I'm Tassia Pellegrini.
I left my position as an Adjunct Professor at UFBA (Federal University of Bahia, Brazil) to move to Amsterdam. Now, I'm a Senior Designer at Booking.com.
I'm also building Under the Fold , a digital publication about product design.
Therefore, I don’t have a lot of time to maintain my portfolio.
I still remember when, back in 2008, I put the first version of my portfolio live. I was so happy I crafted it with my
own hands HTML+CSS skills! But I was working so hard to grow in my career (and to pay my bills) that I didn’t have time to update it.
To feel less guilty about that, I redesigned my portfolio regularly (every two years or so). Every redesign brought a nice fresh feeling (and learning opportunities), but the maintenance problem didn’t go away.
Sometimes I also do logo and graphic design projects. So I thought that shifting to services like Dribbble or Behance would help me stay motivated. But, as you can imagine, it was mostly empty or outdated.
Although I deeply admire them, I'm not an illustrator or animator. At the end of the day, I'm a UX Designer. For me, those platforms didn't seem to be the place I could share what I was really doing (just bits of it). Which is fine, but wouldn't solve my problem anyway.
So I put some effort to figure out a way to show, rather than just tell, what I could do.
I collected wireframes, user flows, low and high fidelity prototypes, mockups, extensive case studies...
Just to realize that, because of non-disclosure agreements and privacy issues, I couldn't show them.
And to be honest with you, I didn't want to show old case studies, miscellaneous graphic design projects or “unsolicited redesigns” like before. Not because I’m against them, but because they wouldn't represent my current skills or mindset (and their content would be outdated anyway).
It felt like going back to square one.
Well, there's hope. I still believe there’s some way where I can show you how I contribute to the projects I’m part of.
In general, I aim to connect with people, so I can get acquainted with their context. It's very easy to get excited (or distracted) with all the possible outcomes, but we must remember that humans are in the core of this journey. We need to help them make progress, empower them to collaborate and make sure we enjoy the process!
For that, I group my workflow in 3 phases: what, why and how.
This is the moment where I take the time to understand things before trying to come up with solutions. In this phase, I try to get an idea of the current situation: what’s working? what’s not working? what are the struggles and feelings around the problems we’re trying to solve?
Here, I engage in preliminary user research by collaborating with Researchers, or by using the method that is available (or the one that is more adequate for the situation).
After getting more comfortable with the situation, I look for ways to identify opportunities and important problems to solve (and what’s the motivation to solve them). Here I like to create Job Stories, based on the Jobs to Be Done method, to understand what progress looks like and why.
This can generate some questions, and they can pull me back to the "what". Or, some ideas can start to pop up and push my mind to think about solutions (the "how").
Being aware of this is important - so I can note them and focus back on understanding why solving the identified problems is so important.
Then I execute, translating those job stories into wireframes, mockups, prototypes, experiments or MVPs that are going to be validated (A/B testing, interviews, formal usability test...).
This will often give me more information, so I can go back to the "what", revisit the "why" and start this circle all over again until we have a meaningful experience for the people using the proposed solutions.
Although the goal is to create (or enable) ways in which people can make progress, learning is a big part of this process. And for me, a fundamental one. I believe that an "always learning" mindset is important for teams and individuals, helping us not to be afraid of asking questions or trying something new. It reminds us to embrace our challenges with resilience and an open heart.
(cheesy, I know)