Leah Mirani: I think my best skill as a UX designer is communication
Hailing from New York City, Leah is a human-centered designer with a knack for both creative thinking and project management. She is passionate about finding the intersection of usability, artistry and ethics in product design. With a background in costume design, she brings a love of storytelling and human connection to her UX work. She attended General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive, and has been freelancing ever since. Recent projects include a responsive website redesign for Petminded.co, product design for the startup matchmaking service Liv’s Love Pool, and design work with Products By Women.
PBW: How did you get into UX/UI?
Leah Mirani: I got into UX/UI Design because it was a career that perfectly melded my passions. I have always been a design-oriented person, with an eye for things like color, spacing, and visual storytelling. At the same time, I enjoy project management, organization, and collaboration. It was those qualities that led me to work in costume design for a few years; however, I eventually felt like something was missing from that career path.
I started looking into other options for people with my skill set, preferably in a field that would allow me to more directly help others, and that’s how I discovered UX design. It met all of my criteria for a job, and once I actually tried it out, I loved it! I attended General Assembly’s UX Design bootcamp, and by the end of the experience, I felt prepared to jump into the field. I’m happy I found a career that is creative, collaborative, and user-oriented. Every day is different, and I’m having a blast!
PBW: What is your best skill as a UX designer and what advice would you give to someone who is just starting off?
Leah Mirani: I think my best skill as a UX designer is communication. In this role you must always be in touch with, and listening to, many different parties, including the users themselves, stakeholders, and your team members, just to name a few. Without open and transparent lines of communication, certain things will get dropped or lost in translation, and the product will not be built in a cohesive manner. I’m proud of my communication skill set — it’s the foundation for a smooth design process.
In that same vein, my advice to someone who is just starting out is to always, always communicate! Listen to your team members and stakeholders, and be open to new ideas. This is how a team stays cohesive and the design process works at its most creative and successful.
PBW: How do you see yourself making an impact in tech and innovation and where do you see yourself in a few years from now?
Leah Mirani:I hope to make an impact in tech and innovation by driving the industry to put a greater focus on ethical design. We not only want to provide users with products that make their lives easier, we also want to do so in a way that respects users’ privacy, doesn’t take advantage of them, and takes seriously the importance of diversity in design. I think ethical design is imperative to the future of the field, and I hope to be a part of standardizing and solidifying those ideas going forward.
A few years from now, I would love to be working at an agency or product company creating experiences that help and delight users every day! Even if this is in small ways, it’s the little things in technology that can have a big impact by simplifying a task and creating joy for people. At the same time, I would like to be a mentor to people new to the field. I’ve really appreciated the advice and guidance of established designers as I settle into a new career path, and I definitely want to do the same for others once I have a few years of experience under my belt.
Products by Women is a diverse global community network for women in innovation, tech and beyond. The network offers women the opportunity to connect and learn from peers from around the world, find jobs beyond borders and get matched with recruiters and mentors to accelerate their career.
“Simply put, if we are building products for the people of the world, the people of the world have to build the products. Technology has to be open-minded and equitable because the future of our very existence depends on it.” — Michelle Gbolumah
Products by Women was founded in 2019 and was formerly called New York Women in Product Management (NYWPM). The network has now expanded virtually across US, India, Canada, Singapore, Amsterdam, UK and more… and is now a diverse community where women can connect, innovate, exchange ideas and make some deep friendships along the way.
In less than a year Products by Women has partnered with organization and speakers from Glossier, Forbes, Etsy, Columbia University, OXO, Compass and many more start-ups from all over the world.
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