Uses This

1207 interviews since 2009

A picture of Zack Ginies

Zack Ginies

Designer, streamer

in designer, game, mac, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hey! I'm Zack, and I like to think I'm a pretty good designer. Oh, and I host a weekly live stream on Twitch, where I play video games and chat with lovely people! I originally got into design back in high school, where I was lucky enough to attend the local 'bad kid school', which, like most bad kid schools, is also the art kid school. I took digital design which really got me excited about the intersection of technology and design. From there I ended up studying web dev in college, and went on to have a very interesting career as a web developer which took me through a bunch of different industries, from advertising to product startups. 10 years later, I woke up and realized I was completely unhappy, and decided to refocus back into design. Now I work at one of the world's biggest gaming companies doing some pretty awesome design work, which is my literal dream job.

When it comes to streaming, I really wanted to create a space where other queer people could come and hang out and feel safe and comfortable, free from judgement or harassment. I started streaming during the height of problematic YouTube personalities where I wasn't seeing genuinely good people creating genuine communities for marginalized folks. Over the last 4 years, I've built a really lovely community that I'm so grateful for.

What hardware do you use?

My work hardware is nothing exciting, I use one of the TouchBar equipped MacBook Pros, which if you've never used before, I would really recommend staying away from. It basically gives me anxiety to rest my fingers on my keyboard which is literally the entire point of a keyboard. I would accidentally lock my laptop at least 4-5 times a day before discovering I could disable that feature - total headache.

My streaming setup, on the other hand, is pretty rad. I have dual LG 4K IPS monitors which make me feel like some sort of spaceship commander, but they've been pretty essential for streaming where I need to run a game on one screen, while monitoring chat, social media, and stream scenes on the other. For a mic, I use the Blue Yeti, which is a great USB mic, and for camera I use my Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V, which is definitely overkill for a webcam, but as a hobby photographer, I already had the camera handy. When it comes to lighting, I have a low profile Neewer LED keylight which casts some pretty powerful beams and has full temperature control. The PC itself is also pretty rad - here are the specs, but don't ask me what any of this means, I just did whatever PC Part Picker told me to do:

And what software?

For design, it's fairly straight forward. My team at work uses Adobe XD, which... I'm generally not a fan of, but it does the job. A large part of my job also involves research, so there are some really great user research tools over at Optimal Workshop that I swear by. In addition, I spend most of my days in Slack, G Suite (Docs, Sheets and Slides mostly). I would also die if I didn't have access to Notion. It helps me stay organized and plan my day - total life saver.

For streaming, that's a little more complicated. I mostly use OBS (Open Broadcast Software), which is an incredible open source broadcasting software that allows for some really powerful customization. I also use StreamElements for bot commands, Discord for community engagement and Streamlabs for all those fancy stream alerts that go off when someone subscribes or follows.

What would be your dream setup?

At work, I'd be pretty happy if I could use Figma for design and prototyping, and honestly, I wish I could replace all my organization tools with a legit assistant that could just tell me what I need to do, but I'm nowhere close to being that kind of person.

I have a pretty solid streaming setup right now which totally does the job I need it to do with very little fussing. The only thing that would make it more of a dream would be if I didn't have to have so much clutter on my desk. If there was a way to make all the peripherals disappear, that would be an absolute dream.

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