Today I had a chance to interview one of our newest UX Designers, Hernan… and I was totally surprised by some of the things I discovered. Here, I’m sharing my interview with you, plus a lot of insight into the profession of UX designer.

Passionate About New Projects

Nano, which is what we call Hernan around here, is a 34 year-old with a passion for drawing. He loves innovative things and tech trends and he’s a self-taught person, always eager to know more and more. All of this makes him great at what he does here at Making Sense.

Nano loves to draw and his comics have been published in Spain. Cool, right?

As you might have guessed, Nano is one of those restless guys whose minds are always ideating something. But lucky for us, he’s not just about imagining new things. On the contrary, he considers himself to be passionate about creating new projects and making them work. Not surprisingly, his is currently working on the development of an app in his free time.

In Addition to Working at Making Sense…

At the beginning of his career, Nano started to become involved with web design. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design as well as a degree in Audiovisual Communication. So currently, he is professor at CAECE University. This gives him a chance to interact with students and to learn from them.

Besides this, Nano loves to practice Yoga every chance he gets. This allows him to relax and remove himself from the distractions of the world each time.

Let’s dig a little bit deeper into Nano’s profession as a UX Designer.

Some Q&A With Nano

Is there anything that you don’t like about your daily work?

I find fieldwork tedious. I’m passionate about it, but I find it difficult. I am a very self-confident person, so this is like a challenge, since I must interact with people I do not know. This is the “complicated” part of my profession, but I try to handle it.

Who in the industry do you follow and read?

I read a lot on the founding of UX from authors like Don Norman, Alan Cooper and Jakob Nielsen. I try to be up to date with some of the current bibliographies, like Design Systems and Hooked. Beyond that, I really like reading lectures, like those by Steve Krug, but I also like the theoretical, where they give me material to understand in a more abstract way what I’m doing every day.

I am a teacher, so I need to be updated in this sense. I read very much in Luke W. My point of reference with the material is Twitter. I use it a lot to follow young people and people who generate interesting information to be updated and adapt contents to the new generations.

Which is one of the challenges that you face as a professor?

The way students learn has changed substantially, so we have to change the way we teach and adapt the content so that it reaches them. This implies an approach similar to, more nor less, “user experience”.

I have been a teacher for 5 years and although I am teaching alongside the digital generation, I learned at this time that there is a big difference between “knowing about technology” and “using technology”. 

Teaching appeared in my life so I could work on some of my soft skills, which I recognize that I must improve. Teaching also forces me to keep up to date. Every time I begin a new class, I find new analogies and new experiences that I can apply in my professional field. Without a doubt, to see the improvements in the students and to know that one can contribute to that, is one of the most rewarding things of my profession as a teacher. And of course, it’s extremely fruitful for my career as a UX Designer.

Where do you get inspiration from?

I do not believe in inspiration as a creative method. I am a really analytic person, so basically my inspiration comes from the analysis and understanding of a particular situation and from the people I design for. The inspiration comes from the knowledge of the problem. Only then can inspiration arise creatively in a subconscious way.

One of the “techniques” that I like to use in my work is to compare the situation I am working on with others. I look at examples from different fields and analyze similar themes that influence and enrich the theme that I am addressing.

What would you say is the next big trend in UX design?

It is actually somewhat current, but I see the conversational world and the voice interface as one of the growing trends in our profession. I think the visual interface will never cease to exist, but it will adapt to the permanent conversation with the user.

Pro tip from Nano: Stop asking for permission to do UX.

It is very difficult for many companies to understand the value of the UX. Even once they realize they need it, they may still believe that implementing UX is too expensive.

UX professionals who work in companies that don’t want to invest much in UX have an obvious dilemma. It might seem like there’s no way to build a career, but on the contrary, there’s opportunity. By waiting around for permission to work on UX, you’ll miss out on that opportunity. I’d suggest looking for all the ways you can start implementing UX in little ways at no extra cost. Gradually, you can start showing your company the value of what you are doing. Do not ask for permission, just do it!