#25 - Julieta Solla - Exploring the Dynamic World of Design: Communication, Negotiation, and Crypto Adventure

Feb 13, 2023Dianne Eberhardt

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify,  Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.



Dianne: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Pixelated Perfect podcast. Today is a special episode. We have Julieta with us. She is the newest member of the design team, so I've gotten to spend a lot of time with her. Um, and I'm really excited for us to kind of kick off and dive deeper into learning more about her. Um, so a little overview is she is with, been with the design project about a month. She is a senior designer. Her, she comes from lemon cash, um, which is a crypto wallet and she also work at Bitso. Bitso. Yes, yes. That's perfect. Awesome. Um, so Julie, thank you so much for being here.

Julieta: Thank you for inviting me. I'm so thrilled being here and nervous as well. No, but thank you. Thank you for inviting me.

Dianne: Of course. Don't be nervous. It's gonna be great. Um, so I know a little bit of your story from our interviews and just talking so I can help kind of guide it in that way. But I'm really excited cuz I am excited for you to kind of tell a little bit more about your story. Um, so let's start with the prompt of when did design come into your life?

Julieta: I think that always has been by my side, but at the time that I, that I can say, okay, this is the first time that I remember it's when I was like 13, 14 years old, more or less. I was doing an assignment for school, which was to write an article for a newspaper. And I just didn't write an article. I like designed the whole, the whole thing, you know, the title, they paragraph, the, the art, uh, I choose the, the typography. I didn't know about that moment that it was called typography for me. Were was like letters. Yes. Um, so I delivered that. And for a long time I thought that I was, that, that I wanted to be a journalist. But then when I had to choose, uh, a career, I choose graphic design because they had editorial design. And at that moment I realized that I designed the article because I wanted to design maybe not to write. So I think at that was the first time ever I realized I wanted to be a designer. Yes. Uh, I wanted to be a journalist. . Yes.

Dianne: That's funny. Yeah. It's interesting in hindsight, like recognizing there was like a little bit of that design that came out

Julieta: So many years after that because, uh, this happened when I was 13 and until the 18th. I, I never, I never thought about it. I always want, yes, I want to be a journalist because I want to write and no, no, actually I wanted to design the whole page. I wanted to to rethink about those, those publications though. Yeah. It took me several years .

Dianne: Oh my gosh, that's fascinating. So when you all throughout school, all throughout high school, you were like, I am gonna be a journalist. That's where I see myself going,

Julieta: . Yes. Yes. I want to write because I also thought that journalists, uh, were designing also the, the, uh, the publications. So, uh, I thought that that was part of the whole thing. Uh, and I, I love writing. I I still do that. Um, but when I had to do to, to figure out where I'm going to, to be as, as a career, um, I read that you have like different types of designs and one of the sub subjects were editorial design. Uh, you know, when you say that you are going to to be a graphic designer, everyone tells you like, yeah, you're going to do logos, um, branding. Yeah. And it's like, no, there must be so much more than that because I can't be studying for years for just doing logos. I mean, , hey, and there must be something else. And when I read the program, I read that, I read, uh, editor design and I was like, yes, I want to be a designer. I want this. Um, that, that was like the whole story of this .

Dianne: Yeah. So it was like combining this love of journalism and design you like, Hey, I can still be in the journalism world and I'm actually able to design like

Julieta: Editorials. Actually, my first job was as, uh, editorial designer, junior designer. Uh, and I work as, uh, for like, um, two or three years I was in, in that magazine. Uh, also became, um, um, designer director from one of the magazines because they have like different applications. Uh, and they spent a lot, a lot of time there. And I, I love doing, doing editorial design. Yeah.

Dianne: I wanna talk more about editorial design because, um, like you mentioned, a lot of people come into design like, oh, if I'm gonna do graphic design, I'm gonna be doing logos. So I mean, at a Toyota design there's so many details and so many specifics. So what, what, what did you do at your first job? What were your assignments? What were you doing? What was the most exciting part of it?

Julieta: Well, uh, I was being part of the tutorial world, so I work closely with the journalist, closely with the people, for example, who, um, took the photos because sometimes they weren't the same, same person. And I was in charge on of all the design, but I also have to talk with them and say, okay, this text is too long, maybe we can cut it down. Or I need some, I, I will add some photos. I need some epic graphs for this. Um, trying to, to talk to each other to see if that picture was the best and if it's going to be like a huge picture in two uh, pages or it's just gonna be one. And a little was so, so funny. Trying to diagram all the, the pages and all the process because you have so many articles and also you have to leave some space for the publicity because it's very important. It's the part where the magazine actually also, uh, gets money. So, uh, it was so, so funny and so great doing all that and working with other people. Uh, when I was designing, I was alone because almost all the career, you do it alone, uh, you don't work closely with others. Uh, but when I first start, um, working, I start working with people, um, from another disciplines and it was like, awesome because I did my part and they do the journalism part. , that was a great com compliment there. Yeah.

Dianne: And I think that's really powerful that, and like your first job, what you were just saying is you were working with other disciplines, other people in other industries, so you weren't, or in other parts of the company, it's not like you were working with all designers. And I think that is probably been really beneficial to you in the rest of your career, like learning how to communicate some of these design things and explain and get feedback and like collaborate with others.

Julieta: Yes, yes, absolutely. And because every time you design, you design for, for people and you also have to work with other, other teams, uh, from other disciplines. It doesn't matter if you graphic design, ux, UI or wherever, uh, in every almost discipline you have to work with, with others. And what I learned there is that yes, I, I dunno everything and I don't need to know everything in order to deliver a good, in this case piece of, of magazine article or wherever. Uh, I need also to trust others. They know a lot of of things as well. They know a lot of things about design as well because yes, I'm the designer, but they have experience working there. That was my first job ever. Uh, and they have like at least five years of experience working with another designer. So I also learned a lot from them, uh, how to communicate, how to negotiate as well, .

Julieta: Um, and that was, was pretty cool. I also, in my first shops, uh, stay till late and for me it wasn't that bad, you know, sometimes like, oh no, I had to be at 10 p pm in in work because I had to finish something. And it was like, no, I'm in the Victoria work. This is pretty common and I really like it. I really love it. So it's maybe was like 11:00 PM and we were still in, in, in the jobs, like trying to finish all the publications to send to the print. So, uh, yeah, I think that it was a great, great opportunity to start learning from others as well.

Dianne: Totally. Another question there, um, based on what you just said is you guys had tight timelines, obviously editorial, um, but you also were designing for print, um, which is not something you do anymore, so Right. Um, how, what's, what's kind of the difference in your mind of like designing for print and some of those things you have to think about versus designing for the digital world?

Julieta: Well, you have like too much differences because, uh, technology as well gets, that's also the possibilities, uh, of the technology and also working for, for others. You know, the print has worked the same, uh, for a long time for long years and technology keeps evolving, so you have to adapt and readapt to new things. Uh, it's more dynamic. Uh, I think that that's one of the things that attracts me more about this because you have to be, uh, like learning every time something new and that school, because you have to adapt and, and rethink things that you thought that they were cool or they were good enough. Uh, but then some users start using it and it's like, oh no, maybe I have to rethink some things. Because something changed, uh, and mindset changed for user, um, in the graphic design world from my perspective on my experience. Uh, I worked for three years and we're almost all the same mm-hmm. and, and I'm like too anxious and I want to change on those different things. So, uh, I think that that that's one of the huge, um, differences between like the print world and the digital work. Yeah. The dynamic of things.

Dianne: I think that's well said. And yeah, that's a really great point is there's, it's so much more dynamic in this world. And, um, I started my career also, well actually funny is my first job was at my school, my college newspaper, and I worked with the ads. So we actually created the ads to put in the paper so the company's like, the little local bagel shop would be like, Hey, can you put an ad so that students get 10% off? So that was like my first job. So, um, yeah, there were like these tight timelines and we were like putting it and figuring out how to organize and on the page so everything fit correctly. So I, I kind of understand a little bit of what you were saying. It was, it was a fun time and interesting. And

Julieta: Also there you have like what the client wants or the stakeholder wants also. So it's like, yeah, the best of both worlds, because also you have like, yeah, we don't have that too many space for this. Uh, maybe we can redo it, but also the client like, yeah, but I want it bigger and I want to, to have more visibility. Uh, so you have to do like both things there.

Dianne: Yes, yes. There'd be bars that'd be like, I want a bigger beer bottle on the cover. I wanted to take up the whole space. I'm like, ugh.

Julieta: . Yes. I, I, I remember that , I, I can relate with that as well.

Dianne: . Yes, yes. Ugh, cringe, cringy thinking back on it now. But, um, yes, for sure. I think that is really great. It's like out there, it's in the world. If there's a typo, too bad, there's nothing you can do about it. , it's what? It's . Um, yes, it sucks that no one got it.

Julieta: . Yeah. That's was one of the, the things that happened to me when I was in, in print. Well, if you have a typo, something like that, it's like, okay, we just have to leave it. And it maybe it's 100, 200, uh, publication is like, yeah, it was a mistake. And just to re review everything twice or three times that that's something that now that I can remember, uh, I had to do several times because of course in my first, uh, designs, maybe sometimes I had some typos or some like, yes, I, at the last moment I moved something and everything, uh, changed and I didn't realize and send that to the print. Yes. Yeah. Oh, um, yes, luckily that, that, that didn't happen to me like too many times, uh, that I can remember twice that someone just, uh, told me. So yeah, again, twice. Uh, but yeah, that, that things happens just like yeah, right. You have to leave it and in this case, in the digital world, like no, you can modify it. Uh, if you have the QA team also, you have, uh, engineers who are like also reviewing everything, so you are not alone. in, in those kind of things. And it, it's great as

Dianne: Well. Yes, totally . I agree. I agree. Um, definitely makes room for easier fixes for sure. Um, okay, so you were, you started as like a junior editorial designer. You said you, you moved to design director. Was this in the same company or is this a different company? The same. Okay. The

Julieta: Same company. Oh,

Dianne: That's, I was awesome.

Julieta: Yes. I spend there a lot of, a lot of time. Uh, my boss at that moment, uh, saw something in me like, yeah, you are too enthusiastic and you love your work. And they have like four magazines and for one of them he told me, okay, you are in charge of this whole magazine. All the design decisions are on you. And I was like, okay, this is a great opportunity and a great responsibility as well. Uh, so I, I was very excited and I had like first opportunity also to make decisions because until that moment I was like following the decisions from my boss and that, that was good because I was so learning, so very good. And then I was like, okay, I can make the own decisions about how I'm going to build all this, uh, this publication. So yeah, it was exciting.

Dianne: What would you, what would be your advice to, um, to other designers that like maybe are in the design world and they get this awesome opportunity, um, to be able to kind of move up and like you said, no longer be the only taking decisions, but being able to give and make decisions.

Julieta: I will say to them, uh, to trust in their team, trust in your knowledge, of course. Because if you get there, nobody, uh, gives you like a gift, uh, to that. It's because you, you made it yourself, you know, a lot. That's why you get it there. But also trust your team, trust the other advice, uh, that anyone can, can give you and also inside the company and your peers, because you will learn a lot from them as well. Also because it's your first time doing it. So of course you will have a lot of room to keep on learning. Uh, so, so yeah, trusting yourself and trusting your team because together you will build something awesome, but together. I

Dianne: Love that. Yes. I mean, it sounds like collaboration has always been like a pillar for you. Um, yes.

Julieta: Within your future. Yes. Luckily, yes. And the times that I have some other works that maybe were on my own, I felt like I needed also some, something like, like something was missing. Um, because yeah, sometimes I have to design alone and it's great because yes, it's uh, one, one-on-one job, , sometimes it's, yeah, your computer figman in this case and yourself. Yes. Uh, but it's also to have a second opinion on things, uh, to have other eyes, also to read it, to see everything, to think of another possibilities. Uh, so yeah, I always try to work with, with someone else, uh, at least if I can't try to at least show my designs and see, hey, what do you think about this? Uh, if I don't have the chance to do, for example, disability test or something, like give me like more inputs to improve. Okay, let's talk with someone , let's talk with, with some fear that they for sure, uh, must have other ideas that could be so, so useful.

Dianne: I love that. I mean, I definitely think the cornerstone vote makes good design is having opinions and collaborating and people looking multiple people looking and coming up with solutions cuz yeah, like it's hard to, to work in that silo. Um, not because you don't have the talent per se, but more because getting feedback and opinions makes work so much more enjoyable and a product so much. Yeah. More enjoyable.

Julieta: Yeah. And maybe you're, uh, spending a lot of time in something and you start like filming overwhelmed, but not because that's heavy, just because you've seen so many times that maybe you need someone else to see it and say, okay, but what you, why don't you try this other thing? Oh, yes. And I, you were like spending maybe hours on that, uh, because yeah, you were, uh, going around in the same loop. Um, so yeah, sometimes it's necessary just to look something else or talk to someone or go for a walk or talk with someone again and, and retake it. So, yes. Yeah, I think it, it's really, really great to try to work with with others.

Dianne: Totally. And I like what you said about like going for a walk or taking a break. Sometimes you just need like space away from it so that you can come back to it.

Julieta: . Yes. Yeah. Sometimes it's hard to do it. I totally agree with that and comprehend that because sometimes you are working and you're at home working or maybe at the office and it's hard like say, okay, I have to leave. Like I will walk for a while, like 10 minutes on return because like why are you going out? You have work to do. And also you have that little voice in your head that says, yes, ah, you have some work to do. What, why are you watching this TV series right now? Right, ? Um,

Dianne: Yes,

Julieta: Because I need some time maybe, and this happens a lot in TV world, uh, with designers and people who do other creative things that yeah, we need to focus on something else. Sometimes the baseline ideas appears when you are taking a shower. Yes. Uh, not when you're working

Dianne: . Yes. I I love that. Yes. I

Julieta: Totally watching the, the screen and it's like, no, you don't have any idea. You're completely clueless and then you go take a shower and Oh, got it. Oh yes. Oh, when you are trying to sleep before, before getting the sleep, it's like, oh yeah, maybe the solution is from here and you take notes and then you can sleep. Go and sleep. Take your nap. . Yes. Um, but that in, in that moment appears it, that's because you also need to sometimes focus on something else, relax a little bit and don't, don't feel overwhelmed because that's not also useful for, for the or for the things that you're designing and also for yourself.

Dianne: I think that's very well said. I think that that's like great feedback, like in the creative world, especially for, I mean I think pretty much if you're a designer and you're in the world, you probably already do this, but for junior designers, anyone that's listening that's kind of getting into the field is like creativity is, it's not like an on and off switch in the same way. So like how you do your job might be a little different. You might need to take breaks or you might be thinking about things and just cuz you're not sitting at your desk doesn't mean you're not working. So it's like understanding what works for you.

Julieta: It's a 24 7 job because you are always thinking things. Yes. Um, it's not like you turn turn off the switch and say, okay, now I'm not going to think, think anymore about this snapshot. No. It, and that happens because you can inspire in almost all the things that you see and you hear and, and that's okay. That doesn't mean that you have to be working 24 7 of course. Mm-hmm. yes means that your kid is working all time and it's good if you don't have at that time the the time to say, okay, now that I have this idea, I have to work on this, it's okay, you just take notes on on it so you don't remember, don't forget. Sorry. Um, and then when you go back to work, you continue. Uh, but yeah, we get inspired Oh see in the things that we see, we hear and we feel, so it's cool, let's just go with it.

Dianne: Yes, I agree. Like just trust the process. Like if you're sitting at your desk and nothing's coming to you, then do something else

Julieta: . Sure. Go and see that TV show that you want , go trip something. Go and, and see the clouds into sky and then go back because you go back with a clear head to do something. So, and that's for sure that's, that's certified .

Dianne: It's certified. Yes. Certified. We give you permission. . Yes. Everyone does it. Um, well, awesome. Okay, so, so pick picking up. You, um, are design director now, which is great. What, what kind of happens from there

Julieta: Happens that I got to the point that I wanted to be in two years and it was like, yeah, I needed a new challenge. Uh, I was very happy with graphic design, but also still, uh, I was hearing a lot about UX and and UI and I was like, why? I don't know about it, , why, why I don't understand what UX is. So what I did is what I always do go and take a course about ux. Uh, luckily I had a teacher who was, had a lot of experience in it and get me so inspired about UX and I found there something that I, I felt that I was like missing in the graphic design. That it's the client's opinion because it doesn't matter if you wanted, uh, vigor smaller or wherever, what really matters at the end of the day is how users perceive that.

Julieta: And with user experience, I learned that and I was like, yeah, something did a click in my head and was like, okay, this is what I was looking for. Something that I can also, it's not about my experience, it's not about what clients want or, or don't want or understand and don't understand. Um, it's all about what users needs and, and their goals and their necessities. Uh, I think that I, I felt in love with that discipline. So yeah, I wanted a change, I wanted a challenge and I also to start like working in the digital world. So I start, uh, re receiving that, uh, the first time I, I, I had a couple of years of experiencing diff different parts of the digital world. You know, I was for six months at qa, um, finally because I wanted to get, I wanted to get into the digital world, but I didn't know if QA was, was grateful or not, or you actually no. Like, uh, a lot of different things. What, what you can do in the digital, digital world. So I was QA first, then I was, uh, doing some social media manager as well because yes, it's digital as well and also you have like the graphic world in, in the middle. Uh, but yes, then I start working as a UX designer and I was like, yes, I'm going to be here for a long, long time and I'm still here. So That's great. , it's a long term relationship with this .

Dianne: Yay. You found your, your long term. Um, I love that you kinda experimented after taking the course. I I think that's really interesting that you were a Q QA analyst for a little bit social media, um, and that probably also helped you land that first UX job, I'm assuming because you started to have more knowledge on the UX digital side of things.

Julieta: If I have like those years of experimentation to try to understand where, where I belong, uh, where I wanted to do, and yeah, for me UX was like that piece that was missing for me in the graphic design, the user, that was like the huge, uh, the huge item there. The highlight was yeah, your design name for people. Yes. Yeah, now I get it. .

Dianne: Yes. No, I love that. I mean that's also what, like the reason I kind of fell in love with UX and it's, it's not about opinions, it's not about what you want, it's not about what the customer wants. It's literally building something for the users. That makes sense. Yeah. And so it's just,

Julieta: And sometimes for you doesn't make sense as a designer the way that you are doing some flows, like, I don't know if this is understandable, but actually the people are using it and are using it that way and they are cool with it, right? And it's like, okay, if people it school with this and they can achieve the goals, , I'm done here, great, it's done. Uh, of course then you have to review it and do the more testing and see the metrics and wherever, but if people actually satisfied with that, yeah. Maybe it's not what you learned at school that Yeah, the the flow has to be like this and I, I dunno, uh, they, the user flow on the journey and wherever Yeah. They used are using it so

Dianne: . Exactly. Totally. Yeah. That's that's fascinating. It's like you have to like push your opinions aside, you have to like Yes. Like take your ego out of it, everything. Yes.

Julieta: And that's sometimes really hard because what, well, that happened to me as a graphic designer. I was like, yeah, but I studied this so it's obvious that this has to be this way and Right, of course the user, uh, or who is going to use this, um, it's, we understand it of course because I studied five years and it's obvious that it's going to happen. Totally. And then you see that you using it like the other way around and pressing and, and tapping all the buttons and you say, no, no, don't tap there . It's like, um, yes. And you have to learn from that. And it's school that you, uh, that I, I spend also that that time, um, like taking my ego out because Yeah. Yeah. I, I w I was like, yeah, have a second five years for this. It's obvious that I know, I know when you start like designing for people, you, you understand that you don't know a thing and you have to learn every time you design for a new branch of people because all of them have new necessities, new goals.

Julieta: Uh, also you have a very great solution for, um, for example, what happened to me, I had a very great solution for deposits and withdrawals in Argentina, but then we have to move all, all our, all our designs also for another country. And they have, it's another culture. They have another necessities, they have other understanding mindsets of, of things. So it's like, okay, I have to re re-understand the user relearn from them, try to, okay, what are your necessities as this new different culture that I actually dunno anything. So yeah, it's like you are learning all the time, learning how to get your ego out, learning about other new, new people, new cultures, new technologies. You're, if you're a learner, , this is your place because Totally. You're learning a lot all the time. How to not feel frustrated for something, how to feel also excited for some other things. It's like you're learning all the time. Yeah.

Dianne: I I definitely think you need to be a learner to be in this Yes. This industry for sure. Um, and I really love how you talk like that that example is an amazing example of like how, how it works. How does that work? It's unexpected. Like truly like every time. And I think that's what's so exciting about it too. Like every day is different. Like we might be pushing pixels and figma or whatever, but we're also, we're always brainstorming and coming up with different ways because how people interact with things is always surprising. And so, so it's like fascinating.

Julieta: Yes, it's surprising. It's all, it's also different between different, uh, bunch of people ages. Uh, you know, I'm a millennial. I didn't born with with a cell phone, but yes. With a computer. But now my nephew, uh, yeah, she, she actually, he, sorry, he was born with a cell phone, so Yes. The way he has like 40 years old and he interacts in so, so differently as I do as I did, uh, with the cell phone and how they, they watch, uh, YouTube for examples like, oh my God. And in he doesn't know how to write that. He know how, how the cell phone works,

Dianne: Right.

Julieta: , like, right. That's amazing. So yes, then I will have to learn how to, how to design for those new, new centennials who knows and has a great knowledge about technology. It's like, yeah, I, we will have to, to rethink things again and Right. It depends also in the, in the ages that you're, you're designing as well. It, it's so amazing. A lot, a lot of things to learn to keep moving. It's like you can be calm in this as being designer.

Dianne: It's almost like, and I, to be honest, I use this word quite a bit when I'm talking, when I'm pitching the design project, and now I feel like I'm not, I shouldn't be using this word as expert is like, everything is shifting and changing a always. So there's not really like an expert. It's like we know something, but everything could completely shift if we just change the age group or the country, whatever it is.

Julieta: Yes, yes. I completely agree with that and I totally hear you. It's, it's that you have to rethink about the things and also learn, for example, I, I was talking about technology before and it's like, yeah, the design system also are evolving and changing, and that's because people learn new things and then you have a new starter point to keep on improving. So yeah, it's like you have to also, uh, see that and be in the last minute news of that as well. Uh, I think it, it's amazing because I know that sounds like, oh no, you have, I have to be thinking and learning a lot of things and it doesn't matter what I learned 10 years ago. No, no, no. Everything, everything. It's okay. Don't worry. , everything that you learn, it's cool and for sure you're going to use it. It's just new information, new things, uh, but absolutely all the experience that you already have, it's pretty useful. It's not a waste of time or a waste of

Dianne: Whatever. Right. And honestly, what I say quite a bit as I like progress in my career, um, I'm wondering if you have, have a similar kind of feeling is like, kind of like you were talking about when you were a graphic designer, how you were like, I went to school, I'm an expert. I feel like the fir, and I've said this actually in the, the podcast quite a bit. I feel like the further along I get in my career, the more I realize I know nothing. Like I feel like I just, I, everything is shifting and changing and it's exciting and it's like a chance to learn and to understand. And I like feel like I'm just like, I don't know. I know nothing. I know nothing that's going on, which is exciting.

Julieta: It's like having four years, uh, again, when you are like experimenting new things all the time. I think that being, uh, a designer, it doesn't matter, graphic designer, digital or whatever to be a designer, it's like to have always four years old always asking why and why several times. It's like you never pass that, that that terror, that that stage, you always are asking why, why, why? And you are always getting amazed with the new things and the different things. Uh, but I think that's, that's the way the things pass to go as well. It's not like, like you have to be always open for the new things that are coming. Then you can accept it or not. Maybe you don't feel comfortable or not, and that's okay. Right? Then you have like your own specialty or your own discipline to go and, and that's okay. But if you can have that sensitivity of still, uh, get a use for the new things, uh, you will go to some new other places that could be really great as well as, as the ones that you current, current have.

Dianne: I love that. Very well said. Yes. Agreed. I feel like this is like kind of a love letter to being a product designer and what it means and what you have to be prepared for too is Yes, all these things. Um, well, let's kind of pick up with your career. You got a job as a UX designer, your first UX design position. Um, what was that like getting into that?

Julieta: Oh, it was, yes. I was trying to remember which one was , uh, as a UX designer was in, in a agency. It was, uh, a little one at that moment. And what I learned there is that you can also design, uh, I mean in that moment we weren't able to talk with, with customers, sorry, with with users. We were just talking with, with our clients and see what they needed, uh, what they wanted. And at some point was pretty, pretty similar to the graphic design era where I, yes, I talk with the stakeholders on what they needed and I just, I just did it. Um, and what I learned there from my peers as well is, is that, uh, I also have some experience, so I don't need 100% to talk with users. Of course, always you have the chance to talk with them. It's the best, it's the best thing you can do.

Julieta: But sometimes you don't have time, you don't have the possibility when continue, don't have the resources or whatever. Uh, trusting yourself, trusting your project, trusting in the process and trusting Thes, for example, you there can have some, some start point trust, um, and your knowledge trusting the research that you can do as well. So what I learned there is yeah, I was very pretty excited trying to talk with users because that's what I learned. , yes, in, in my course that yeah, you have to talk to users to say that you're doing, you actually design, right? Uh, but after same years I realized that yeah, I was doing a great design as well. It could be so much better if I talk to users, but also I have some other resources that I can use, another tools that I can use in order to, to get such a great product as I, as I query that moment, the good enough. Uh, so that's, that's where I learned my first, first UX job.

Dianne: I actually, I wanna talk about. Good enough. I love that you just said that, um, because this is a big part of, well, especially working with startups or customers, c clients that don't have, like you said, the resources. So there's a good enough phase. So how, how should designers kind of like approach this good enough phase? Like how do you suggest they mentally prepare for what good enough means

Julieta: ? That's a really good question. I am still figuring out because it's something, it's, I, I mean you can understand some things and you sometimes might feel frustrated because you feel that some things that you could do it so much better, but you don't have enough time, you don't have enough resources to, or wherever. And, and that's okay. You will learn from that as well. It's not that you are always going to do the same thing and never, never improve. Uh, sometimes happens to me as well. Sometimes I feel frustrated because I came to the things that I feel that I have to do. Um, but yes, at that time I, I try to tell, say to myself, okay, uh, this is just a, a job. This is a part of the job. It's not always going to be like this. Uh, you also have other clients or other projects where maybe you can do a discovery, maybe you can, I dunno, uh, do an AB testing, read metrics and whatever. It's like in each project you will have a different experience, um, and you will learn from, from each of them. Um, sometimes you will have the possibility to do the whole thing and it's awesome and sometimes not. And it's awesome as well because you can learn from other things just, and if you have any other advice or whatever will be great also to, to hear it because I feel that it's, um, an experience that every designer has and all will have. And, and yeah, I'm, I'm still learning of it as well.

Dianne: Yeah, I mean, I think, I think what you said is great. I think maybe something to add on is that when you do a good enough job, it shows that there's room for improvement. So hopefully if you get it out there, then you'll start to get feedback and then, you know, like, I mean that's like the beauty of design is it's always evolving and changing and you can always eventually get feedback and you can always see how it's working. So say they don't wanna test it and they're like, let's just put it together good enough, throw it out there, user, their users are gonna use it , they're gonna get feedback whether they wanted to or not. And then they're gonna come back and say, Hey, okay, this, that we did good enough. Here are some problems. And then you'll have the chance to like rethink it. So I think that usually what goes around comes around, you'll probably have another opportunity and stab at it. So it's a good learning of like you to learn best practices and see, oh, okay, this is super interesting how users interact with this. Maybe I can take this knowledge that I learned and apply it to something else. So kind of like you said, as you continue to do good enough, you might have other ideas and learn other things from other good enough projects that you got to retest to continue to grow. So, yeah.

Julieta: Yeah. And, and just for everyone to know, this happens and happens a lot. Uh, also in, in, well, I have a lot of experience in the last couple of years in the startups and sometimes it happened that you are doing a, a thing and, but I was in the crypto world as well, so it was very, very dynamic. And sometimes we are working in something and, and a stakeholder appearance said like, no, now we have to move to this another direction. It's like, okay, we just have to leave everything we did to yeah, tackle that. And that happens a lot. Just go with it. Sometimes you will feel overwhelmed. Sometimes she was frustrated and I completely understand that. But with the, with the days and with the month and years, maybe maybe you can take also the things that you feel that are worthy for you as well and say, okay, I learned these things because you are learning. Doesn't matter the situation that you are, you are, you are learning something that you want or you don't want. Uh, and that, that's cool and that that's really, really, really great also.

Dianne: I love that. Um, beautiful. Well said. I, that kind of sparked something else in my head. And I'm curious your thoughts, um, your example you gave of working crypto and a stakeholder came in. Um, I think something else that a lot of designers don't really learn until they really get into the industry, um, is learning about the business side of things. So obviously you're a designer, you have this ideal way you wanna work, we have the good enough, which doesn't follow our ideal way, and we, we also need to see what's happening with the company. Um, so what are, what are the big goals of the company? What are they trying to achieve? And by understanding that and understanding some of the business side of things, that'll also help align you as well. Um, what do you think of that? And maybe especially in some of these startups you've worked in, how did those, those ideas of understanding the business goals shift and change your design needs?

Julieta: So knowing and, um, yoki and the goals of the company, it's very, very important also for us as designers because we have to achieve those goals. We have to have the company to achieve those goals, but at the same time brings the, the user's voice in, in the table. So it's a huge challenge because sometimes there are some stakeholders that don't understand anything about design, and it's okay because it's not their shop to know about it. Uh, it's our, our shop to, to teach them as far as they let us as well. Because not also your job to say, yeah, you have to learn about this . Um, and a a other thing about, about those, uh, goals that we need to know is that that will help you as a designer to prioritize your work and also to negotiate, because sometimes it will appear some, uh, ninja things, I call them ninja things, the things that appears through the windows , you never, you didn't have it that on release and accidentally happens an ninja item there, uh, where you have to do it fast for yesterday.

Julieta: Uh, and that happens a lot. Um, so yeah, with, with those OKRs in mind or as, or, or just knowing what things are the most important things and the, the case of success and also the, the, um, the other case, the case when everything goes wrong, um, it will be good for you to prioritize, to understand, uh, if that new thing is as much as important as the other ones, uh, negotiate. Okay, maybe yes, I have to do this, but then I will, don't have enough time to do this other stuff. Is this new thing more important than this? So you can have some assertive questions to do to the stakeholders and to say, okay, yes, maybe this is something that I have to focus on. And then later let 'em know that you are not going able to, to achieve all those other things in the, at least the, the due dates that right in the beginning, you mind my setup. So it's.

Julieta: Because as a designer also you are trying to do something pretty useful useful, but at the same time, that is flexible to do so. You have to talk to the engineers and also that it's aligned with the, the goals of the, the company. Something from the fringes, big words. That, and as a designer, you should be talking with these other, other people from other siblings.

Dianne: Yes. Yes. All back to collaboration, right? Like always back to collaboration. But yeah, I, I love a lot of those things you said, and I think that we can, we have goals we have to achieve and we have to negotiate and prioritize, I think all of that. Yeah. Like for all the designers out there that are kind of getting into this industry, there's a lot more than just like you sitting and designing or even testing. Like there's a lot of other things that are going to appear and that are your job and that are your responsibility as a

Julieta: Designer. Yeah. And maybe sometimes we don't think about it. It's like, yeah, I don't care about the, the goals of O OKRs or what even is that . Right. And yeah, I, with, with my last experiences working with the startups, they realize that it was very, very important to know those things because it helps you a lot with your, with your job and with your task as well. Yes. So don't go crazy with all the things that you might have to do. And yeah, have, have that first decision that it's very important.

Dianne: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. So you kind of jumping into your, your first job and like moving up, what was that, what was that process like? Like when, when would, when did that confidence come about and when did you feel comfortable kind of jumping into the next stage and you going from that first UX job up until like, becoming that senior UX designer?

Julieta: I learned a lot in the, the different shops that I had. But I think that when I did my another click in my head and say, oh wait, I know some stuff. It was, when I start teaching, I, when, once I finished my course in, in the place where I, where I took it after like five years, I gained a lot of experience and they called me to, to ask me if I wanted to shine as a teacher. And I was nervous because like Yeah, wouldn't going to teach to, I mean, yeah, they can teach me things not to them. And yeah, I learn a lot from them as well. And they learn from me because I, when I start giving, giving some lessons the first thing that I always said is like, yeah, I know a lot of things, but because I have maybe some extra years of experience and I have knowledge in some little things, but it doesn't mean that I know everything and I will have the answer to all the things that you may ask.

Julieta: Yes. And if I don't have the answer, I will look for it. I will bring some other expert to tell you about it. But let's see what I can teach you. Let's see what I can, what I can give to you as well. And yeah, you also start with my, my glasses with, with that disclaimer. I love that because also makes me like, yeah, yeah. So don't be that nervous when I, I start, yeah. Give lessons. But I think that I did that, that click in my head when I start teaching because yeah, it helps you also lot to understand. For example someone asked me a question and it was like, yeah, yeah, the answer of this is this, this, and this. And it's like, oh my god, , when did that came from?

Dianne: Oh my gosh. That's so funny.

Julieta: Yes. I was like answering a lot of questions and a lot of, yeah, typical common question, but I didn't know that I know, knew it until they asked me. So yeah, that, that was the time that I say, okay. Yeah. Now it's not that I feel an like an expert or like a senior, I just realized that I have a, a lot of experience, had a lot of knowledge that I wanted to share to, to others as well, that I wanted to, to help them yeah. Go through some things that I also pass through and maybe I can help with this frustration or, or this feelings the overwhelm or the staff and things like that because I had experience in that. And yeah, to see just another point of view while I still learning and still taking some other courses and whatever. I'm a learner. I'm always trying to do some, some different things to, to learn. Yes. Yeah.

Dianne: No, that's great. I, I love that. I think that's like, that's so fascinating. It that that's like when it clicked and it makes sense, like when you all of a sudden realize that you know all of this, like you're always, I mean, us as designers, we are always learning, we are always starting from, like you said, like a four-year-old. Like, oh, we don't know. We have to ask why, why, why. But then ta when you actually like realize that you do know this and you can actually teach someone else, that would make sense.

Julieta: I'm in front of 2020 persons who are listening to me were Yes. Looking at me like, okay, you're going to teach me something. Like, say something interesting. And I was like, okay, you is, is is .

Dianne: That's so funny.

Julieta: Yeah. So it's great as well when it's again, collaboration, but maybe you knew something you learned something or you read in the, in an article, something new, something that it's great, innovative or whatever. And if you share with someone else, also you are like, like learning how to communicate. Also you are learning how to pursue. You're, you're also like saying to your head, saying to your mind, yes, I know about this stuff and this stuff is interesting for me as well. Then I'm going to, to keep on reading on wherever that topic is. So if you are able to teach it, it's because you are already understand it. If you're ready to say to communicate because you already understand it. And that's funny. But, and that's great in any area. It doesn't matter if you are teaching or if you are given if you're sorry, talking to public or whatever. Yeah. just with your peers in no taking a coffee and you are saying something interesting or something that you learned, you read that's pretty, pretty helpful as well for you to, to say. Yeah, I know some things. It's not like I'm completely un unknown Right. About other stuff.

Dianne: Totally. Yeah. I think like being around it interacting and realizing that you actually do know . Yes. You can speak about these things with like, with some authority

Julieta: . Yes.

Dianne: Yes. Which is exciting. That's exciting. Okay. So I have a question about kind of your previous jobs before you joined the design project. I wanna know how you got into the crypto space and what working in the crypto space was like.

Julieta: So when I was working for Accenture, that was my last last huge agency company. I did a yeah, a project that I, that was for the Bitcoin company. We trying to do a digital identity app. And I start like learning more about blockchain. I was very, very interested in the blockchain technology. Of course, if you know about blockchain, you have to know you learn about Soca, you and also cryptocurrencies and things like that. And I was very, very interested in the possibility of that technology because I think I still believe that it, it, it's so much more than we currently using it. It's like, yeah, for sure. I, I truly believe that we are going some other place with it, but from now it's just all about, almost all about cryptocurrencies. So I was very, very interested in that.

Julieta: And I thought that if I wanted to learn more about it, I needed to get into a company, get into the industry in order to learn more about it. Soto gave me my first opportunity working in a product now as a product designer and to actually learn my first steps in, in cryptocurrencies. And then I had the possibility also to work for Lemon, which is here in Argentina. And this like a national app, a national industry. So I also wanted to help keep on learning because yeah, the dynamic it's different. The necessities are different. Sometimes you are not designing for necessities, you are designing without a problem because people still don't have a problem because they still don't know about it. , that's fascinating. So sometimes like, yeah, sometimes it's the other way around. You're not having a problem to solve, you just have solutions for possible problems that they might have. So yeah, you have like rethink things again, .

Dianne: Right, right. It's like how, I mean, that's interesting. How do you think of like what potential problems a user might have when a user hasn't really used this technology at all?

Julieta: , web three. Web three, it's like something super, super new. And it's like, yeah, I have to solve problems. Right. That they are actually don't exist.

Dianne: Yeah.

Julieta: Right. So you're actually creating something new, see which problems are you going to face. And then the science is like the other way around. It's different. Some, it's very, very challenging as well, because you don't have too many research to do because like, yeah, we're going to, to what? It's someone doing this, and if so, you're not innovating that much because yeah, it, it, it should be something new for you as well. So it, it's, it's something complex, but in, in another way, every, every problem is complex of course, but for me it was more complex in, in some cases because like, yeah, I don't, I dunno where I can do some research, I dunno, , right? I can can, yeah. Do some maybe benchmark or wherever it's like, no from scratch, but really, really from scratch,

Dianne: Right? It's like the concept isn't even clear. It's like, doesn't even make sense yet. It's not even a thing. .

Julieta: Yes, yes. It's not something punchable, it's something like, it's completely in the idea world in your head and in the heads of your stakeholders. It's like, yeah, how can I take that out of your head and bring it into a paper or a fit file?

Dianne: Yes. Yes. I worked on a crypto project actually I guess it's been two or three years ago now. That's now pretty big. But at the time it was fascinating because I feel like every time I designed something and I would chat with the engineers, like they had no, I, they were like completely in the dark teeth. They'd be like, oh, I just discovered, or I literally just came up with this new random thing that's gonna change everything. And we'd be like, what is this? Boom? And by the time I finally understood what this new thing was, they'd already found something else new

Julieta: . Yes, I totally hear you. Yes. , the same thing happens to me once and again because that technology also is so, so dynamic. It changed almost every day and we learn something new every day about it. That completely changed the game. Completely changed the things that you already designed and experienced that also the users will have with that. Also, you have a lot of type of users, the ones that knows a thing about crypto, the ones who wants, who are interested and wants to learn, but in a very peaceful way. Like, yeah, let's calm down because there's a lot of information I want to learn, but I want, I don't want like these strange words that you're telling me. Then you have the ex, the, the experts, the ones that knows a lot and they also want to use your product in different ways. So you have like very, very different profiles of people trying to get involved with, with cryptocurrencies. It's a huge challenge as well as designers, because you are work, you are designing for a complete opposite people.

Dianne: No, this is interesting. Yeah. It's, it's a whole, like everything that we've said up until we heard talking about crypto of like the challenges of being a product designer and like how things change and shift, like think of everything we said, but like 10 times more complex and more not in like a negative way, just es and like it's always shifting and changing. Like that's what you're gonna get, .

Julieta: Yes, yes.

Dianne: Absolutely. So I guess like what advice would you give designers that are looking to get into the crypto space, looking to design for crypto?

Julieta: If they want to get involved in crypto, it's because they know this. Because at the time that I get, I, I didn't know there was this dynamic just for you to know, yes, is this dynamic and you are warm , we already told you.

Dianne: You have to be a little crazy. Step one, you gotta be a little crazy .

Julieta: Yes, for sure. Second, you have to be a learner and you need to learn a also a lot of things about technology, not only about design, but also the technology because it has a lot of possibilities, but also a, a lot of limitations that you have to deal with. And also the people understand and don't understand. So my advice will be if you get into crypto, it's because you like it. It's because you truly, truly believe this is a very great technology. So you don't get like overwhelmed or mad or whatever about the changes. Because yes, they are a lot, there is a lot of movement and a lot of it's, it's very, very dynamic. Keep on learning and yeah, try to find also some peace on that because I don't think that will change. It's part of what crypto is, and it's good also for crypto to be so dynamic because we are still doing a lot of things with it. So

Dianne: That's, I mean, that's great advice. Like, I like crypto, and to be honest, I don't un, I don't understand a lot of the things. So I think there's a place where I can still work on crypto, but I also know that I don't have that mindset. Like I don't have the passion to learn all the ins and outs. And so I think that's really great advice is like, you really have to be like, dedicated to wanting to learn and to understand these really complex, shifting dynamic concepts.

Julieta: Yes. And also because you will have to, to learn also by mistakes, how to use it and using reuse it, check with people and read different forums and articles and and stuff. Because as, as the designer is, if we are going to work with that, it's also important to understand it. It's not like some other thing that if you don't understand it very, very deep it doesn't matter because that's, as a designers, you don't have to know everything about all the things in the world. Right? But from my perspective, in this case, it's really important to understand at least a little bit about the technology in, in order also to, to help users and to help yourself. To help yourself also because you are also a, a creep to user. And yes, we are all learning together about this.

Dianne: That's amazing advice. Totally. For all of you designers that wanna get into crypto take this advice, it'll be helpful

Julieta: , and take it easy. Take it easy because yeah. Yeah. It's, it's a really, really nice world. Yes. But it's also complex, so

Dianne: It's definitely

Julieta: Go with it,

Dianne: . Yes, yes. Totally. okay, so I kind of like wrapping up this, this awesome podcast is like, so you joined the design project about a month ago. You've been working with us. And my last switching to you is like, where do you see yourself going? Where do you wanna be in the next five years? Like what is your trajectory as a designer?

Julieta: I truly dunno, but because I'm open to see what our industry also will go, because when I first started being a graphic designer, I never thought I was going to be here as a proud designer in the digital world because things change so fast and change a lot. And I think they are changing now once again because of the things that happened with did Kobe, that accelerated a lot of things. But also because now we are talking about AI and so things are evolving again. So I'm very expecting on what's going to happen and how would I adapt because I'm not in my twenties anymore. How would I, I will adapt. Yeah. To that. That's, yeah. So that was yeah, so I'm really, really open, I hope, continuing with, with the user experience or the part where I had to talk with you because I really like that. I think it has a lot of, of potential. But let's see what happens. ,

Dianne: I love that. I think that's also, I think like there's so many different directions you can take from here and there's so many new thing, new technology, everything is changing and shifting so rapidly. So it's like going at the flow and seeing where it takes you and who knows, who knows

Julieta: Where that's gonna be. I sometimes feels like, yeah, I have a lot, a lot of possibilities and I'm afraid to choose one because I feel like I missing the rest of them. That's why I try to stay as, as open as possible to see and to, to try different things. I know I have like a long well, those, those years that I was experimenting with different kinds of, of digital, digital shops to see which one I like most. Hope I don't have to go through that again, . But yeah, just, just to be open to see what new things the technology and the world will bring and see how it goes for me as well,

Dianne: . I love it. I love it. Well said. Well kind of ride the wave. Well, awesome. Thank you so much Holly, for chatting with me about your career, where you've been giving great advice to other designers, looking to kind of get into some of these spaces that that you've had experience with. So I really appreciate you coming on the podcast. And I'm really excited to continue our relationship at the design project after month one. Let's see where we go.

Julieta: Yes. Thank you. Thank you for letting me be here. It was awesome. It was really, really nice and great to talk to you. Thank you.

Dianne Eberhardt

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