Cheers, Erika Osti

We love a happy hour around here, what shall we drink?

I’m going through a rosé phase… a bit cliché, but almost chic enough that you can drink it anytime, anywhere? Cheers to that!

Tell us, what’s your design superpower?

I can make doubt disappear! I mean, I certainly try to. I remember being asked this in the first class of service design, and I still feel that it applies. When I think about designing anything I want to make sure anything you put forward is clear on actions and next steps.

As a designer, what are you most proud of?

My resilience. Oh dear, navigating the project lifecycle is a rollercoaster, you have to stay strong. It comes with exposure and experience, being in an environment where things often move very fast, a project might last 1–6 months, you learn so much with each project and gain more maturity through that exposure. When you are starting your career there’s a lot to learn and you have to push through that uncertainty. It’s important to find someone to talk to that has that experience, someone that you connect with and can be really honest, open and vulnerable with.

What motivates you to keep doing what you do every day?

The opportunities. Every time I interact with something that doesn’t work I feel that design will never die. We have so much work to do.

If you could share one piece of advice with other designers, what would it be?

Learn to say no! Otherwise you’ll go crazy. Right now, I am involved on 3 different projects. I’m excited about it, in fact I wanted to do it, but now my
to-do list is huge and that can feel quite overwhelming. So it’s not just about saying no to others, you have to prioritise what you want, and be disciplined enough to say no to yourself as well.

What was your pathway into design?

I started off in industrial design in Brazil in 2008 but worked as a graphic designer for a very long time.

Quote page, yellow background: “Get involved with understanding all the bits and pieces that come together to bring an experience to life, while creating opportunities for the business to grow” — Erika Osti for CX Happy Hour

What is a current challenge you are facing in design?

Client maturity… It’s very hard to put design thinking forward when clients can’t understand its value. Digital is fast paced, I get it, but you need to have a well understood focus to understand where to go when you want to move fast and hit those goals. And understanding takes time, effort, investment… Which clients don’t always have time for. It’s an interesting conundrum.

How might we, as a design community, approach this problem?

What do you do to disconnect & unwind for increased well-being?

I cook a lot. Especially when it is cold in Melbourne, all the soups and stews are on the menu! I also enjoy spending time with my own thoughts and do a 15-minute journaling exercise each morning. This really helps clear my mind and makes my days more productive. In my spare time, I look after my devil cat and work on personal projects.

How do you make ‘flexible work’ work for you?

It started off rough for me, I can’t lie. Having to adapt to not speaking to people in person, especially while running interviews, was a big challenge as you just can’t read the room the same way in virtual settings.

What do you do to inspire creative thinking or get ‘un-stuck’?

I find that opening a random book and reading a few paragraphs usually helps! I always try to reflect on what I’m reading to get my mind off the problem. The exercise of switching the focus gets me unstuck every time.

Do you have a go to playlist to get into the flow of work?

It really depends on what I’m trying to achieve. I find instrumental hip hop goes really well when doing synthesis and I’m unable to put a pack together without a soundtrack that I can’t dance or sing to.

What is the best customer experience you have had recently?

The Iconic. As much as I love being around humans and asking questions, COVID has made me anxious about visiting stores. Being able to get stuff delivered and send them back if they don’t work has become my go-to for everything these days.

What are some of your go to design tools?

Figma. Nothing else. You can do everything there, everything!
I’m also learning to use Webflow & building databases.

Any other books, series or resources that you would recommend?

This is a bit of an old one but More Human by Steve Hilton was a book that opened my eyes to all the services we have the opportunity to fix as designers.

If you’ve enjoyed our chat with Erika as much as we have, you can watch our deep-dive chat online!

We dive into more of this article with Erika in our chat!

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