In this interview, we talked to Diego Crovador, a publicist and graphic designer who no longer felt fulfilled in his profession.
Diego explains how he landed his first UX role as a Product Designer at one of Brazil's largest outsourcing companies, Indra.
Moreover, he offers practical tips for those seeking opportunities in the UX industry. Check out this interview and let Diego's journey inspire you!
Diego, what is your background?
Reading this content, I decided to immerse myself in UX/UI and transition to this field. Graphic design was no longer making me happy.
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Did you notice a change between UX Design and Graphic Design?
I noticed that in art direction, my work was being judged by aesthetic sense. I always asked why there were alterations and criticisms, and often people couldn't explain them to me.
Then I found a line of reasoning in UX Design that made much more sense to me. It was no longer about what I liked or disliked but rather what worked or didn't work. And that made total sense.
What were the first steps you took to get into UX/UI Design?
Once I decided to switch fields, I started putting more UX/UI Design-related works in my portfolio. That's when the first test for a job opportunity came up. At that time, I hadn't started the MID program yet, so I wasn't selected for the position.
Thus, I realized that I had to learn to think like a UX/UI Designer. Until then, I still had the mindset of looking for a purely visual solution.
That's when I found Aela. By doing the initial exercises in the MID, I was able to prepare for my second test for a Product Designer opportunity at Indra, and I passed!
With the MID, I learned to think about the design process as a whole. Aela gave me a methodology base to think about solutions, not just the visual aspect.
What was the advantage point for you to land this role as UX/UI Designer in this company?
The advantage was being able to put together the line of thought, from the problem to the final solution, in addition to presenting it in a way that I could explain the entire process.
The communication part has always been difficult for me, as I am shy. So, I forced myself to present the work live during the MID mentoring classes. It helped me a lot, but it is a part that I still need to develop more because of my shyness.
Thus, in this second test, at Indra, which I passed, I was able to better present my solution due to the live mentoring classes I had with you. This was fundamental for me.
What is the company you are working for as a Product Designer?
Indra is an outsourcing company. I was hired to understand the internal part of a bank and create systems, as a Product Designer.
I carried out the first immersion, where I spent three to five days in a closed room with a client and the bank's business side, understanding their pains and needs. Then, I translated that into a final prototype that made sense.
Basically, our role as Product Designers at Indra is to develop systems for internal areas of banks.
How many people work with you on the Design team?
In the team, it's just me as a Product Designer and UX, one programmer, and a Product Owner. The teams are usually formed by these professionals and always in contact with the client, in this case, the bank, to understand what they want and need.
Do you think it's important to know how to code?
I did a web programming Bootcamp. But it wasn't something I was so familiar with. However, it was interesting to understand what can and cannot be done since my knowledge is limited in programming.
Therefore, I believe it's important to have a basic understanding of codes to be able to better communicate with developers. Because our work directly impacts theirs, and vice versa. So, the more knowledge I can add, the better my work and theirs will be.
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Were your Graphic Design skills used at any point?
Yes, definitely. As a Designer, you must think about solutions and that hasn't changed.
When I was a Graphic Designer, my focus was also on business solutions because the business needed to communicate or sell something. So, I had to translate that into an advertising piece that showed results.
What I "discarded" a little was the focus solely on the aesthetic part of the product. And during the beginning of my studies in UX/UI Design, it was difficult to let go because I focused too much on the visual part.
Since you started this career transition, what would you have done differently?
It's hard to answer that, but probably I would have forced myself more from the beginning to have presented all the projects of the MID program levels. I believe it would have made a big difference, even to get used to this type of remote interview.
The test I took at Indra was done remotely. So, this communication ease would have facilitated the part of the test presentation.
And your portfolio? How would you describe it after the MID program?
After joining the MID, I started my portfolio from scratch. Because up until then, I only had projects that focused on art direction and didn't explain the solution. So, I realized that that wouldn't have much value for my UX/UI Design portfolio.
I worked on the MID projects with Aela's mentoring and was able to include UX Design projects from levels 2 and 3 in my portfolio, which was a huge advantage and opened many doors for me.
That's what helped me secure a position at Indra as a Product Designer.
Another thing that was valuable for me in the MID is the Community of students. So much so that I am on it every day seeing what people post to stay up to date.
There is always something interesting. I actually want to engage more because we are all working in the industry.
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Can you talk about soft skills?
Knowing how to communicate your solution is indispensable. And this soft skill is essential for the moment I find myself in. So, I have been looking for articles and books on how to explain solutions to "non-designers".
This is very challenging, but I believe that communication skills are fundamental for all of us.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to take on challenging projects for my career. Currently, I am in the internal area of the bank, so I plan to have projects continuing in B2B.
In addition, I also have B2C projects in mind. I want to work for an entertainment company or another industry focused on the end consumer and maybe work abroad.
But I intend to build a career base here first.
Do you have any tips for people who want to transition to UX/UI Design?
My first tip is to find a course that gives you the foundations of the industry. This is very important. For me, it was essential to have this step-by-step provided by Aela, going level by level.
In addition, it's good to remember that we always take advantage of our previous work experiences. UX/UI Design encompasses many other areas, such as psychology, processes, and sales. It is the combination of skills that will form a good professional.
Then, it is important to go after books and read many subjects related to not only design but also interpersonal communication.
Sometimes, that's what sets apart a good Designer from a great Designer. It's about knowing how to behave, communicate, present your ideas, and how to sell yourself.