Here’s the latest in our Meet a Making Senser series. In these posts, we offer you a peek behind the scenes at our company. Our people are our greatest strength, and by offering you their stories we’re sharing with you our most valuable assets. The more you know about us and how we get things done for you, the better your final product will become, in the end.
Santiago Tribiani is UX Director at Making Sense and works at our main Argentina Development Center, in Mar Del Plata. He started working at MS in January of 2013 and recently sat down to answer a few questions about his time here at Making Sense.
What did you study?
I studied Graphic and Audiovisual Design, but my story actually starts out a little bit differently. You see, when I finished high school I was into computers, logic and math, not design. Here’s how I ended up working in UX.
I am from Necochea, a small city 400km from Buenos Aires. That’s why I decided to study Systems Engineering in the Capital city of Argentina. But I was used to a quiet place and the big city was not for me so I decided to continue with my engineering career, but in Tandil, near home and at a friendlier place. While studying, I started working with some friends in a video production studio, by helping them with some animations and renders.
I came to the realization that maybe I had pursued the wrong major in college. I wasn’t really that much into what I had studied in school, but I loved my job.I could easily spend 12 hours working, but I did not enjoy what I was studying. After 4 years working towards a career in Systems Engineering, I told my mom I had decided that actually, design was my future! It was a pretty difficult decision, but my family understood it and I moved to Mar del Plata where I started studying design. It was a bit of a change after 4 years studying something so different.
How did you start working at Making Sense?
My career change was the right decision. I started as a freelance designer and later on I worked at two local web design studios. By doing web design and development I realized not only that I enjoyed it but also that it was a way to combine my Engineering background with my new Design skills.
I worked hard to learn the business and after two years, I heard about a web design job opening at Making Sense. I was interviewed, during which they gave me a challenge and I passed it. At the beginning I worked closely with the marketing team. Although it was not my passion, I learned a lot about harnessing my creativity and solving problems using lateral thinking.
Then a few months later, I finally started working for the Services department, taking the UX role on our clients’ projects. It was a very challenging undertaking! I started with a finance project. I quickly learned about the intricacies of client management, defending ideas, negotiating with clients and of course, making use of my English!
What were the challenges at Making Sense?
My hardest challenges were those I faced when starting with the marketing team and later with the services team. Lucky for me, my role at MS started at almost the same time as the Silicon Valley companies realized it’s important to have a designer on the board of decision-makers, in the early stages of production. That’s why I believe it was a perfect timing.
As time went by, I trained myself in UX techniques and became familiar with the product development stages, from day 0 to the end. I think my technical background really helped for this. And this was also something that allowed me to create, together with a few colleagues here at MS, our own Product Development Framework.
What about Teaching?
I think teaching has been another challenge. While working at Making Sense, I’ve had the chance to become Head of UX. For the first time I had to stop thinking in terms of merely executing my own projects, and instead think like a team facilitator.
Also, it was my responsibility to create a collaborative team where knowledge transmission was the key. In order to achieve this, I started dictating classes at my alma matter CAECE University. I trained myself to convey to people what I had learned and taught in web design. This helped me to become a better mentor and coach and these skills help me now in my new role, either with coworkers or with clients.
What do you do at MS now?
I am Head of UX, which means I am responsible for the UX quality of the software products we develop for our clients and lead the UX team towards continuous improvement. My daily activities include being part of the hiring process for new team members, meeting with new clients, mentoring team members, keeping quality standards, working on pre-sales, process improvements, maintaining our team synergy, and more.
What are your hobbies?
I love surfing, tennis and paddle. And like many people in this field, I am 24/7 connected to the matter. If I read, I don’t read a novel, I read something related to my metier. I am always striving to be creative, at work and at home with my family.
Sometimes the path we start out on isn’t the one that’s exactly right for us. Like Santiago Tribiani found out, following your passions is not easy but in the end it can result in great things happening. Here at Making Sense we’re certainly glad Santi followed his dreams and ended up here as our incredibly talented Head of UX.