YLD Perspectives: Design — Hana Lodhi

What is your role at YLD?
I’m Design Lead at YLD. I turn post-its into products.

What did you do before joining YLD?
I was working in Architecture as a designer when I had an idea for a digital product. I didn’t know how to realise it so naturally, I went head-on trying to make it happen. That’s when I fell in love with user experience design. I liked it and put a ring on it.

Why did you decide to have a career in design?
It was an act of rebellion.
A career in design wasn’t the most comforting prospect for my Pakistani parents. They couldn’t think of anything worse. There was only one true path for me. To become a doctor or the next Serena Williams.

Any form of creative expression I found myself in was where I was in my element. I knew I had to pursue that passion which led me to design.

When I reached the career crossroads, otherwise known as your A levels, it was the most bipolar experience ever. I secretly studied Art and Design for myself, and Biology and Chemistry to keep my parents happy. I failed my Chemistry and Biology exams on purpose to stump any chances of a career in medicine even though I quite enjoyed them.

I don’t know if I would have loved design so much if it wasn’t for the fact that I quite literally had to fight for it.

Design has the power to introduce you to so many different worlds you wouldn’t be exposed to as it’s so heavily dependent on understanding context. So long as that context is changing, the learning is endless. I loved the study of Architecture for that reason. It’s also why I love working in consultancy. I’ve learned the ins and outs of the healthcare, finance and fashion industries, to name a few.

Being able to influence the future of these industries is something I never thought I’d be able to do as a rebellious teenager fighting for a creative direction.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career?

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re not learning anything”. — Nuno Job, CEO of YLD

Being around incredibly talented people at YLD, you’re often faced with imposter syndrome. I’ve learned to see those moments as opportunities for growth.

Who you surround yourselves with matters.

Second piece of advice:

“You are not your work”. -Darren Farrell, my architecture tutor

Detaching yourself from your work allows you to accept critique and focus on progress. I often remind myself of this before asking for feedback.

What are you currently working on?
Currently re-designing the future of healthcare, finance and fashion. Exciting things to come!

How does working at YLD differ to the companies you’ve worked at before?

Following things I have observed during my time here:

We’re all nerds.

If you see an opportunity for growth, it’s yours.

On experimentation: outright failure is celebrated over mediocre success.

On leadership: it can come from anywhere in the organisation.

The people: Free-spirited, progressive and talented. Did I mention we’re all nerds?

On mindset: teach how to fish

As a consultancy: we help our clients succeed with us so they can succeed without us

What are you excited about at the moment?
Excited about the gap between design and engineering getting closer and closer with the eruption of new tools that are just doing the most. Machine learning in healthcare is also incredibly exciting to me. Oh and Kubernetes .

What are you looking forward to in future with YLD?
We’re well known for our engineering expertise. I’m looking forward to growing our design capability to balance this out. ⚖️

What is your professional long-term goal?
One of my dreams is to create a design academy that opens doors for those who didn’t have the opportunities I’ve had. I see it as a responsibility more than a goal.

Hana establishes processes and practices that set the bar for design quality. She’s proved the business value of design to many clients and continues to do so through a deep understanding of how to create great UX with cross-functional collaboration. She transitioned into the tech industry from an award-winning background in architecture.

You can find Hana on:

Interested to see what’s like to work at YLD? Read more about it:

Written by YLDAugust 2nd, 2019

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