Michal Jennifer Michal
What would you do, if you weren't working as a designer?
I'd be a full time novelist.
What design tool do you currently use?
What's your favorite band or artist to listen to while designing?
It varies widely depending on my mood/what I'm working on.
Your favorite font? :-)
Favorite book or movie (non-design related)
Movies: Inception, LoTR Trilogy, the Harry Potter Series, and all things Marvel 😁Books: LoTR Trilogy and the Harry Potter Series
What's your favorite color in hex or RGBa? (gradients are allowed too)
What was your first real/paid design project and when did you make it?
I shifted into a role on our in-house design team at my first startup about 10 years ago. I took a really circuitous route into the industry.
If you could write something on the loading screen of all design tools, so all designers can see it, what would it be?
Mind the big little details.
Did you study design, or are you self taught? And how did that path influence your work style?
Self taught/mentored. I think it opened up the world of design without constraints. I know incredible designers who are self taught, and incredible designers who attended design school. There are a lot of different routes into the design industry—don't get discouraged if you can't afford a degree in design. Just keep pushing forward and tap into all of the resources you can find.
The biggest innovation in product design right now is...
With all the current experience, what would you tell yourself when you were just starting out?
Keep pushing forward—no one can get in the way of your career path but yourself.
What do you think is the biggest problem in the design industry right now and how can it be fixed?
I think our biggest issues right now are hiring practices, specifically around DEI, and the need to laser focus on accessibility and representation in our design work. Everything we put on the internet is vacuumed up by AI and machine learning, aggregated, indexed, and formed into a blueprint for our future. It's a big responsibility, and one we shouldn't take lightly. Too many designs feature non-diverse imagery, or aren't even remotely accessible. It doesn't take much time to fix accessibility issues once designers learn the small tweaks they need to make. And it doesn't "destroy designs". Creating a more accessible product improves UX for all users.