A product designer’s job is to deeply understand customer problems and take on a multitude of roles that facilitate the creation of a solution.

We often assign beautification as the role of the designer. But in reality, there are at least 13 roles that one needs to perform to truly create value.

The roles aren’t necessarily performed in the highest levels at the same time, but rather are areas of specialisation that one designer should partake of.

My hope is that friends, colleagues, and mentees appreciate the hybrid role that we take on, and fully embrace it moving forward.

1. Entrepreneur


When you think to yourself “I was born this way, I can never change,” or “others are just naturally better at this than I am,” then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

If you catch yourself thinking this way most of the time, you might have to consider that you have a fixed mindset.

Someone who has a fixed mindset dislikes challenges. They love preserving the status quo. They don’t want to hear about their performance. Don’t read books, listen to advice of other people, or possess strong observation skills in order to learn.

These are the people who say…

Episode 008: The Podcast Designer

James Cabrera was most recently the Design Director at Gimlet Media, a digital media company. Today, he is the Head of Design and Special Projects
at The Block. He is a self-taught designer who was born and raised in New York. Growing up, he found a liking in numbers, calculating things, and playing with legos. Fortunately enough for James, his parents didn’t put so much pressure on the courses he applied for in college. This gave him the chance to navigate his own way through school, eventually choosing a double major in Mathematics and Physics. …

I recently gave a user research talk at UXPH for the June Meetup. If you were there, that was a product of the very same framework described here.

We use this presentation framework to influence major stakeholders around redesigns, product strategy, and important things like user research reports.

The truth about being a designer is that we should be master communicators. Validated hi-fi prototypes are cool, but our real job is to take it from artifact to shipped product. This is where stories come in.

Stories can inspire, provoke new thought, change mindsets, and most importantly, influence the product.

When we tell great stories, we give the final push for our work to take flight and to elevate to higher standards.


1. Beginning the presentation.

Say a sentence or two of why…

Thank you for taking my portrait, Riel Reyes!

For the past year, I’ve been working on several fronts as an embedded designer in our Enterprise squad. At Kalibrr, “enterprise” refers to one of the market segments we prioritize. For our product organization, it also means designing for the recruiter side of our platform. Since we’re a talent marketplace, the other side of the coin is our candidate side. At the moment of writing, our candidate side has taken a back seat for the enterprise squad and one more innovative squad focusing on new *exciting* things.

What’s a squad?

A squad is a fully autonomous cross-functional team. The squad can make decisions…

Episode 007: Problem Solving Unicorn

Philip Cheang is the product lead of Sakay.ph, is a website and business developer, and also a UX and product designer. His passion revolves around problem-solving, whether it’s making games, creating apps, or building websites.

“I really hold a place in my heart for, like, fixing problems, or making something that’s actually a solution to people’s problems.”

Humble Design Beginnings

Philip always had a problem-solving mindset. He started small, with lego kits his parents gave him, which, upon looking back, he considers to be the very foundation of his design mindset. He slowly got into computers throughout grade school. When he got into…

Episode 006: Designer for All (Roxy Navarro)

For Roxy Navarro, design was something she never thought she’d pursue a career in. Of course, that was until a lot of things — her family, school, and friends — lead her to where she is now. Back in college, Roxy became a part of organizations that celebrated design and art — a good place for young Roxy who wanted to explore design. Despite majoring in Computer Science, the arts always called to her. At the same time, Roxy also had a lot of friends in the development sector, where she learned a lot about their advocacies.

Works of Heart backstory

Works of Heart

Episode 005: Serial Designpreneur

Christian San Jose’s design career started only when he was a mere seventeen year old. Ever since then, he took on almost every kind of design role there was — illustrator, graphic designer, website designer, to name a few. It was a few years later, after he had accumulated horizon-breaking experience, that he decided to start his own company, Create.ph.

Just like every designer who had learned the ins and outs of a certain role, Christian thought he was going to be a digital illustrator forever. It was when he got his big break creating a logo for a baseball…

Roots Episode 004: Party Boy of UX — Mark Lacsamana

Working the advertising industry for the most part of his early career taught Mark Lacsamana a lot about the advertising industry ever since college, he knew what he wanted to be: a designer. In college, he learned a lot about marketing, communication theory, and statistics in both his classes and his orgs, which ultimately led him to become more and more passionate about UX. This led him to pursue UX-related ventures: starting a company with peers, working in an advertising agency, and, eventually, working in Kalibrr. Overall, his experiences taught him a lot about ownership.

Here’s a run through of…

Episode 003: Journalist to UX Designer — Jem Rosario

Designers don’t always have to come from an entirely design background. Oftentimes, designers start off with an education in fields completely far away from where they are now. Take, for example, Jem Rosario who started off with a degree in Communications, majoring in Journalism from the Ateneo de Manila University. He then transferred to the University of Toronto where he got involved with design. The shift wasn’t as massive as you’d think — Jem used the fundamentals of Journalism like conducting interviews, and crafting stories to transition into UX design.

Through Jem, we come to understand the transition from one…

Alexis Collado

Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer at Swarm · Co-Founder of UX+ Conference · Host of Roots · https://alexiscollado.com

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