Yasmin Torres is a UX and UI designer specialised in branding and innovation, who lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil. On a trip to Australia earlier this year to visit family and friends, Torres attended Echos’ three-day Design Thinking Experience course.
We chatted about Design Thinking, innovation and using human-centred design to provide people with the best user experience they can have.
RG- Hello Yasmin, can you start by telling our readers a bit about yourself?
YT- My name is Yasmin Ghazzaoui Torres, and I’m a designer. I live and work in Brazil, and during a short visit to Sydney, I attended Echos’ Design Thinking Experience course. The course gave me the opportunity to become more passionate about design and what I do for a living. I’m interested in the positive social impact that designers and other professionals can do together to create a better world. I also love reading – mostly about design, innovation, feminism, and social impact. I love travelling, learning new things, gardening, going to pilates, running and solving problems.
RG- How would you describe your work life?
YT- I work as a UX/UI designer at Eólica, a design and branding company located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was during my Bachelor’s degree in Design at The University of Sao Paulo that I first learned about the concept and started to practice human-centred design. My undergrad degree taught me about multiple aspects of Design; therefore, I needed to create a solid background in several fields of design theory and practice. I currently work creating mobile and desktop interfaces as well as digital user experience for apps, websites and multiple platforms. I truly believe that to be a great designer, I have to develop my skills through different fields. Besides that, to make our work as designers more powerful, we should also work with multidisciplinary professionals. In order to design coherent interfaces, provide wonderful experiences and successful products, a designer should ground their work on deeper user research before and during the design process, therefore, producing as output well-designed apps, sites, games and other user-centred products.
RG- In your opinion, why is innovation important in your field of work?
YT- Innovation is one of the essences of Design. If we don’t develop, we don’t evolve. In the creative field, you have to constantly update yourself with innovative methodologies, technology, ways of thinking, and techniques. Otherwise, you’ll get stuck in the past and won’t be able to enjoy what the world and the people in it have to offer to you and your business.
“For us designers, Design Thinking is just thinking.”
RG- When was the first time you heard about Design Thinking?
YT- I had always heard about critical design, human-centred design and when I heard about design Thinking – probably at university – I understood that all of those concepts work together in only one way of thinking. For us designers, Design Thinking is just thinking. As a professional in the creative industry, you need to be able to work with the unknown and to come up with multiple creative solutions to a problem you don’t know how to solve.
RG- After attending Echos Design Thinking Experience, how do you think the knowledge you brought back to your work can positively impact your industry?
YT- Echos taught me a very clear objective and deep way to understand that projects will have different possibilities of a solution. The process is more important to determine which solution is the ideal to that situation you need to solve. With the tools and the right direction, you can lead your clients and users to solve problems innovatively.
“We need to be in love with the problem, not the solution. That’s because if one solution does not work for that problem, we need to learn how to let it go and move on.”
RG- What were your biggest learnings during Echos’ Design Thinking course?
YT- I had many learnings during the course. One of them is to be open-minded with everyone around you and also with the process you are going to be a part of. The solution may come with the unexpected, or as we learned, we need to “expect the unexpected”. As human beings, we tend to become attached to an idea, and in the case of Design Thinking, we tend to become focused on the one solution we have already created in our minds. That’s the most common mistake people make. We need to be in love with the problem, not the solution. That’s because if one solution does not work for that problem, we need to learn how to let it go and move on. That’s one of Echos biggest learnings: “love the problem, not the solution”. Linked to that, we also need to fail fast and not be afraid to stumble in the middle of the process. That’s exactly the preparation we need to learn quickly and to solve our problem even faster. If you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried enough. We need to prototype to get results faster and to test our prototypes multiple times. This way, we’ll be able to iterate ideas as many times as we can, so we can get closer to an accurate solution.
“If you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried enough.”
RG- Did you learn anything new about yourself whilst attending the courses?
YT- I learned that is not a coincidence that we have two ears and only one mouth: that’s because we need to listen more before we say anything. That was a very powerful learning that we practised a lot during our experience, and I’m sure that was something people took with them to their homes.
RG- Are you currently working on a project and applying using Design Thinking methodologies?
YT- I’ve always worked with design projects where DT methodologies are applied. One learning I had on this course and also in other projects that I worked on was to prototype a lot. That’s really meaningful for me because it’s utterly necessary to test with my users as much as I can – before, during and after prototyping – so we can get closer to an ideal project and also guarantee the usability of the final product or interface.
“Open your mind! Don’t be stuck in the old and traditional idea or mindset you had. Let go of everything you believe just this once, and you will see how much learning you’ll do.”
RG – What pearls of wisdom would you share with someone who is starting their innovation journey through Design Thinking?
YT- Open your mind! Don’t be stuck in the old and traditional idea or mindset you had. Let go of everything you believe just this once, and you will see how much learning you’ll do. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; you are here to learn. Listen to other people and their opinions, especially if they are different from yours.
RG- Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
YT- I was really lucky to have shared this experience with so many gifted professionals. I would totally recommend an Echos course for both designers and no designers. Getting to know different points of view whilst being amongst incredible people is something that will expand the way you see the world and understand design. Thank you Echos!
RG- We are glad you had such an enriching experience. To end our chat on an inspiring note, could you share a quote that inspires you?
YT – “It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.”, by Paula Scher, who is a graphic designer, painter and art educator in design, and first female director of Pentagram. Also: “Design is not primarily oriented to the creation of new knowledge, however to the practices of everyday life. (…) It is not about physical efficiency as it happens in engineering, but in terms of behavior embedded in cultural and social dynamics.”, by Gui Bonsiepe, who is a german teacher and former student of Ulm School of Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung) and moved to Latin America to become a recognised professor of design and a reference in our field.
RG- Thanks, Yasmin.
YT- Thank you, Rani.
*This interview took place on July 2019. Since then Yasmin has taken on a new professional challenge, working as a UX/UI Product Designer for the multinational company GymPass.
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