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Designer Erin Gubser, owner of Liquid IQUI, works on her computer in her room at Hotel Vitale in San Francisco, Calif., Friday, March 26, 2010.

VALLEJO — This week as eBay rolls out new iPhone and iPad applications as part of its campaign targeting fashion, Erin Gubser couldn't be happier.

Owner of Vallejo-based Liquid IQUI, the single-mother of three served as the designer behind both mobile applications.

"It's a great door opening," she said. "It's definitely a point in my career where momentum is being built."

For Gubser, her strength is how she looks at projects laid before her. Whether it's design for a mobile application, an online game, or Web site, she constantly looks for ways to bring them to life. And it's this ability that makes her a sought after creative mind in the Bay Area.

"Whatever I design will never sit there idle," Gubser, 34, said. "There is always a breath behind it."

This week eBay unveiled an application for iPhones called eBay Selling. Today the online auction company also releases it eBay iPad app the same time the highly anticipated device goes on sale.

The eBay Selling application allows users to buy and sell products from their mobile device. It's Gubser's job not to just give the product visual appeal, but to make it intuitive so the user knows exactly what to do.

Even a small detail, such as putting a reflection under type, is a big deal for her.

"With my work I get to a point where it's very tight, and everything on the screen is very deliberate down to the pixel," she said. "To the outside it might seem like something that is very simple, but when you look closer you find it's quite robust."

Jonmichael Moy, who is now with PayPal, worked with Gubser on Fashion Vault that was launched earlier this week.

He described her as "head-over-heals" better than many he's worked with because of her uncanny ability to come up with ideas that often those in senior management might not realize.

"A lot of the things she was coming up with visually even pushed me to think outside my realm," said Moy, who worked with her six months ago. "She's really opened up a lot of eyes at eBay as to what the company could be."

Liquid IQUI is a home-based business, but rarely is Gubser's work done from her house. She can often be found at one of her favorite haunts in San Francisco, Napa, or San Jose with a bottle of San Pellegrino, Champagne or coffee in hand.

With her two Macs open in front of her, and her nail scratching the touch pad, Gubser constantly hones in on design issues that others might easily overlook.

"The most successful projects out there are where the design and technology are in balance with each other," she said.

Besides eBay, Gubser has worked with San Francisco-based World Golf Tour, WagerWorks, and International Game Technology. Her projects can range from a couple thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars each.

Even the origin of her company name has that "look a little closer" idea behind it.

While looking at the word liquid, which in the design world implies something that is flexible, fluid and movable, she saw four letters staring back at her. The "IQ" represents intelligence and the "UI" design or user interface.

"If anything that's what I'm all about," she said.

On her Web site, www.liquidiqui.com, a small drop of water slides down the final "I" and causes a ripple when it hits that water.

"Simple elegance" as Gubser likes to put it.

While Gubser's design ability runs the gamut, her interest of late has fallen to the mobile space.

"Anything that may potentially have an electrical heart beat I want to affect it," she said.

For aspiring designers, Gubser's best advice is to find a part of the design world you really like and find a mentor or someone out there in the world to emulate.

"Study them and study their path and how they got there, try to emulate, and then push the envelope as much as possible," she said.

Also, a designer should never turn down the opportunity to listen to someone's pitch and at least hear what he or she has to say, she said. One of Gubser's favorite designers of all time is Jonathan Ive, the senior vice president of Industrial Design at Apple Inc.

"You can never judge who someone knows or what they're capable of until you get to know them and their work," Gubser said.

Contact David Morrill at 925-977-8534.

Company name: Liquid iqui Location: Vallejo Owner: Erin Gubser
Employees: 1 Web site: www.liquidiqui.com e-mail: erin@liquidiqui.com