Data With Depth: Designing 514

4 min readDec 4, 2023


A humanized approach to building data-intensive apps

Hello Brave New World

In the ever-evolving landscape of tech, a new world awaits me. As a seasoned consumer product designer, I find myself at a crossroads, wanting to create not just a product but an experience for something unfamiliar yet very needed. After years of FAANGs and startups working in familiar spaces, new and old connections spurred the creation of a design-centric and data-focused IaaS venture.

That said, I try to practice and appreciate thoughtful design and development, hoping to build on this knowledge by encroaching into the engineering space even more, while strategically bringing a simpler mindset to a typically complex industry.

Let’s dip into a bit of this from my lens (Founding Design) and why I find this path to be a compelling exploration.

Welcome to the (514)

Boasting expertise from where it all began, Montreal to San Francisco (hence the area code reference). A vetted yet unlikely team was formed (Tim/Alex). Technology advocates with common roots form an ethos of humanization, vibrancy, and inclusivity. A new way to visualize and work with an often rigid space — Data (stupid simple analytics and more). Leveraging a deeper human-to-technology connection, we aim to bring this approach to light using best-in-class practices, artificial intelligence, and simplified frameworks. A product stack known as Igloo is still in early development.

npx install dream team

In this pursuit, drawing inspiration from our backgrounds (think Nike’s tech meets Google’s creativity) became my compass. Embracing that mindset gave birth to a radical vision. Creating a narrative, where users (developers in this case) feel like protagonists in a digital adventure, are heard and can leverage each other.

There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.

Idowu Koyenikan

Build for all

We think it’s important to account for the masses. This includes a hyper-inclusive and aware product model and the very idea of building in plain sight (building in public). We want all developers to have an easier time working with data, small and large and do it openly. This moves us into another key element — community. We aim to foster a beautiful and inviting setting where developers can come together and nurture their experience and relationships in new collaborative ways.

Warm the Cold

In the realm of 1s and 0s, the challenge lay in injecting warmth into the colder enterprise spaces. This resonates with users on a human level. It means considering not just the user flow but the emotions evoked at every turn. From imagery and tone to typography and motion, a lifestyle-conscious brand aimed to heighten and humanize our experiences. There’s a significant opportunity to elevate user voice and overall experience across brand, marketing, and product.

With great power comes great repository

While the soulful approach may seem at odds with the cutthroat nature of business, history tells a different tale. Companies that genuinely connect with users tend to stand the test of time (Google, Apple, Nike). Building a billion-dollar business is not just about the valuation; it’s about the value created for users. Growth is a byproduct of a well-crafted user experience that people are willing to pay for, time and again. We aimed to minimize the friction all developers face when working with and ingesting data. Ultimately saving you and your team ample amounts of time in your day.

Inspired by Vercel, Linear, and Figma

The success of Vercel, Linear, and Figma has been more than just monetary; but also for creative direction, community, and product execution. Vercel’s deployment, Linear’s tracking, and Figma’s collaborative environment showcase the power of combining scalable beauty with modern functionality. These companies not only provide tools but also experiences that users cherish and stand by as their go-to.


With over a decade of navigating consumer-heavy design, the challenge is not just to create a tool or brand but to design a simplified yet familiar experience for the other end of the spectrum. I think it’s time to carve our own path, warm the cold, and design not just for the screen but for real people, with real depth working to solve often under-the-hood problems that impact our daily lives.

Please follow us and our journey: