As a kid, I grew up in the world of advertising. My mom worked as Creative Director for big advertising companies in Costa Rica so I was surrounded by designers and Apple products since my early childhood. After high school I decided to study graphic design, following in my mom’s footsteps. A few years later I was pushed into the tech world by what I think of as series of fortunate events. I discovered a whole new world in which my work was no longer art, but science. And I loved it.
I slowly shifted from being a graphic designer, becoming more a UX designer. I didn’t have any formal education in product design, yet I loved the idea of creating something that would actually be used… really something people loved to use. So I started spending my free hours reading up on the topic; I was mentored by awesome people that I will always treasure, and finally I made it: I was confidently evangelising to the people around me about the power of a well-tested prototypes, and discussing things like heuristics. In time, more and more doors were opening up to me.
It was then that I knew it was time to follow my dream. I applied for a position with Parkside in December of 2015, and after a couple of weeks they told me I was hired. The process for getting the visa to work in Austria was complicated, but they were willing to do what it took to help me. After three months, I was on a flight from San José to Graz with no idea what was in store for me.
I have been working at Parkside for almost two years now, and I have no regrets about making the move. My main focus here is user experience design, and every project is different. I like to do projects from scratch because you can really take ownership of them; you are in close contact with all the stakeholders and you make sure that everyone is involved. I like to create a sense of synergy. We have also developed apps and websites for startups, which is really rewarding because we can start our design process by creating “personas”, and in the end deliver well-tested products that users are going to love.
Having people from many countries and backgrounds makes Parkside a great working environment for me. You hear so many languages when you walk around the office! Flexible work schedules and the opportunity to attend tech conferences in any country in Europe also make it very appealing. So what’s next? In the future I would like to be involved in more social projects. I believe that as a designer in tech, I have the right tools to make the world a more fair and better place. At some point, I would like to have my own business, one that would have a positive impact on people’s lives. But for now, let’s focus on doing things right, always with a smile… oh, and learning Austrian German of course.