Loren Brichter is one of Silicon Valley's premiere design talents, even though he lives in Pennsylvania. The 2006 Tufts University electrical engineering grad got his start as a graphics engineer on the original iPhone at Apple before opening his own shop, Atebits, where he fathered the now-ubiquitous "pull-to-refresh" functionality that's deployed on mobile apps like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. He initially developed it for Tweetie, a client app that Twitter ended up buying in 2010.
Mr. Brichter left Twitter the following year, and his former employer now owns the patent for the technology, which it's pledged only to use defensively. Since leaving Twitter, the "High Priest of App Design," as the Wall Street Journal dubbed him, has been working on smaller projects like Letterpress, a word game for iOS devices that let him experiment with UI and interaction technologies, and more recently, on a design project for Facebook.