Hi Jessica, care to share a little bit about yourself?
I’m a millennial, minority woman working in the tech industry as a product designer. My mind reels with endless creativity. when i’m not designing behind a screen, you can find me immersed in art at a local gallery or museum or Instagramming my daily dose of wine and pasta.
Can you tell us what you do as a Product Designer at Havas?
I work in the Health Tech space in a lean agency setting. My mission is to bridge the gap between technology and art through expressive design, immersive experiences, interaction and storytelling.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career? What pivotal moments pushed you to where you are now?
I decided to pursue my career as a designer when i was a graduate student studying public health in 2014. at the time, I was working as a researcher and interviewing community members in the greater St. Louis area who were at high risk of developing health diseases. I essentially was carrying out the role of UX researcher for an app that provided a risk estimate of six major diseases and put together a personalized prevention plan for the user. I was inspired to pursue a career in the digital space where I could make widespread change, employ an accessibility and inclusivity lens to work and exchange ideas with others to deliver meaningful experiences. I’m a self taught designer and love the creative aspects of my job.
What made you interested in design?
I became interested in my field because it is so multidisciplinary and I can wear multiple hats. I move fluidly inside my tool box, with the ability to listen early and often to investigate human behaviors and complex systems. Sometimes I design visual communication strategies, often I work to make people’s lives easier and the systems around them tangibly better.
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
Get inspired by the world around you, from everything you see and hear and feel. Think about how to get ideas across, for whom and why. Recognize your own bias and challenge the status quo. Remember why you are doing what you do.
3 Character traits that would make someone excel in your field
Empathy, humility and grit
Most difficult thing about your job?
The rigid rules and regulations that come with working in the health space sometimes hinders the full range of ability to employ creative solutions.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Best advice you've received/heard?
Listen first, and then speak
Any last thoughts, advice, or recommendations for someone who wants to learn more about Product Design?
Network early and as often as possible