Meet Our Team: Cynthia Barroso, Graphics Reviewer
Today we’re catching up with UX/UI whiz and graphics reviewer, Cynthia Barroso. She has a background in digital design and keeps her finger on the pulse of top trends in graphics and design.
Read on to discover what makes a design great (rather than just good), why graphics trends cycle in and out of fashion, and how to create designs that will be relevant in 5 years’ time!
Great design is invisible to the user.
Cynthia Barroso Graphics Reviewer, Envato
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’m an Interactive digital designer who has specialized in UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) design.
In the past I’ve worked as a UX/UI designer, creating well thought out interfaces that are both appealing and usable. But I didn’t start there. I started as a graphic designer working with branding and digital illustration.
It was when I was working at a branding agency that I first got introduced to the concept of UX design. I started working with WordPress, and discovered how easy it is to make a website. After that, I was hooked!
I began working as a web developer doing front-end work. My background in graphic design, and my new passion for creating beautiful websites with top-notch user experiences was a match made in heaven.
I really enjoyed working on both sides of web design, doing both the coding and the design. I loved doing it all, but ended up realizing that there’s only so much you can do at once. After that, I decided to specialize, and focus on the UX/UI field. For me, creating functional websites that can also be nice to look at it’s really the most wonderful thing.
How did you get started with Envato?
I find this story really funny! When I was around 16 years old, I created an Envato account to sell my digital illustrations. I never actually got around to selling them, though. All I did was create my account. Now 10 years later, I’m back with Envato. But now I’m on the other side of the fence!
In the in-between time, Envato has always been on my radar. Many of my peers in the creative industries know and use Envato, which I think is amazing.
Being part of a community is one of the most wonderful things about Envato.
Cynthia Barroso Graphics Reviewer, Envato
Please describe your role at Envato. What do you do day to day?
My job is to review websites, UX/UI Kits, add ons and other sub-categories of our graphics library. I also work on some support tickets that come our way.
I don’t talk to the end user (the Elements subscribers), but I check if an item is working properly or if something is not documented correctly. There’s also other things like curated items, that’s a bit more sporadically.
I’d say at least 80% of my time is focused on reviewing graphics items.
Are there any common frustrations someone in your role faces?
It can be challenging when queues grow unexpectedly as it is almost impossible to manage. I also think sometimes (specially in the beginning) it can be hard to let your personal opinion out and just stick to the guidelines, but it’s part of the job.
What or who inspires you?
I get my inspiration from everywhere! Great design is great design, doesn’t matter which field it is.
One of my favorite things to come out of this year has been the 2D-to-3D items in Illustrator, I love seeing those kind of projects, I also enjoy experimenting on Procreate, trying out brushes and stamps. But specially, I love Figma animations, I’ve seen very elevated projects that emerge of little experiments.
How do you keep up to date with the latest trends in the graphics industry?
Luckily for me UX/UI is all around us all the time. Social media and phone games are great examples of amazing interfaces that work seamlessly and are just so addictive. Lately, I’ve spent a lot of my free time watching Figma projects, and I always love a good web design reel, so I try to stay updated.
However, things are growing and improving at a rapid pace, more than ever before. Just take a look at AI. It’s grown so much in just a few years. Who knows what the future will hold!
Advice to Authors
What trends in UI + web design do you think Authors should keep an eye on?
I think simple is always the key. Minimalism is never out of style. But lately I’ve seen a lot of dark mode interfaces, I think having a project with both light and dark interfaces makes it more appealing for the final user.
Additionally, not so long ago background gradients were in, now not so much. However, I’ve seen some Authors who have taken it to the next level. Integrating 3D shapes with gradient colors, I think it’s becoming more and more common and it just looks fantastic. Good examples of this include these designs by Harukidesign, ClickFirst_ and Rometheme.
This one is almost the direct opposite, but to me they’re just as appealing: flat interfaces. Just bright, bold colors and no shadows. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them but, just as in fashion, everything’s a cycle, and it’s back! Some Authors doing this well include Vektorastudio and peterdraw.
How would you differentiate between a good design and a great one?
This is an amazing question. To me, great design is basically invisible to the user.
As an example, when the background is white (#ffffff) and text is black (#000000) that’s good design as it has contrast.
However, when a background is white-ish (#F2F2F2) and a text is black-ish (#1C1C1C) that’s great design, because it is pleasing to the eye, and easy to read.
So it’s these small things that make the difference.
UI is constantly evolving but the basics are not. For any project you have in mind, don’t get stuck in the specifics. First, work around the general structure, make something functional for your target user, and then implement that crazy, eye-catching design you have in mind.
What advice do you have for Authors who are new to Envato?
All ideas are worthy, but not all ideas are final designs. Develop your work thoroughly. Also, be inspired! There’s so much need for content right now, and it’s always amazing to embrace new Authors. So, read and follow the guidelines, work on your designs and I’m sure your work will get featured on Envato’s library.
Also, consider the themes of your interfaces. Smart homes, AI chatbots, appointment apps, all of these topics are growing more and more and we definitely need more content about it. If your end point is to sell, try to create content focused on relevant topics.
What are the most common reasons UI + web design items are rejected?
The guidelines for UI + web design are very vague at the moment, so there isn’t many reasons to get rejected.
One of the main ones is using incorrect formats. Fonts have to be at least 30pt, your file must always be in 72PPIs (if it’s Ps, or Ai), and if you’re submitting multiple formats you got to make sure it will look the same. A lot of the times Figma files converted in Xd files will result in funny-looking graphs or chopped gradients. Give it a look before submitting it.
Most soft rejections I make are based on documentation, make sure all the fonts are written down, and that the item description contains pertinent information. If all that is covered then you should be set on your way to approval!
Give some examples of items or graphics Authors that you love!
There’s so many fantastic graphics Authors at Envato! So it’s hard to just pick one ot two.
I can say without a doubt that I’m a fan of tempload’s work. They always submit functional designs. I find a lot of value in seeing complete projects—not a couple of screens scattered around, but a complete interface that looks ready to use.
This is a great example of one of their graphic templates. Their design is concise, practical and in 5 years from now will probably be as useful as it is now.
Something that I love about their work is that the style guide of the project is always included. Their style guides always include, font hierarchys, colors, and such, which is amazing if you’re planning on developing more screens down the road.
Anything else you want to tell our Author community?
Thank you for all the work you put out there. I truly, always feel inspired seeing the library, and I think it’s amazing how the quality of the items has improved in the last couple of years.
Envato’s library is immense and diverse. There’s all kinds of content about all kinds of topics. I want to encourage anybody reading this to keep (or start) submitting your work. If you haven’t checked out what other people are doing: look around, reach out to them, and give them a compliment because being part of a community is one of the most wonderful things about Envato.
I am aware that there’s still a lot of work to be done in the UX/UI Kits and Websites categories. And we are committed to this. So, thank you for continuing in this road with us. I hope Envato can be to you as wonderful to you as it has been to me.
Did you enjoy getting to know Cynthia? Well, good news: we have plenty of Meet Our Team articles. Check them out below, and get to know more of the wonderful people at Envato!
If you’re a graphics Author and want to meet more from the review team, then check out our interview with Monie Arreola.
More from our graphics review team
Monie is our print and graphics template reviewer. She has plenty of valuable insights to share with our community!
Photo or video Authors might like to Meet Javier, our Photo & Video Review Team Lead. Motion graphics wizards should check out our chat with Tyson Frantz, a motion graphics reviewer. If web and code is more your style, you’ll find our chat with Roberto Hernández super helpful!