Meet Lumen, an experience designer at Airbnb. In a new video, Lumen shares when she’s most productive, what 3 things define design to her, and her stance on freelance work. Want to hear more from Lumen? Check out her design podcast, Diseño Cha Cha Chá.
What does design mean to you?
Design means to me, three things. Innovation—am I really solving a problem? Functionality—is this really useful to use and is it intuitive to the user? And is this going to bring any joy when you use it? That’s pretty important to me. Also, having because I have a graphic design background, I think this is the moment where I can really make something unique and beautiful.
What’s the impact Dribbble has had on your career?
Dribbble has impacted me in so many different ways. I now have the opportunity to have international clients. Which, was something that I never had in the past. This actually put me up there to get different clients and different type of projects.
What is your typical day like?
My mornings are the most productive time for me. I spend most of my time solving problems in the mornings. And then in the afternoon, I switch to do more collaborative work. I do a lot of working sessions with my team. Or I share all my designs or I get feedback on all of them. One thing that is in common with all my days is, I try to make a list of things that I want to do and I check my email. So, pretty simple.
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration from different domains is important as a designer because there’s more than just visual or that layer of design in other types of industries that your getting inspired by. For example, the service, the offline interaction with the user, or the feelings and the emotion or the excitement of getting there. I connect more with the actual physical space and everything that is around that specific moment where you were interacting with the product.
What’s your stance on freelance work?
I typically take freelance work that is mostly visual design or branding design because I think that’s the type of design work that you can succeed in doing alone. If you really want to innovate, you can craft design. I do not take any type of flow, experience, or complex design solving as a freelance work because I think it’s wrong to do that by yourself. You may not understand all of the needs of the user and having the interaction with your team could help you understand the limitation of the technology.
What’s difficult when freelancing?
The communication. Making sure that the client understands what you’re saying. And I think now things have changed for the better. Now you can make videos you can send voice notes and stuff like that. But in the past, I used to be just like chatting or sending emails. It was very hard for me, not being a native English speaker, to communicate every single detail about how I thought about the solution.