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Ryan Swedenborg, Senior Product Designer

June 2020


Article credits
Spotify Design Team

Category is: Pride extravaganza! To celebrate Pride Month, we're excited to present a special series of In the Spotlight to highlight some of our LGBTQQIA+ creators and the community. Today's headliner is Ryan Swedenborg, Senior Product Designer for the Premium team in New York. Put on your headphones, hit play, and read along!

Questions & Answers

Why are you a designer?

I’ve always been more of a visual learner and someone who prefers working in teams. When I realized there were ways I could apply these learning and working approaches to a potential career, I knew design would be a good fit for me. The fact that I can use these skills to solve so many different types of problems keeps me around.

Describe your job at Spotify without using the words "design" or "designer."

My job is to make sure that Spotify users find the plan that best fits them. And whether they choose to stay on Free or Premium, I work to make sure they get the most value from it!

Show us a picture of your desk, and explain why it looks how it does.

I’m currently working from my sister’s house in Nashville, Tennessee. I pretty much only have the necessities with me: My laptop, keyboard, mouse, and charger! All the other stuff at the desk is part of my sister’s home decor.

Tell us about a time you beat an intimidating design challenge.

At Spotify—or any other job I’ve had—anytime I’m working on a launch that involves many teams, it's an intimidating challenge. But just like I’m trying to do outside of work, communicating early and frequently is the key.

Name three non-designers you feel inspired by when designing.

Carmen Maria Machado

She’s an amazing author whose book, In the Dream House, has been one of my favorites this year. Her storytelling engages you as the reader in a way I rarely experience. 

Katherine Bernhardt

Katherine is an abstract artist that brings a ton of pop culture into her work. She's consistently posting her art in its various states of completion + explorations with different materials.

Arlan Hamilton

Hamilton is the founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital. Normally I’m not super into the Silicon Valley scene, but Arlan does so much work advocating for more accessibility and access into the startup space.

What would your self-portrait look like?

Any final shout-outs or things you'd like to share?

Celebrate pride by supporting our community! Consider donating to the following Black Trans organizations and funds:


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