Rodrigo de Mingo, Chief Specialist UX & Product Developer, RTA
Rodrigo de Mingo is a UX and Product Development Specialist. Currently working in the UAE, Rodrigo recounts his journey from Buenos Aires to the Middle East and tells The Industry Leaders how his family is a constant source of inspiration.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
While studying at Universidad de Palermo, I got a work scholarship to complete my Bachelor's degree in Graphic and Audiovisual Design in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Shortly after finishing university, my first dream came true when Sony appointed me to work at the B2B (business to business) solutions department, where I learned how to balance the combination of business and design on corporate levels.
Being a professional Digital Designer and Project Manager specialised in user experience design, web development, and mobile applications has allowed me to work in South America, the United States and the Middle East.
Since moving to the UAE in 2013, I worked at CERT (Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training), creating digital experiences for several government entities. These include the Higher Colleges of Technology, Naval College, Police School, IELTS, Abu Dhabi Ports, Maqta Gateway, CERT Telematics and Space Agency.
Today I work as Chief Specialist UX & Product Developer at RTA, the major government roads and transport authority in Dubai.
What kind of work does your role involve?
My role is to design the best user experience across all digital platforms to balance business requirements and user needs. To achieve my goal, I implement UX best practices, accessibility standards, design thinking methodologies, and user-centric design.
My day-to-day focuses on agile work, strategic planning, research, benchmarking, data analysis, user journeys, workshops, wireframes, iterative testing, heuristic analysis, and usability testing.
What gets you excited about your industry?
What really excites me about the industry is having the freedom to create new experiences for every project. And since each audience is unique and has different characteristics, I am very gratified when I can propose a unified solution that improves the user experience for all of them.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
I am a curious person, and I receive advice and inspiration from everywhere, but mainly from my family and friends. They remind me of the importance of hard work and never giving up, especially in difficult situations. They keep encouraging me, saying, "you can achieve whatever you want, but you have to be patient because sooner or later, positive results will come to you."
What, or who inspires you?
Technology has inspired me since I was a child when I was exceptionally enthusiastic about reading science and computer magazines. During college, I was inspired by sports, arts and music while, in university, I discovered the influential power of literature and design. At the moment, I am inspired by my family, who support me in everything I do and wherever we go.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
It has been highly beneficial for me to be actively involved in social media and digital communities. I follow innovative companies such as Apple, Tesla, Gartner, Revolut, and influential leaders such as Elon Musk, Satya Nadella, Jeff Bezos, and Tim Cook. I also keep pace with the industry by learning from well-known design and user experience organisations like Nielsen Norman Group, Interaction Design Foundation, Adobe, and Sketch. I've found enough documentation on the internet about International Web Standards (W3C) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to keep me informed about the latest updates.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
Probably one of the most challenging situations I overcame was the first time I was requested to travel and collaborate on a project in another country. At that time, I was living in Buenos Aires, and I was assigned to work in the USA at MRM-McCann, one of the most important digital marketing agencies in the world.
I was leaving behind three of the most important things of my life; my university graduation ceremony, my best friend's wedding, and a special person who a few years later would become my wife.
Fortunately, the whole story had an incredibly positive ending. The project was a complete success. The experience of consolidating new solid international relationships helped me grow as a professional and individual, providing me with a new vision and values of the world.
I also discovered how much I enjoy connecting with people from different cultures, which helped me redefine my understanding of the world.
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 like to achieve one of my dreams of establishing my own UX company.
I would also like to explore new markets such as cryptocurrencies (Bitcoins) and invest in a long-term revenue business with less risk.
I would also like to support charities and local social initiatives in my home country. And of course, I will share my good luck with my family and friends by travelling around the world together.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
As soon as I leave the office, I play my favourite music in the car. I enjoy listening to podcasts in Spanish or English and radio stations from anywhere in the world.
Once I get home, I love spending time with my family, especially playing with my baby. If I have free time at the end of the day, I like to swim and train in the gym.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
With the Covid-19 pandemic, it became clear that we will face a transformation in our lifestyle that will directly impact emerging technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, total experience, and the internet of behaviour. I wish the industry vision would focus on human-centric experiences to increase user adoption without compromising privacy and customer rights.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
My favourite books are:
1- Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar, a French novel about the life and death of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
2- Flawless Consulting by Peter Block, which focuses on what makes consulting successful.
3- The Art of War by Sun Tzu, a military strategy and tactics book that influences multiple areas of lifestyle and business.
4- The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, an Italian narrative poem and one of world literature's greatest works.
The podcasts I would recommend are:
1- The Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) UX Podcast, about user experience, research, design, strategy, and professions.
2- Todopoderosos, a podcast in Spanish about movies, books, and comics.
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