Meet Florence Dairo — A Digital Product Designer and Strategist
Florence Dairo is currently a freelance Digital Product Designer and Strategist at Toptal. Oh, she writes technical articles too. Like Dexter in Dexter’s Lab, she’s always wanted to enjoy the flexibility of working from home… and now she does.
Read Florence’s story on her career and life.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Florence Dairo, a digital product designer, design strategist, and a technical writer. I love helping businesses, and communities create great products and experiences that meet user needs and business goals. I occasionally share my thoughts about product design on my blog or talks. I also co-organize SheDesigns, a community passionate about encouraging women in design (Women + Visual & Graphic Design, UX Design & Research, Content Strategy & Writing).
What’s your educational background?
I had my Bachelors degree in Economics at the University of Lagos.
Can you share the “backstory” behind what brought you to this particular career path?
Growing up, I used to watch a cartoon — “Dexter’s Laboratory”. I thought it would be so cool to observe, examine, and experiment on “organisms”. More importantly, I thought it would be cool to have my secret lab and work from the comfort of my house. That changed when I made the switch from studying science in high-school to studying economics at the university.
Fast forward through economics to after school (pre-NYSC), I wanted to build tech products — websites and/or apps, so I tried to teach myself how to code. In the process of doing that, I met someone who volunteered to guide me through my “coding” journey but advised me to learn UX design first. At this point, I made (yet another) switch and pivoted into learning to design — digital products and experiences.
I started off as a Graphic Designer at Brand Et Al during my NYSC. Towards the end of that period, I got a job at a fin-tech company, Amplified Payments as a Business Analyst but kept learning Product Design on the side. My bosses saw one of my articles about one of my early UX/UI designs and they gave me projects to work on in-house. That’s how I started out my Product Design journey.
Fast forward through years to now, as a freelancer, I can now perform all the experiments I need to create experiences and digital products from my comfort zone (like Dexter 😁).
It’s been an interesting journey filled with ups and downs. I’ve made a few friends within communities of interest, globally. I’ve learned (and still learning) more about how design differs from one culture to the next and how to manage my time & irregular finances personally.
Your typical day as a Product Designer involves …
It varies and differs from project to project.
Luckily for me, I’ve worked with clients who start off their day when I’m ending mine 😁.
I basically start off my day with my morning routine, then settle in for work around 9 am — 10 am then meetings start off around 4 pm …and the cycle continues.
What’s the best thing about your career so far?
The best thing is getting into Toptal. So far, I’ve worked with really amazing clients and great recruiters.
What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how it’s relevant to you in your life?
“Inhale the future, exhale the past.”
I’m constantly learning to brace myself for the best and worst moments by letting go of my mistakes.
What were you doing the last time you looked at the clock and realized you had lost all track of time?
Watching series on Netflix 😂 or scrolling through videos on TikTok.
How do you strike a work-life balance? How do you alleviate stress?
I make sure I don’t skip breakfast, lunch, my morning routine (especially), and my TGIF activities 😂. Lastly, I say “No” (still learning) to additional work whenever my plate seems full.
Your favorite work tools?
My Pen & Sketch pad. Not only do I enjoy using them to work, I manually manage my finances with them, create a list of activities & tasks (I enjoy manually ticking things off my list 😊).
Your Philosophy/Motivation to work?
So So Random: What can’t you do without?
Hair or heels? -> Hair
Jewelry or make-up -> Jewelry
Books or movies -> Movies
Club or Cafe -> Cafe
DIY or Pay someone -> Pay someone
CAWSTEM is a community of African women in STEM. We are a female-led crew, on a mission to rewrite the narrative about having few women in STEM and, especially in leadership positions. We share interesting insights, news, and resources to empower women in their STEM careers. You can join the community here
Every Tuesday, we publish stories here about African women’s journey in STEM. We know every STEM woman’s story is unique…so we tell these stories to inspire our community. If you would like to share your story with us, send an email to email@example.com, we can’t wait to read from you!