Developer Spotlight: The Cyanogen Design Team

In our second Developer Spotlight, we are introducing members of the Cyanogen design team. We’d like to give the CM community a chance to get to know the creative minds behind Cyanogen. These individuals are excellent resources to the community and should be utilized as such. We asked each of them to write a short introduction. Each individual brings unique experiences and expertise in fields such as mobile, web, gaming, and more. Some team members also have a long-standing history with CyanogenMod, which was ultimately part of the motivating factor in them coming to work full-time on a product they love.


Left to right: Dave Kover, Tyrone Samson, Hayden Schoen, Adrian Valencia Foulk, Asher Simonds, Nick Santos, Aaron James, Brett Pearce


Dave Kover|Product Designer

Hi! I’m Dave. In my role here at Cyanogen, I focus on our Themes product. This position really has 3 key elements to it; Design our partner themes, enhance our OS to better support Themes and its features, engage with and educate the theme developer community. I’ve been theming Android since the OG Droid days and I am thrilled that I’m able to continue that passion here at Cyanogen. I really love the empowering aspect of themes, in that anyone can create and share their designs to the community. From professionals to hobbyists, themes give everyone a platform to paint their own digital canvas.


Tyrone Samson|Principal Product Designer


I’ve done it, I’ve done it.

Guess what I’ve done!

Invented a light that plugs into the sun.

The sun is bright enough.

The bulb is strong enough,

But, oh, there’s only one thing wrong…

The cord ain’t long enough.


– Shel Silverstein.

“Invention” is a perfect analogy that describes my past experiences and underscores my belief of UX and UI, user research and insights, brand and product are inextricably tied to one another. Each discipline and processes must be considered as critical parts of creating a great designed product. This belief makes sure that at the end of the day I have a long enough cord.

My role here at Cyanogen is simply to help define and create a product that is not just used by everyone but loved by everyone. A product that is more meaningful, more delightful, and ultimately, more human.


Hayden Schoen|Sr. Product Designer

I’m Hayden! I love solving problems and making things work. I am passionate about learning and using new technologies to do this. I started as a print designer, became a 2D and 3D motion designer, applied motion to interactive installations, started doing UX and UI design and now I am learning to prototype in native Android. I got my start with CM back in the day when my T-Mobile G1 started feeling slow and I learned there was a rom that could save it and make it better. I’ve used Cyanogen ever since and am super excited to be able to contribute to it now. Speaking of the G1, where did all the phones with physical keyboards go? I want one.


Adrian Valencia Foulk|Principal Product Designer 

How does this work? Why does it work that way? Will it work if I do this? Why was I electrocuted?

Designer to me isn’t the thing I am, but rather, the output of my desire to pull systems apart to see how they work, and if we can do it better.


Asher Simonds|Sr. Product Designer

Asher Simonds here. I’m a Senior Designer working on UX and UI at Cyanogen. Back in the day I unlocked my HTC Dream with Cyanogen 4.x to use it without a SIM. Since then I’ve been a part of the Android and CM communities, helping make them more beautiful places. Outside my professional work in design and marketing I’ve worked on ROM Manager, SU, CM, and also moonlight as the creative lead for IDEAA, the crew behind the Big Android BBQ. I love the amount of labor everyone puts in towards the goal of making a better OS, and after a year and a half I’m still excited to be a part of this cause full-time.


Nick Santos|Sr. Product Designer

Hello I am Nick. This is how I Nick. And in my spare time I like fist-fighting. My children call me dinero, cause I bring the money.

Hello. I design experiences and epic treehouses. On the experiences piece: I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects that span the analog and digital spectrum. I believe that a product experience doesn’t just end once the user logs out of the app, or leaves the browser. One proud moment was designing a education web app that was used in my son’s kindergarten class. At Cyanogen, my main focus has been on the our web properties, as well as working on OS applications and features. On the epic treehouses piece: It is actually just one treehouse, but it is an epic* treehouse. I probably leveled up my “Being a Dad” skills by at least 200xp.

*Actual user feedback.

Aaron James|Sr. Product Designer

It’s true, I’ve worked on a ton of products over the past decade. I’ve created functional UX and beautiful UI for everything ranging from living room products (like PS4, XBOX ONE, Apple TV, Roku, and Nexus Player) to web products and, of course, mobile apps for both iOS and Android. My experience level is both deep and wide and I pride myself on being a typography nerd and color enthusiast. On the weekends you can find me tinkering around in Logic Pro; writing music, mixing, and mastering tracks in my garage. My passion for music is almost as strong as my love for solid UX/UI.


Brett Pearce|Principal User Researcher

I’m passionate about understanding human behavior, perception, motivation and needs – and applying this passion to the design of technology. That technology has been in various domains – from meeting the needs of aircraft operators in dynamic, high-risk environments – to those of consumers who choose and use technology in their lives. At Cyanogen I’m helping shape our OS to be usable, valuable and desirable.



If you have questions or thoughts related to design in CM, or perhaps a project you’re working on that you would like some advice on, these are the folks you’ll want to start a dialogue with. To help facilitate that discussion, there is a new email alias, [email protected], that you can reach out through.

  • Kirk Amvrosidis

    That’s very interesting… Are we gonna get any snapshot builds for CM11, CM12 or CM12.1, or should we keep “playing the lottery” with the nightlies, hoping that the one we chose is stable enough?

  • Phazonclash

    You guys are awesome. Thanks for the hard work and for providing us with the best Android experience possible 😉

  • General Chaos

    Nice to see the people behind the scenes, keep up the magnificent work guys!!

  • Portzblitz

    Nice to meet you, fellas. You do good work. Cheers. Also: Thanks so much for making my htc m8 experience wonderful! (including my last three phones, for that matter)

  • Randy Kelly Jr.

    Hey guys, that ka for the hard work.

  • Do Do

    When something from the M-Preview it comes out?

  • HD

    Exactly, I wonder what’s stopping them to at least speak a few words about this concern at large

  • shaquille scott

    We are glad you have a wonderful team and all but to address the obvious elephant in the room…everyone here is expecting an eta or some sort of update about the progress on the stable build of CM12. When all your loyal suporters have been waiting this long for a project, posts like this get underappreciated and some people may even be quite irritated because everyone is waiting for that cm12 update, we are not pushing for a release nd we are not asking for any promises we simply ask for something, anything at all regarding the progress of the stable build. At this point not many of ur supporters are gonna care abt the amazing team you have if that said team continues to ignore them

  • sarmands

    are the nightlies you use (I presume you use them) not stable enough? I’m waiting, too for the “magical” M release but I don’t give a damn if it’s M I’m using or nightlies, if they are of the same stability as the M builds. go bitch around somewhere else. Nobody pushes you to use them, either take for granted or use your stock vendor’s android. that’s all.

  • shaquille scott

    How about u learn to fuckin read and understand before u make an ignorant reply u moron. I clearly stated that we want an update or anything at all i never said “please please release a stable build”

  • shaquille scott

    Asking for information isnt the same as asking for the actual product. Even if they dnt plan on releasing a stable version it doesnt matter all im asking is a post on what the plans are or the progress. If u werent illiterate you wouldve understood that when you read my comment. That is all

  • Gleb

    The diversity is striking!

  • mymarvelblog

    Yeah this mod is been the only one I uses. And I have try mostly all of then. I keep CyanogenMod on my phones. Fantastic job.

  • Zach Olesen

    I’m on the Sprint GS3 and the nightlies are perfectly stable

  • John Smith

    No, them are not!

  • John Smith

    They are so busy by singing an ode of praise to yourself, that do not have a free time for that.

  • Benoit

    i think you must give us a milestone or snapshot every week !!!

  • Benoit

    you had some advance and new ideas compared to Android, but now with the delay you take your ideas are takes by android who pass to Android M while you are still in nightly 12.1 for Android L !!!
    we have no more interest in having more CyanogenMod you take a huge lag behind the official versions Andrioid

  • Lennon Roberto

    Since almost everything is AOSP-like in terms of design, what do you guys really do?