Argentina-based Lorena Maceratesi is a UX Strategist and the Co-Founder of Holistic Interaction, a tech consultancy. Lorena talks to The Industry Leaders about her journey into the tech industry and tells us why it's vital to 'stand in the shoes of the apprentice'.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I am a very curious person. I enjoy multitasking, and I love trying new things.
I've worked on digital products for 15 years, which saw me work in coding, as a UXer, leading teams, and becoming a design strategist. Also, I'm a Design Sprint facilitator and mentor for Google Accelerator for Startups LATAM.
Having graduated as an Audio Visual Designer from the University of Buenos Aires, I'm now I'm a tenured professor in the School of Architecture and Design, where I teach the subject "Interactive Audiovisual Projects".
What kind of work does your role involve?
I am the co-founder of Holistic Interaction, a consultancy agency specialised in UX, research, Design Sprint, and innovation. My partner and I help different companies to improve their processes and the effectiveness of their projects.
We also guide our clients in building multidisciplinary teams that allow us to reach user-centred solutions, adding value to both the business and the users. In addition, we run Design Sprint and workshops to help companies innovate.
What gets you excited about your industry?
I know our industry can make a positive impact on society. Our work can make the world a friendly and equal opportunity place to live.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
I follow and deal with many colleagues who inspire me, and we talk about how to solve business and design-related problems. However, I don't have any particular advice that has shaped my career.
Our common denominator is that we always stand in the place of the apprentice, i.e., we are aware that there is a lot to learn out there, and keeping that attitude allows us to continue being learners.
What, or who inspires you?
Many things can inspire me, from a nice talk with colleagues and friends to a walk through the city. I follow a few companies in my field that inspire me, such as NNgroup, IDEO, communities like +MujeresUX, and Lady that UX.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I read a lot of articles, books, etc. I explore different frameworks that other colleagues have already used and use these as tools for learning.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
I've had several challenging projects, though I still remember one Design Sprint that I ran with other colleagues for Google Accelerator for Startups. I learned valuable lessons from that Design Sprint, such as how to approach the facilitation part and the importance of communicating in the same technical language. During the Design Sprint, we had to work on and consolidate our communication style.
That process allowed me to focus on setting the right expectations and building a common language as a part of the workshops I facilitated in the future.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
I would realise it's a dream and wake up because I don't have an office ;)
How do you switch off after a day at work?
In the current context, recreation time has been reduced. I usually practice yoga or go for a walk whenever I get a chance to change scenery, which is so important to call it a day!
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
Our profession has a lot to offer to circular sustainable economies, which have plenty of room for innovation. Strategic design can help this sector grow, and I think it is important to strengthen that relationship.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
There are many books I could recommend, though which is best for you will depend on what developmental paths you follow in your career.
Books you can't miss are "Thinking Fast and Slow" and "Lean UX".
An interesting podcast that I usually listen to is Product Breakfast Club.
How should people connect with you?
You can follow me on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/company/hi-holistic-interaction - https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorena-maceratesi/) and Instagram (@holisticinteraction - @lore_maceratesi).
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