At ReadyForZero we strive to always be available and accountable to our users. That’s why we personally respond to every e-mail that’s sent to our support inbox and why we have our pictures on the About page. Now we’re sharing our stories here so you can get to know the fun and diverse people that are working hard every day to make ReadyForZero better. We hope you enjoy these interviews – and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!
Our next interview is with Kristina Schneider, Lead Visual Designer. Kristina is a designer from Germany who left a freelance career to give her time, design aesthetic, and even coding abilities to ReadyForZero full-time. Read on to learn more about the person who helps make sure that ReadyForZero is always beautiful and easy to use (and don’t forget to check her out on Twitter)!
What were you doing before ReadyForZero?
I was a freelance designer in Berlin when I started to work for more and more tech startups. I got involved in tech because some of my friends were programmers working for startups that needed design help. Some of them were working for San Francisco companies and after a while they gave me some contacts. ReadyForZero contacted me and over time became the client that kept me most busy, and also my most favorite client.
Did you study design in college?
No, I did not. I studied something almost completely different – communications, art history, and German language and literature. After school I wanted to move to a bigger city really quickly, and was too impatient to do a year internship and a portfolio, which was required for studying design. So I just started something else that seemed to be interesting, and I really liked it, so I stuck with it. In the end I’m very happy about the skills I acquired through my studies, and would not want to miss them in my work life either.
Did you know that you wanted to do this type of work before college?
I always had the idea of doing something creative as a career. But I also liked writing, reading and was interested in just everything related to media. The practical skills of design or frontend development I didn’t really study, but acquired them during work.
So you taught yourself design?
When it comes to handling Photoshop and browsers, yes. My communications and art history studies gave me some sort of a theoretical foundation, though.
What was it about ReadyForZero that made you want to work here full-time?
I liked the idea of the product and its social impact. When I started it was just Rod, Nacho, and Loren on the team. I really liked working with them and all the colleagues who joined later. They are really talented and not cynical at all about their product or their work, which is not the case in every company. We had worked together for about a year when they suggested that I work full-time for them and move to California. I could not really say no to that opportunity.
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Did you suffer from culture shock when you moved to California?
I’ve been to the U.S. and San Francisco before for visits and holidays so it was not totally new. But you still learn something new about the culture every day. It’s great to be able to stay long enough to go beyond that holiday feeling and actually meet a lot of people and be able to experience the everyday life in San Francisco.
Right now you’re back for holidays in Berlin, what do you like the most about being there?
Besides being close to friends and family, I like that you get a lot of quality in every aspect for very little money. It’s still easy to afford a nice apartment and you can get really excellent food – everything is very affordable. Also, the city is very green. There are a lot of parks – Tempelhof Airport is my favorite place in Berlin. It’s this airport that closed and it’s just a huge public park now. On summer days it’s crazy crowded and you can do all kinds of sports or have barbeques there. It’s just amazing. Although very close to the city center, only about 2km from my house, it’s very quiet and peaceful.
Can you tell me more about where you grew up?
In a small town of about 14,000 people. It’s close to Cologne and Dusseldorf and all the cities in between. Population-wise it’s one of the densest areas in Germany, but it doesn’t feel urban at all. It’s very green, flat and looks like the Netherlands, where we would go for holidays in the summer. Nature-wise it’s very pretty.
What kind of things do you like to do in your free time?
I would like to say travel, but actually right now I’m kind of tired of flying around. So what I really enjoy is spending quality time with my friends, since I don’t get to see them very often. Yeah, just meeting with friends and maybe hanging out at home and cooking. That’s what I would really enjoy.
If you could have anything at the office when you come back to work, what would it be?
Actually, I’m always up for removing as much as possible when it comes to decorations. Paint the walls white. I would make everything white and open and remove everything – starting with the carpet. Maybe add a ping pong table in a big white room :).
Well, we can’t wait to see you! What would you say your most gratifying moment of working at ReadyForZero has been so far?
Every big launch is always very rewarding. Maybe even more so on the next morning if you have time to breathe and read all the reviews and feedback. The thing I particularly like is when someone says, “I really like the design” or “The app is so beautiful and easy to use”. It makes me really happy when it turns out that our effort to make it simple and beautiful works.
What are you most excited about for the future of ReadyForZero?
Now that we’re offering payments the app is much more powerful. Seeing that users are starting to use that and give feedback is really exciting. Learning from that and improving the app even more is just great.
1st image taken by Gilbert Bachour