Luis Ouriach is Designer, writer and the guy asking questions at meetups.
How was your University time?
This is a difficult one. Whilst at university, and also looking back, university was mostly a waste of time. The education quality was very low touch, and the assessments were massively behind the industry standard; something we didn’t have control over, so we were being prepared to be behind. What university was good for though, which is itself a twisted practice, is getting my foot into the job market. The first-time job situation unfortunately praises university degrees over a desire to succeed in that field and a natural ‘taste’ for design.
Why did you Seekout a career in product design?
I fell into my career really. I had signed up for a degree based on a mild interest in computers and design, and was exposed to web development and design throughout the course, which I really enjoyed. If it wasn’t for this introduction, I doubt I would’ve found myself where I am today. It was my desire to work 12 hours a day in those early years of exposure that fast-tracked my skills and placed me in a suitable position to land my first internship.
What was your first job or nuggets from jobs you had that helped you to get to where you are today?
My first job was in a relatively small e-commerce wine store, which taught me a lot about how to work fast and focus on the pure essence of the job at hand. A lot of the time, designers can struggle to meet the 100% finished state, when most of the time 80% will suffice. It’s how I approach most of the tasks in my life, and it causes a lot less stress.
How did you prepare for an interview?
This might not align with others, but I don’t like to prepare too much for interviews. Turning up to an interview and repeating rehearsed answers is not the point of an interview; it’s to work out how you can fit within a team and push things forward as a unit. This is important for interviewers too – stock questions straight from an interview 101 book will not inspire people to want to work in your environment. From both sides, it’s important to demonstrate your raw passion for the work, and to prove your suitability through this.
Books that helped you?
I don’t read too many design books, as I prefer to learn through practice. The more I read, the less I’m working things out for myself.
What can you recommend on CV?
Try to cut out as many words as you can. Hiring managers receive a lot of CVs, so need to be able to scan your experience quickly to see at a glance who you are and what you can provide. I’d advise designing your CV too. Not only will this spread your design wings a bit further, but it will show that you can brand yourself and ultimately use the tools appropriate for the job, when you get hired.
Advice for someone looking for product designer job?
Be smart about it. You need to find jobs in places other people aren’t looking. This ultimately comes down to your curiosity and ability to Google. If you’re aiming to work for large companies, your best shot is to network with current employees, and prove your worth in other ways than just your ability to layout a design. Go to events and talks, get out there and meet people.
Why do you think you were selected among other candidates?
My current boss explained that it was my passion for design as a practice that got me the job. Without preparing stock answers, I was able to show that I’m researched, interested and enthusiastic about making a difference.
Things are changing very fast in every field, how do you keep yourself update. Please list blogs, podcasts, or any techniques that you follow etc
I have a problem with newsletters – I subscribe to so many, I receive probably about 50 per day. These aren’t just design, but culture, news and tech too. It’s important for me to obtain a broad picture of the world before I start designing, as it makes me more rounded as a person and ultimately more empathetic to end users.
If I had to choose three newsletters to recommend, I’d probably go with:
• For design: Uxdesign.cc – I always end up opening most of the links shared in this
• For tech: TheHustle – They have a great personality and talk about tech and finance in a way that’s easy to understand
• For news: Quartz – I’ve been subscribing to this one for years, and it’s still the simplest global digest of news there is for me.