TL;DR: The effective use of UX and UI not only simplifies things and makes them more beautiful, but it also solves people’s problems. My work is done when I have truly solved a problem. That moment fills me with happiness.
My history with digital design began when I was very young; I grew up alongside a Commodore VIC-20 that I shared with my older brothers – who are now both developers. There’s no doubt that my love for everything digital started with them.
In my school years, I was quite the computer nerd. I won prizes in computer science and spent hours at home writing commands in LOGO to create on-screen drawings. When I was about 15, I started designing my first websites with FrontPage using animated GIFs.
Looking at those designs today would probably hurt my eyes, but I’ll never forget how much fun I had making them.
My interest in this field grew even more when I got to high school. Friends always approached me with computer issues because they knew that I loved solving problems — especially problems that had to do with technology.
But during those years, like many other teenagers of my generation, I discovered a new dream — to travel the world. I followed my impulse and began to study hotel management.
I was drawn to the idea of giving people an outstanding user experience (UX).
My time in hotel management was fleeting, but my energy for analyzing the user’s experience stuck with me.
To this day, I can’t help but examine UX in my daily life: On a flight, on a visit to a museum, at dinner in a restaurant, or even when taking my car to the shop.
I started looking for a career path that I was even more passionate about. And I found what I was looking for at the age of 18, when I discovered web design — I turned the hobby that I had once enjoyed so much into my new profession. That’s when the real adventure began.
I immersed myself into the world of professional design and enjoyed learning from each one of my projects. I started out working in a small web design studio with small clients which, within a few years, transformed into a digital agency with multiple partnerships with startups and agencies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Austin, Sydney and London. I lived through the transition from project manager to lead designer to part-owner of the agency with great commitment. As we say in Argentina, me puse la camiseta — I committed myself completely for the good of the team.
Without a doubt, one of my greatest achievements is how much I grew within that job. I was always hungry to learn and improve. While taking part in the design and management of countless projects, I led teams and had amazing opportunities to work with clients from diverse industries and different parts of the world.
I celebrated every achievement but at the same time, recognized every failure — as hard as each one was they gave me many opportunities to grow.
Thanks to all this, I developed an attractive portfolio with hundreds of projects and a virtuous circle of references and recommendations. But even then, I felt that something was missing. The designs were beautiful and useful, but I wasn’t aware of the true impact that they were having on users.
I would listen to the clients and their goals, but I realized I was missing the user’s voice. Without this, I couldn’t know if my designs were solving problems for the people using them.
I needed to learn methodologies that would get me closer to the user in order to see the purpose behind my designs. I bought every book that my colleagues recommended, read thousands of online articles and listened to podcasts amid the chaos of my morning routine. I also participated in dozens of meetups, conferences and workshops in pursuit of creating more meaningful designs.
In this digital world where knowledge is infinite, I am constantly looking to learn more.
As a UI designer, I have found what makes me happy. And my journey will continue along new paths, as I go deeper in my quest to make users’ lives easier.
That is why I’ve spent more than a decade on this journey, weaving design into the fabric of my daily life and seeking challenges that solve problems. It goes beyond a job — it’s my passion.
I live and breathe design. I am fortunate to be part of a dynamic industry that changes constantly, keeps me active, productive and current — and most importantly, I love it.
Website designed by me and coded by Nicolás J. Engler