Square CEO Jack Dorsey has talked about how technology, when designed in the right way, can fade into the background and facilitate more human interaction. Square has prized that type of design in its products and it’s now preparing to go deeper with the acquisition of New York City-design firm 80/20.
The small firm, which has worked on user interfaces for Warner Bros. and Verizon and also helped design Motorola’s MotoActv fitness watch, will now become the basis of Square’s first New York headquarters. Its dozen designers will help build out Square’s vision for commerce, which revolves around simplicity and focusing on the needs of users, something 80/20 has also championed. We’ll be talking about design and user interfaces at GigaOM’s Roadmap conference on Nov. 5.
The details of the acquisition have not been disclosed. It’s Square’s second acquisition after buying a video production team last year. 80/20 was founded in 2008 by Andrew Borovsky and Andrew Lin, who previously worked at Apple and Adobe (a adbe) and Jerry Knight, who also worked at Adobe. Considering all the comparisons between Dorsey and Steve Jobs, it’s perhaps not surprising Dorsey went after some Apple design veterans. The acquisition comes less than a month after Square raised $200 million at a reported $3.25 billion valuation.
The deal also highlights how Silicon Valley companies continue to expand into New York. Facebook and Twitter have opened offices in New York and eBay bought Hunch, which will serve as its New York office.