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Q&A with Kyle Fiedler

Chief Design Officer at

I'm Kyle Fiedler - husband, father and maker. I work for thoughtbot as a designer and managing director where I help build web and mobile applications. Which just means I do a lot of different things from UX to business stuff to HTML and CSS. I am an avid fan of Baseball, craft beer and mexican food.


All thoughtbot designers get a MacBook Pro (I have a 2013 Retina ) to hook up to a 27" Thunderbolt. I use the Apple Bluetooth keyboard and magic mouse. I try to spend most of my time standing at my Geekdesk. I can't get anything done without my Bose OE2 headphones. I always keep around a bunch of Dot Grid sketchbooks from Behance.


I am spending most of my time in MacVim. After watching the thoughtbot developers in Vim all day long and seeing how fast it made them, I needed to just dive in. I feel like its looked on as this cult thing but it really has improved my speed and productivity.

I was always a Photoshop user for all the visual design stuff but I've been making my way over to Sketch. I really like Sketches simplicity but can't totally pull myself away from a pixel based editor just yet.

Omnifocus for todos and tasks, Sparrow, still, for email, Rdio for music, Tweetie for Twitter and IA Writer for any writing that is not done in Vim. Oh and Live Reload because I can't be bothered to continually hit Command + r.


Honestly, I feel really lucky with the set up I have. There isn't anything that I can think of that I would change about it.


I think "inspiration" is sort of bullshit. Chuck Close has a great quote "Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work." I have drive every day because I love what I do and it allows for me to support my family and spend a significant amount of time with them. If you are asking how I keep up with design news, most of it is through Twitter and Designer News. We have a design chat room at thoughtbot where the other designers post interesting articles or beautifully excited design.