On the Spot with Vend’s Head of Design, Gus Santos

August 15, 2023
May 3, 2023

On the Spot with Vend’s Head of Design, Gus Santos

August 15, 2023
May 3, 2023

Welcome back to On the Spot, our content series where we feature people in the parking, technology, and commercial real estate industries you should know. This week, we're excited to introduce you to Vend’s Head of Design, Gus Santos. While Gus himself works behind the scenes at Vend, his work is literally the face of the company.  His designs not only define our brand and make our marketing materials look fantastic, but he is also responsible for user experience, making sure that the Vend platform is intuitive and easy to use for users and drivers.

Quick Facts:

Name: Gus Santos

Role: Head of Design

Location: Denver, Colorado

Q: Hey Guys, welcome to On the Spot!  I’ll warm up with an easy question. What brought you to Vend? 

A: I joined the Vend team because I wanted to be part of something that would revolutionize an everyday necessity, with a hungry and open-minded team. I love working in User Experience (UX) and design (prior to joining Vend, I was working with Autodesk as a UX designer) because it involves making ideas super relatable through visuals and text to a client (or to any person) so that they can feel comfortable with what they’re experiencing. 

Parking in a paid facility is something that millions of people experience every single day and it is one of the most anxiety-provoking, frustrating processes in our day-to-day lives that still has yet to be updated. My role at Vend is really to communicate our ideas in simple terms and alleviate some of those headaches through a product that is intuitive and easy to use. To many people, our technology might seem complex, which it is on the backend. But success in my book is to relay information in such a way that it is extremely comfortable for a user to experience.

Q: And now that you’re a part of the team, what is your favorite part of working here? 

A: It’s exhilarating to work on something that has no precedent. We are designing a new parking experience that nobody has seen. That in itself is what has me ecstatic every day. With Vend being a start-up I have a lot on my plate, but I also have a lot of opportunities to make an impact. The work I do has a huge impact on the company, our customers, and their customers (the drivers).

Q: The power of design is something I think many people underestimate in terms of its importance. How does Vend’s value for design strengthen the company’s ability to differentiate itself from other companies in parking?

A: The user interface (UI) can allow for a great deal of differentiation. It’s all about how you differentiate yourself in terms of your user experience, whether it’s reducing the number of clicks or perfecting visuals to help simplify the process of the experience. Parking is plagued with antiquated technology and manual operating practices. At Vend, we’ve taken this outdated ecosystem and modernized it to build an amazing experience. Pairing unified technologically and UI helps the user and of course, operating teams, who arguably need a comfortable UI the most. It’s a method of thinking for everyone involved.

Across Vend’s website, management dashboard and applications, users can understand who we are and our personality right off the bat simply because of our design, rather than having to dig deep across various web pages to find out what we’re all about. Graphic design is the face of something that to others might seem very complex. Designers are here to show you that what you’re engaging with is actually very user-friendly, or even better, appealing and relatable.

Q: That’s so true. And it’s an area that is constantly changing. How has your role evolved over time since you’ve been here? 

A: Over the last few years, the product has evolved significantly. The work has gone from simple designs to illustrate our idea to complete UX framework designs for a much more sophisticated and robust product that includes our web app, smart sign experience, dashboard flow, and more.  

Q: What are your goals for the next few months/years?

A: As a designer, it is very important that you are constantly educating yourself.  This includes staying up to date on design trends, consumer trends, technology trends, and really knowing and understanding the needs and use cases of our users. My personal goal is to understand the underlying friction points of our experience through data extraction and feedback from our parkers- and then bolster our product using this information.

Q: What, if anything, are you currently binge-watching? Or reading?  

A: I like to have multiple shows going at once, so currently juggling Succession, Yellowstone, and Ted Lasso.

Thanks for joining us Gus! If you have any questions or feedback for Gus, please don't hesitate to reach out.

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