029. Ana Ferreira and Alex Muench: Redesigning Team Communication
RemakeDecember 09, 2021x
45:08103.53 MB

029. Ana Ferreira and Alex Muench: Redesigning Team Communication


In this episode of Remake, I sit down with Ana Ferreira and Alex Muench. Ana is Head of Design and Product Design, and Alex is a senior digital product designer at Doist, a completely remote team of over 100 people, and the maker of popular productivity apps, Todoist and Twist. Ana and Alex are the creators of Twist, a remarkable and opinionated communication tool aimed at replacing Slack with a less distracting, more focused supporting, less real-time alternative.

We've been using Twist for a few months at Remake, and it has done wonders for our ability to communicate remotely across time zones, to stay up-to-date, and catch up when our work allows rather than disrupting work to be always connected. I really can't overstate how much more harmonious and effective work has become since we moved out of real-time chat tools. And a lot of this goes back to Ana and Alex's ideas and the company's opinionated take on work, communication and design.


In this conversation we talk about:

  • What it means to be a designer.
  • What makes Doist special as a company.
  • What's wrong with "always on" team chat tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google's team chat, and the culture of availability and distraction they promote.
  • What it takes to be an effective distributed team.

This chat with Ana and Alex is just one of dozens of great weekly interviews we have lined up for you with leading designers, bestselling authors, activists, impact investors and entrepreneurs. We're trying to change our lives for the better in some meaningful way. So if you haven't done so already, please follow us on your favorite podcast player to make sure you don't miss them.

And now let's jump right in with Ana Ferreira and Alex Muench from Doist.



[3:11] Life During Covid

[5:53] Helping the Community

[7:40] Early Driving Forces

[10:05] The Definition of a Designer

[12:21] The Birth of a Designer

[13:53] The Road to Doist

[19:12] Supporting a Well-Lived Life

[22:39] Synchronous vs Asynchronous Challenges

[27:15] The Derivation of Twist From Slack

[31:34] Redesigning Communication

[36:19] Early Versions of Twist

[37:53] Market Reactions and the Value of Async Communication

[41:59] A Sermon for Designers