Maureen Herben

Product Designer at Zalando

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What would you do, if you weren't working as a designer?
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Probably working in the art world as a curator
What design tool do you currently use?
Figma and just plain ol' pen & paper
What's your favorite band or artist to listen to while designing?
I enjoy listening to sets from Folamour
Your favorite font? :-)
I don't have one favorite but like the fonts from Jack Usine
Favorite book or movie (non-design related)
The Catcher in the Rye
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?
Probably a logo or poster for acquaintances when I was a teenager.
If you could write something on the loading screen of all design tools, so all designers can see it, what would it be?
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet - just to annoy them.
Did you study design, or are you self taught? And how did that path influence your work style?
A mix of both. I think it influenced my working style in the sense that I'm used to first try and figure things out on my own before I reach out for help. That isn't always a good thing: there's nothing wrong with asking for help.
The biggest innovation in product design right now is...
The increasing role of product design within companies is for many a big change and in that sense innovative.
With all the current experience, what would you tell yourself when you were just starting out?
Take more breaks.
What do you think is the biggest problem in the design industry right now and how can it be fixed?
The false expectations that bootcamps set (become a professional UX designer in a matter of weeks). It can be fixed by bringing in more transparency around the job market and building more awareness on what bootcamps actually offer. I think more seasoned designers can also play a big role in this by educating others and offering a more realistic view.
Conversation resumed: Jul 1
What do you think about Google starting their own UX Course? Do certificates like this look convincing if you ever planned to hire a junior designer?
I think it's a smart move from Google. I don't know if the UX course itself is any better than any other UX course out there, but the curriculum seems very standard to me. I think certificates lost their meaning over time because so many bootcamps now provide "certificates" that aren't linked to any standard of quality.
What’s your favorite non-design activity?
Cooking and hosting get togethers for friends
How can people learn design better? What should they focus on the most?
Focus on the craft. Take your time to understand UX principles and methods. Try to look beyond UI trends, and figure out the workings of a products.