Not gonna lie, it's a bit weird to write about oneself. But here it goes.
I've always been passionate about design and technology. I remember watching Helvetica when I was 17, struggling to understand every word as I had not yet mastered English, but absolutely fascinated. I was in shock by Massimo Vignelli's commitment to simplicity and type, enamoured by Dieter Rams' passion for minimalism and function over form and almost skeptical on Pentagram's thriving working environment which to young Jaime, looked like an utopia.
But arts were not my thing. I liked architecture, but despised the limitations and compromises of the physical arts. My perfectionist brain wouldn't sit right with it. UI design was just waiting for me, but growing up in a small town, there was just no way I could have know of it.
Maths on the other hand, always seemed easy to me. Optimizing a process, abstracting a problem and logical reasoning were not work, but fun. So I decided to study engineering. While at Uni, I learned how to make a website (not actually from Uni, but my friends). Until that point, I had though they were created by businesses and managed by big corporations.
Discovering anyone can create a website with just a text editor was mind-blowing. My understanding of the web and what it meant changed instantly. I already thought it was an infinite window to information, but after this I saw it as this democratic tool to not just access, but provide information, as well as an enabler for the right person.
I now consider being able to create digital experiences nothing short of a super power. If you squint your eyes just right, you can spot a need, build a tool and put it out at nearly zero cost, all in record time.
Moving to London
So after a couple years working as a full web developer and designer in Spain I decided I needed a bigger city for more challenging projects. I needed to work alongside designers.
That's how I joined Base Creative, a London based digital agency. I mastered the craft of CSS and Sass, became one of the best experts on Web Performance and changed my ways of working, introducing progressive enhancement, atomic design and responsible responsive design.
But that didn't feel like enough. I was craving understanding why the patterns had to be this or that. Not knowing, cause experience could tell me that, but validating it. So I quit Base to become a freelancer.
From developer to designer
It took me a while initially, but I only accepted gigs where they were looking for UI developers. This meant they weren't just looking to handover a comp to me and off I go, but for someone that could collaborate in the brainstorming process and give UX/UI ideas from a browser-brain point of view.
My work varied for about a year, working for a few small startups in different industries as well as big agencies like R/GA London, where I worked on the dyson project and a Nike AI pitch.
At the end of this plus the time I had put researching on my own, I was a proficient Sketch user, understood the main principles of UX and UI design and how to build a consistent brand.
Moteefe was the first rebuild where I was also the sole responsible for the user experience design. Managing the redesign and applying agile in a company has taught me a lot about how to prioritise tasks and solve usability issues while achieving business goals.
And that's what I've been doing at eola, plus all of the actual design. I'm the sole Product Designer, but I also do all necessary research, UX, own the pattern library and build many components in the TypeScript + React or Rails styleguides.
These days I look to progress into validating designs more and more, as design is not about aesthetics, it's about the user.