Digi People: Meet Deb, Our Lead Designer

February 18, 2020

Every month, we sit down with a team member at Digistorm to talk about their life, their career before Digistorm, and what their experience has been since working here. Deb has been working with Digistorm for four years and is currently heading up our talent Design team. In this interview, we chat with Deb about her journey to becoming a designer, how she swapped selling burritos for working at Digistorm, and what she loves most about our team.


Tell us about yourself

Hi, my name is Deb and I'm the Lead Designer here at Digistorm. I'm from São Paulo in Brazil, but am currently living in Australia on the Gold Coast with my husband Luis, who's also Brazilian. 



How did you get started working in design? 

My journey to becoming a designer started at a very early age. I completed a course in web design straight after high school, mainly because at the the time, my Mum needed a website and I thought that it would be good to learn something new. As it turned out, I really liked it and decided to study a Bachelor of Digital Design at University, got a job in my very first year, and have now been working as a professional designer for 10 years. During these years, I've worked on several projects for companies of all sorts, creating web and mobile interfaces, while focusing on user experience and user interaction.




What does a day in the life of a Lead Designer look like? 

It's very busy – I have a lot to do! I'm responsible for our Design team and taking the lead on all design-related decisions for the company. This means that I work across client projects, ensure that our products provide the best possible user experience, and of course, ensure that Digistorm has a strong, solid brand. 


What was your journey like to Digistorm?

When I applied for Digistorm, I had only been in Australia for one year and was selling burritos to make a living. I was living in Brisbane, working on my English and the idea of moving to the Gold Coast and having the opportunity to work with design again really excited me. So, when I saw the job ad I thought it would be a perfect way to get started in design in Australia and I'm so glad that it all worked out. 


IMG_6165Can you share a Digistorm career highlight?

One of my career highlights would have to be becoming Lead Designer and being able to do so much more. I think what we can do as a team has become really powerful and I’m proud of everything we do. We have a very creative and talented team and we work really hard to solve our client’s problems as well as our own. We're constantly improving the way we work and communicate.


What's one professional value that you've carried with you though all of your roles?

I think I’m a good listener and problem-solver. I design for people and it’s all about people in the end. I think design trends can make you a good designer, but a great designer solves real problems, human problems. I strive to be a great designer every day.


What's your favourite part about working at Digistorm?

I think my favourite part about working at Digistorm is diversity! Our team is made up of people from all over the world and that just makes our culture so amazing as we can learn so much from each other.


What do you think is the biggest misconception about design? 

I think most people think design is about how it looks but, in reality, it’s how it works. It’s finding a balance between aesthetics and usability. A design might look pretty, but it's not usable -- design with purpose is what changes everything. You can work on a project for so long and make it perfect, but if in the end people never get to use it or don’t understand it, you just created a piece of art. Design is putting people at the centre of everything we do. 


Are there any designers that you find particularly inspiring? 

One of my biggest inspirations in the industry is Fabricio Teixeira. He’s the founder of UX Collective alongside Caio Braga, which is an online community that provides great resources for UX design and research. His people-first approach to design really inspires me. Ueno’s founder and creative director Haraldur Thorleifsson is also a great reference when it comes to human-centred design. He is such a genius that speaks with so much honesty and I am a great admirer of his work. He is also a must-follow person on Twitter.




If you could share a piece of advice with a new Digistorm team member, what would it be? 

I would say to just be yourself. Share your ideas, your opinions, and frustrations -- share all of it!  We work every day to improve our communication and really encourage people to share their thoughts. Working with other people can be really challenging and we spend most of our time at work. Communication is the key to creating a healthy environment that promotes creativity and well-being.


Are you reading anything right now that you'd recommend? 

I'm just about to finish The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh. It’s really interesting, it talks about how communication is at the centre of everything we do and that people can develop different point of views, depending on their unique experience throughout their life. The key message is that it's important to take the time to look inside and get to know ourselves first in order to understand other people. This helps us create a new way of communicating that's full of compassion and free from judgement. Our words are just as important as the food we put in our body and it’s our choice to nourish ourselves with loving and caring words. 



Who is your greatest inspiration? 

My biggest inspiration is definitely my Mum. She wasn’t perfect but, she was real. She was so dedicated to everything she did, she was always encouraging me to do what I love. She was my biggest supporter and was always telling me I was unique. She was the strongest person I’ve ever known and being her daughter is the best gift I could have ever asked for.


What's something that people might be surprised to know about you? 

Most people would be surprised to know that most of the time, I listen to heavy metal music. I will just put them all as “heavy metal” because it would take longer to explain what is what. I love the classics and not-so-new metal bands – Metallica and Slipknot are at the top of my list. I went to my first Slipknot concert when I was 16 and it’s been my thing ever since then. Seeing Metallica with my dad at the 2011 Rock in Rio was a memorable moment. 


How would people close to you describe you? 

That’s tough! I don’t even know how to describe myself but, I hope they would say that I’m kind, honest, patient and that I treat everyone equally, because that's who I try to be everyday. I'm also constantly working on my curiosity and empathy in order to be a better designer.


What do you dream of doing one day? 

I’d love to do my own TED Talk, write a book, create a tool, or develop something that will help communicate what I believe in and help as many people as possible.


To wrap up, can you describe yourself in three emojis? 

🧘🏻‍♀️ 🍺 😴


Are you interested in working with Deb and the rest of the amazing Digistorm team? We're always on the lookout for talented sales staff in the Gold Coast area. Email your CV to — we'd love to meet you!


Want to meet more Digi People? Check out the rest of our series: