YLD Perspectives: Manuel Ornelas

For our new series of YLD Perspectives’ interviews we’ve invited our ‘insiders’ to shed light on their dreams and aspirations, career growth as well as their experience working at YLD.

Could you please introduce yourself to us?

My name is Manuel Ornelas and I work as a Junior Product Designer at YLD. Currently I’m based in Lisbon, working from my home office, but I was born in the Azores, an island region of Portugal.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

When I was growing up my surroundings had a big influence on the idea of who I wanted to be. My mother works in a museum and my father is a music teacher, so since my childhood I’ve been in close contact with different forms of art. As I was finishing high school I was considering studying Design but at the end I decided to go for Sculpture — that’s where I’ve learned and developed my work ethics as well as my designer & tool skills.

What attracted you to the tech industry?

I think I was always more into art that is tangible, although technology was something that interested me a lot. The ever changing scenarios as well as the innovative tools you get the chance to use were definitely the things that attracted me the most to the tech industry.

What did you do before joining YLD?

After finishing my studies I worked for a 3D interior design real estate company. Later on, with my friend who is a software developer, we opened a little studio and started to work as freelancers. After a while I joined a company that was developing a sports app — my last job before working at YLD.

What drew your attention to YLD?

When I was looking for a new job I really wanted to find a place where I would be able to grow, both personally and professionally, within a team of great professionals. My aim was also to work for an international company so I could improve my skills in foreign languages. YLD came my way quite unexpectedly — I just saw the job offer on the Linkedin page and as soon as I went to the YLD website I loved everything about it. So after sending my resumé I went through a couple of interviews and I was then absolutely sure that this is the company I want to work for.

What three words would you use to describe YLD?

Professional, caring and family like.

What personal traits do you think help you succeed in your job?

As a young professional I always look for ways to be more efficient by planning and organising my work schedule in order to ease work for myself and my colleagues. I’m also a big perfectionist although it’s something I try to move away from. Working in UX/UI design means you depend on the feedback from your team and your client so I find it important to keep learning and growing as a team player.

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

‘Value yourself and others; share your knowledge and be willing to learn’. Although I work at YLD for a relatively short time I feel that I’ve already gained so many new skills, and I’m sure it happens so because I feel valued and I likewise value my team and the knowledge that has been given to me.

What advice would you give to someone going through the same route as you?

Coming from an artistic background, I think it’s very important to feel excited by technology and not just by the visual area related to it. In any case, it’s important to try things out; the tech industry has been in a steady increase both in the UK and Europe, and I believe that’s where you can get the chance to broaden your skills and competencies. Working as a UI/UX designer is a very creative and collaborative process, and so pushing oneself out of the comfort zone is the key to achieve great results.

What in the design / product field are you excited about at the moment?

UI design has always been my interest, but right now I’m very keen to know more about UX design as a whole. I’ve always had this artistic and aesthetic perspective on things where the ultimate goal was the ‘beauty of the product’. It’s however a very incorrect vision to have as usability testing and accessibility are some of the most important things to take into account. That’s why I’m eager to broaden my knowledge in UX, both by working closely on this area in my current project as well as by enrolling for a training course. Training budget, available for us at YLD, is a great incentive to widen one’s lens.

What inspires you or keeps you motivated?

Personal growth is definitely something that keeps me motivated — I always need to set clear goals to motivate myself. Looking into other designers’ work is also something that inspires me and creates a learning ground to reach for.

What are you looking forward to in the future with YLD?

Getting to know everyone personally (smiles). I’m likewise very excited to visit our offices both in the UK and Portugal once it’s possible. In terms of my work, I’m looking forward to working more closely with the developers as it’s something I’m eager to have more experience on.

If you want to join Manuel and become part of our team take a look at our open positions here. If you don’t see the role you are after do still get in touch at

YLD Perspectives: Manuel Ornelas
was originally published in YLD Blog on Medium.
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