-one online store and coffee subscription service, consulting on user experience and refining customer flows. GGET's blend of approachable coffee knowledge, personable hospitality, and technical mastery makes it an instant favorite. You can even text a dedicated barista to order ahead of time, ask coffee questions, or just say hi! GGET was about to launch their very own coffee beans, something they've never done before. This website needed to turn consideration into action, detail their offering in approachable terms and keep the high touch attentiveness GGET is known for.

This project started with one on one interviews with coffee lovers in and outside of LA. From these conversations, it was clear that brewing coffee at home was a small luxury, elevating everyday moments. It was a meditative experience that's an extension of visiting your favorite coffee shop, or even city, from the comfort of your own home. Interviewees loved good coffee but didn't always want to fuss about it too much. It also seemed difficult for them to know what they're getting when buying coffee online. Out of these conversations, key website goals were identified for conversion and ongoing customer relationships. GGET's Flavor Field lets you buy coffee visually, browsing it along with the language commonly used to describe it. The barista text line is displayed front and center, for any coffee musings or questions you may have. And subscribing to beans is made simple, but not without a human touch – making you feel like you're part of LA's coffee home team.


Community driven commerce


Drop, formerly known as Massdrop, is the internet's leading retailer for obsessively curated products. It has all the best-reviewed gear in one place whether you're interested in mechanical keyboards, high-quality audio equipment, or fine cooking. But it's not just for browsing products or shopping based on a variety of interests. What makes Drop unique is that for years, it has been fostering communities around these interests rivaled by very few corners of the internet. More than a million users visit Drop to check the latest releases and stay in touch with their communities. With this website redesign, the goal was not only to incorporate brand updates and visual changes but to streamline the web app in context with the depth of all it has to offer.

One of the first stages of this project was creating a visual style guide and pattern library. It involved maintaining consistency and clarity across polls, photos, videos, reviews and of course shopping components. Shopping in itself had many layers. As a community-based platform, you can not only buy products off the shelf – you could also comment during the production process and fund products in development. Specific visual components were created for the variety of stages and product categories offered in store, and a story based narrative approach was utilized for community-based Drops. The resulting design distills down the many features of Drop without adding any complexity.


Fighting pay gaps with data


Pay gaps are real across different identity lines. Gender, race, and ethnicity unfairly affect the ability to lead successful careers or move up socioeconomic ladders. One thing that still supports these gaps is shame and reluctance around openly discussing money. Various experiments highlighted pay transparency as one of the ways to mitigate unfair salary inequities. While many resources exist for pay scale for specific companies or industries, they're often not inclusive of any demographic data, which makes it hard to pinpoint inequality at scale. They also involve creating accounts, providing personal data, or paywalling resources which is not always helpful and can even put people at risk. Tulle is an upcoming project, slated for early 2020, that brings transparency into this conversation and helps anyone know their market worth while helping others do the same.