Manila, Philippines 🇵🇭

Amera Ibrahim

UX Designer

Hi! I'm Amera, a UX Design Intern at NextPay. I advocate for empowering girls to code, love meeting new designers, watching K-dramas, and playing the BTS playlist on repeat!
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Where are you based as a UX/UI designer?

Currently based in Manila, Philippines. 🌴

What led you into UX/UI design?

From a young age, I was the type of kid who loves to do creative stuff and art such as DIYs, painting, and drawing. I even wanted to become a fashion designer when I grew up. However, the world had different plans for me and I took a degree in Software Engineering wherein I had to code and it's a mostly logic-based type of work, which I didn't quite enjoy.

Fast forward to my 3rd year of college, I had to work on a thesis project with my team where we had to redesign a reservation portal for my school. My team consisted of Software Engineers and I took the initiative to be the lead designer since I'm the "creative person" in the group. Then, I stumbled upon UX/UI design where I had to do some self-learning in order to solve the problem of the project and from there I enjoyed the design process and even got to facilitate for my team from brainstorm to usability testing. And that's how I got to where I am today.

Why are you a UX/UI designer?

This is an interesting question that I got to reflect on. I guess my answer would be that I love how this field exists to help millions of people to make lives easier when using digital products and I want to contribute because I get the chance to offer my skills in design and code. Also, I believe that design isn't just about designing interfaces but building a better future for everyone especially during this time where everyone relies on digital products to make ends meet as a living.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I usually start my day with morning walks around my subdivision and I recently picked up this habit when I read "Atomic Habits by James Clear" which was Memorisely's January book read. Walking around my subdivision brings me peace of mind and it’s refreshing to do this before you start your day.

Then, I read 1-2 hours a day together with my go to drink a cup of warm coffee or green tea. After that, I have a list of tasks that I want to learn or work on through Notion. Lastly, I end my day with watching Korean dramas on Netflix and I am currently watching “Vincezo”, I totally recommend this to those who are a fan of Mafia or crime related stuff with humor.

What is your current desk setup?

As you can see I have two desk setups, first desk setup is where I usually do my design work and learn new things for the entire day. I also take notes when I read blogs or articles related to UX. I use sticky notes when I list down tasks or anything that comes to mind that might be a good idea that I could use in the future.

As for the second desk setup, this is where I place my books and notebooks that I usually read or write on a daily basis. I also use this space when I want to reflect on things and look at my window to help me focus. Oh and if you’re wondering what are those photos posted on my wall, it’s a collection of the things I love and quotes that inspire me each day.

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And your Workstation setup across devices?

As you can see, this is my workspace in Notion where I place my goals, tasks and resources to help me focus on the things that I need to work on and it also serves as a reminder to push myself towards achieving my goals per month.

As for my personal dashboard, I place my plans and interests such as travel plans, recipes, habit trackers and etc. This is one of my favorite workstations where I can be self-aware of the things I want to do.

What work are you most proud of?

The work that I'm currently most proud of would be a recent project that I have finished called Job Hunters, which is a job platform curated for fresh graduates. I learned a ton from this project, because this was my first time working on a design project on my own after college and I got to try out new processes on my design process such as Napkin Sketches, Remote Usability Tests. Also, this was my first time designing a mobile based design and I had to research iOS Human Interface Guidelines to make sure I was following the best practices.

Which Product recently blew your socks off?

Definitely, FigJam which is a new digital whiteboarding tool! It blew my socks off because this is a new product fresh from Figma which was announced in Config 2021 and they made something that could make brainstorm and ideation sessions with teams so much fun! Adding to that, in a designer’s perspective I appreciate the human touch that Figma made where remote teams can feel the collaboration and they can do high-fives virtually!

Also, I was invited by a friend of mine for a FigJam After Party, which was so much fun and interesting! It's also a new way for designers all around the world to do some networking after attending an event like Config 2021! Thanks, Figma! 💜

What challenges do you face as a UX/UI Designer?

The challenges I faced as a UX/UI Designer was when I transitioned from my bachelor's degree in Software Engineering, wherein I had to start from scratch and learn new ways to upskill myself by joining design communities, taking online courses and attending online events. Also, I had to learn by myself and the commitment to keep learning in order to create meaningful projects that will lead me to a design job someday.

What tunes do you listen to whilst designing?

I’m mostly into K-Pop, Chill and Indie music these days which brings a boost to my day and makes me productive whilst designing. Checkout my Memorisely mixtape playlist for those who want to discover new music! 🎧

Three suggestions for budding designers?

  1. Ask Many Questions: As a designer, it’s our job to ask questions in order to understand the context we’re trying to design for.
  2. Don't be Afraid to Fail: You need to learn that failure is an opportunity in disguise that will help you grow as a person and it will serve as a growth mindset.
  3. Join a Design Community: I totally recommend to join a design community like Memorisely, because you get to have your tribe that will support you and be able to learn new things from them. I am happy to be part of this wonderful and inclusive community, where we can be ourselves and embrace our differences.

Thanks for reading my story!

Manila, Philippines 🇵🇭

Amera Ibrahim

UX Designer

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