Rachel Costas


rachel@rachelcostas.com   /    LinkedIn



I’m a Brooklyn-based designer with 8+ years of UX experience working for start-ups and consulting firms. More recently, I was lead app designer at TED, before going full-time freelance in 2023.

In 2021, I graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with a master's in Interactive Telecommunications. At NYU, I studied creative uses for communications technology with a focus on information design and behavioral science.

My tendency to question the obvious helps me find new ways to solve old problems. I love simplicity, loathe monotony and work best listening to the hum of a lawnmower cutting grass on YouTube.


Design principles I stand by

When you don’t know what’s meaningful to users, it’s easy to say too little, too much or the wrong thing.

When everything’s important nothing’s important. 

Never ‘validate’ the design.
In user testing, using this phrase sets the expectation that your goal is to be proven right, not to learn.

More data does not mean more understanding.
When it comes to UX research, the better the questions, the richer the responses (like a first date). But it’s hard to remain neutral while establishing the rapport necessary to elicit honest, robust information. My approach to research is informed by my journalism background and borrows interviewing techniques therapists use in clinical assessment.  

Lorem ipsum must die. 


Design exists so people can get and use content. But content is often an afterthought in the product lifecycle. Too much focus is on features and tools, rather than the content they deliver. Break up with lorem ipsum so you don’t rush into design without getting a handle on your content.

Approach UX design like the flow of a conversation.

Scaffold content to deliver the info users need, in the order they need it. Don’t hog the conversation. Take turns.