Andrea Tovar

Andrea Tovar

Product Designer

Mexico City

Mexico

I was open to new opportunities as a designer, I wanted to move from the country I was living and I applied to every opportunity out there I could find, without prior knowledge of UX whatsoever.

What is the Design Scene like in Your City?

I am from Mexico City and currently living and working in Berlin. If we are talking about Berlin, the UX scene is pretty wide, there is so much knowledge sharing, mostly because the startup scene is pretty big, though is really interesting to see how each startup and designer has their own definition of what UX means and the process they go through. 

How did you get started in UX design?

By chance, I was open to new opportunities as a designer, I wanted to move from the country I was living and I applied to every opportunity out there I could find, without prior knowledge of UX whatsoever. So I got the chance to work at a super small startup that had an IOS app for financial advisors that were working in some important banks, and the previous designer was leaving, she taught me several things about UX, and at the same time, I enrolled in the academy. This started my journey into UX and I am really grateful for it.

How long have you been in the field of UX design?

Almost 4 years. I studied Graphic Design back in Mexico but I decided to try my luck in other countries around the world. I was doing everything from menus for restaurants, Google ads, social media posts, to websites until I finally landed an opportunity to help design an IOS app that was used for financial advisors in banks.

What is your speciality? What do you feel really comfortable with?

I would say I am a generalist, and I always like learning new things. My latest interest is Research, I realized how important it is when developing products, and how it allows me to get closer to the people who use the product, and I really like that closeness and the understanding I gain from talking to them. I want to be able to get better at conducting research and in the end, create products that empathize with the people using them.

What made you want to pursue a career in UX design?

I landed in the UX path by chance, but I’ve always liked challenges, so in order to understand better, I enrolled in an academy that taught me the basics of UX and UI design, on that moment I realized there was a huge market for me to expand, learn challenge myself and got super inspired by the other people in that academy, their designs, and skills. It pushed me to learn more about this career and venture myself deeper into it.

Share a secret. Something no one knows
about you.

A lot of people think I am extroverted because I can talk and bond with people pretty easily, but the reality is that every time I am in a new place with people I don't know, I get paralyzed, and it's really hard for me to break the ice, so I let others do it for me and then I start opening up. Once at a meetup I couldn't get myself to talk to anyone and just stayed in a corner away from everyone cause I got so anxious and scared. 

Tell us about your favorite design related book(s).

That is a tough question cause I have many, but this is my list:

Books

1. Ruined by Design - Mike Monteiro. 

2. Creative Confidence - David M. Kelley, Tom Kelley

3. Sprint - Jake Knapp 

4. Don't make me think - Steve Krug

5. Radical Candor - Kim Scott 


Movies & Series

Design Disruptors -  InVision

Abstract (Netflix show) 

What type of a designer are you in terms of hard- and software? What is your favorite app?

Figma

Miro

Notion 

and a Mac 

Typical designer, I guess ...

Let's be honest. We all make mistakes. Tell us about your biggest UX fail.

On my previous job the first month after starting, they decided to create their own CRM system. It was such a huge project and I had not much experience at that time. They explained the idea to me, which I didn't understand so well, and didn't ask many questions cause I thought I needed to understand everything from the beginning (First big mistake). They already had come up with some designs themselves and I thought it was my time to shine, so I told them we should give it more style according to the brand (Second big mistake) I didn't know what I was putting myself into, we were on a tight deadline, so I had to rush designs and ofc there was no time for research or testing, and I didn't also know I had to do those things, I was jumping to do UI and getting approval only from my PM and devs (Third huge mistake). I've learned a lot from these mistakes.🙈

Do you have a side project?

Yes, I do some freelancing but mostly for branding and logo designs. Aside from that I am working on an app to help make workplaces safer and more trustful spaces. You can check it out and sign up for updates at https://talkin-team.editorx.io/info.

Tell us a bit about learning UX.

1. I would like to refine my UX practice, how to build more usable, and make complex problems into simple products

2. Refine my UI skills, to create super clean essential screens that convey purpose.

3. Also I will like to learn how to build a design system that is helpful and robust. 

4. How to build websites in Webflow

5. Learn how to refine the design process in order to have a clear guide on what to do, when to do what, and increase collaboration between all the people involved

6. And maybe make a masters in psychology (but one step at a time)

Who would you consider a mentor? Tell us about your relationship.

I have a friend from my previous job, that unknowingly taught me so much about what a good designer should know and be doing. When we first met it was under Corona times and for some reason, we became really close, we starting asking each-other for feedback and I would say, we started truly collaborating and helping each other shape our design practice, but not only just that, also how we handle difficult situations at work and how to have a better relationship with others at work and in life. I've had several mentors but I think the fact that we were so close and trusted each other, made her my best mentor (without the title).

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