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May 19, 2023
Career CloseUp: Product Designer



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What is it about being a product designer that makes you want to get up in the morning?  


My concern as a Product Designer is to understand how things work, and how people interact with the product, service, and technology. One of the things that I feel very excited about is when a product or service is done well, if I achieve good results both for the company and the users, and if I made a pleasurable experience.


What does an average week look like for you?


Usually my daily basis consists of understanding the product problems, users frustrations,and business opportunities and translating all these aspects into screens, user flows, mappings, mockups and prototypes.


What would surprise people about your daily work?


Thinking about it, I believe that people would be surprised to see that most of my work is not related to designing beautiful things, of course, that shape, color, and form are very important, but first I need to think of how my ideas, hypothesis, and assumptions could deliver value and functionality to users.


Tell us about your career journey. How did you get from high school to your current role?


When I was young I always wanted to work with something related to architecture, decoration or arts. I always was interested in knowing how products are made, or what material the product has, or why a company sells a product in several shapes and sizes. I didn't have a concept for this at the time. But then, I had to choose a college and I chose Industrial Design. In the second year of college I started working as a graphic designer and packaging designer. I worked almost 10 years in design agencies. Finally, in 2014 on a backpack trip to Europe, my friend Melissa told me that her experience working as a designer in technology teams was kind of interesting. That time I was not so familiar with the term user experience, but when I came back to Brazil I started to study this 'new type of designing things'. In 3 months I got a job as a Product Designer junior in a financial institution and now it's been 7 years since I became a Product Designer. No regrets so far.


What was it that made you choose this career? What was your a-ha moment that made you confident you wanted to do this work?


To be honest I never had an a-ha moment in my career. It was a process discovering that I was a professional with good skills to make the right questions, very proactive and always delivering results. But it took me 7 years to realize that these were good hard skills but not enough to consider myself a good designer.


Are there any expectations you had about your career that you have found differed from reality, in both a good or bad way?


For a long time I thought that design and user experience was only a small part of something more important like engineering or marketing. Now I'm glad to see that companies know the importance of a good research process, the discovery stage, and the benefits of using agile methods.


What education, experience, or training has helped you the most in your career? 


I don't have a specific course, book, training, event, or workshop that was the most important thing in my career. I have the opportunity to participate in several fairs and events related to Design like Interaction Latin America, and Design Weeks. I bought books talking about the UX Lean process and I participated in workshops related to the importance of accessibility. To sum up, It is a continuous process of discovering things, and people.


What advice or tips do you have for someone who might be interested in taking a similar path?


Here is my best advice to anyone who might be interested in a design career: don't start wasting your time participating in design courses. First try to design a product. It could be any product, but thinking about it: what problem I'm trying to solve designing this product? For who? What is the purpose? Answering these questions, then another question will come up and then, at some point of this process like magic, you will start to become a designer.


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