#DiscoveringTalents: Sandra Bravo, UX Manager at Myme
In this #DiscoveringTalents interview, we delve into the world of Sandra Bravo, UX Manager at Myme. We will explore her fascinating professional journey, her role in the company, the structure of her work team, her short and long-term goals, the sources of inspiration that drive her in this exciting project, her connection with the company's values, and how she balances her professional growth with her personal well-being. Join us on this journey to get to know Sandra Bravo in depth!
How was your journey to get to Myme? Could you share some key moments in your professional and academic career that led you to this point?
Well, I think my profile is a bit peculiar. I started studying economics, then sociology, and later an MBA in fashion, because I loved it and always believed it was the perfect link between the two fields. Then, I was always very attracted to research, which is what truly fascinates me, so I decided to start a PhD in Applied Creativity. During this time, I combined the academic world, through teaching and research, with the business world, working in consultancy focused on Customer Experience and Digital Transformation. I have worked in various consultancies, both large and small for several years, carrying out projects of different nature with brands and companies from different sectors, which allowed me to learn a lot and work in collaboration with other teams linked to technology. And the truth is that the startup world has always generated a lot of interest and curiosity in me. When this opportunity arose and they told me about the Myme project, the story of Snippet, and all the journey and potential it had ahead, it seemed like a very attractive challenge, since, from the user experience point of view, there was almost everything to be done. And that's how I got here.
Tell us about the position you currently hold at Myme. Also, how is the team you are integrated into structured, and how does it contribute to the overall objectives of the company?
My role here is UX manager, and my responsibility is to lead and ensure a quality user experience in the product we have launched, with the goal of making it intuitive, effective, and attractive to the customer. This involves tasks such as defining the overall vision and strategy of the experience, conducting research to understand the needs, desires, and behaviors of users, in order to apply that knowledge to design and development, planning and conducting usability tests to identify areas for improvement and validate solutions, as well as working closely with development, marketing, and other departments, to ensure that the user experience is consistent in all aspects. I am part of the product team, and my colleagues work defining the vision, mission, and overall strategy, setting objectives, identifying opportunities, planning and executing launches and new features, setting priorities, as well as measuring performance and promoting and communicating the product to customers.
Having a doctorate is a significant achievement. How do you think your academic training influences your approach and contribution to your role at Myme?
Well, the truth is that in other countries it is something important and quite considered, but in Spain, I don't think having a doctorate is valued enough for the time, resources, effort, and sacrifice involved in carrying out the process and finally completing it. In my case, it was more of a vocational thing and a personal challenge, and I think that apart from giving me an advanced level of knowledge in a specific area and a lot of experience in research, it has also allowed me to develop solid skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, deep contextualization, analytical capacity, identification of opportunities, creativity, innovation, and value creation, as well as developing a very user-centered design and the ability to adapt to change and build relationships. I think that being able to combine a strategic business vision with more humanistic skills is essential in the business world and design, mainly in my role at Myme, when it comes to understanding customers and users. In addition, this combination of knowledge that it has provided me allows for a deep and holistic understanding of people's needs, desires, and behaviors, which helps to establish more effective strategies, develop more valuable products and services, and improve the overall customer experience. Recognizing that customers are human beings with needs and emotions from sociology, you can create a more complete and authentic approach to business and design.
Having a clear vision in the short and long term is essential for professional growth. Could you share some of your goals and how you plan to achieve them?
My short-term vision within Myme is to be the voice of the customer in product development and establish a good foundation in customer experience, to ensure that the product is being designed and developed effectively to meet user needs. This will help establish a solid foundation for the platform's continued growth and success in the future. So my long-term vision is to focus equally on continuing to create an exceptional and strategically aligned user experience as the company grows and adapts to the changing business and social landscape, with the goal of ensuring that it remains a competitive advantage and an integral part of the overall success of the product. To this end, I will continue to focus on research and try to foster within Myme a culture that values and prioritizes research and user experience in all decisions and strategies that are carried out.
The Myme project must be a source of motivation for you. Could you tell us about which specific aspects of the project inspire you and how these aspects influence your daily passion and commitment?
The first thing that motivates me is that I believe a lot in the product we are developing and its potential in the market. Then, of course, the exciting challenge of working in a startup of this type where sometimes you feel like you have a blank canvas in front of you and in continuous evolution, and where every day you have to overcome new obstacles to achieve significant progress. I love the dynamism of the project and that there is never a day like the previous one, because we are constantly learning, innovating, and looking for creative solutions. Seeing how the product evolves and develops with improvements and new features, even if it is in small steps, is very motivating and satisfying because in the end, you can see the result of the work we do every day.
The values of a company are its backbone. To what extent do you identify with the values of Myme? If you had to choose one, which one would you choose and why?
I think I would choose teamwork. I consider it essential for the success of a startup and at Myme I think we do it quite well. Sometimes resources are limited and responsibilities varied, and I think that in the product team we are capable of combining diverse skills and knowledge to address different aspects of both the business, such as design, development, customer experience, or marketing strategy. I think we are a team that always manages to do more with less, and that has invaluable value.
Your role in the Development team is fundamental. Apart from professional achievements, how do you think this role and your responsibilities impact your personal life? How do you find the balance between professional growth and personal well-being?
For me, the balance between my professional and personal life is fundamental, but I recognize that I think it also varies according to circumstances and stages of life. The most important thing is to be aware of the needs and take steps
to take care of oneself in both aspects. I specifically try to establish clear boundaries, organize my time well, separate spaces, and disconnect as much as I can. I try to leave work problems at the office and not take them home, as well as clear my mind as much as I can by doing a lot of exercise and with other activities that as I say “feed my soul”. I love art, reading, philosophy, music, traveling, going out with friends, trying new restaurants, and always having the sea nearby. On the other hand, I value flexibility and adaptation very much, and right now, due to the life stage I am in and my personal circumstances living outside Madrid, I value the option of being able to telework and be more at home because mentally it gives me a lot of peace.
In a competitive environment, each individual has their unique attributes. What do you think sets you apart from others?
This is a very difficult question to answer about oneself! haha But I think maybe I would highlight the holistic vision I have of things, seeing situations from a very broad and complete perspective and not limiting myself only to the obvious and superficial things. Also, my ability to establish relationships and connections with people, and the skill to communicate with them easily and understanding and putting myself in their shoes, through empathy. It is possible that these qualities help me to address certain challenges more effectively and resolutely, and also enrich my work approach in user research and the interactions I have with them, which makes everything more fluid.
Looking back on your career, from your current perspective, what valuable advice would you give to your university self as you embarked on your academic and professional journey?
Uff I don't know, I always do at each moment what I feel and it's something that I really like about myself. I may have made better or worse decisions, but I don't regret anything because in the end what counts is everything learned so far and I think I have had the opportunity to live many experiences. To my university self, I would only say "but how well played" because I only have incredible memories of a stage in which I had a great time, and I am proud to have done many things and even some that at that time seemed crazy, like insisting on going to study in Japan without having any idea, and then it turned out to be the best year of my life. In the professional world, maybe sometimes I didn't know well what I wanted, however, by trying and having different experiences, I have been getting very clear about what I didn't want, and I think that is almost more important. In general, I am impulsive but at the same time with very clear ideas and then reflective, if I want something I go for it and execute it. I hate mediocrity and conformism and what I would say and repeat a thousand times is "never stop dreaming or being so flipped out" because I think that those desires I always had to conquer the world have made me fulfill many dreams that seemed impossible. Although the problem with being like this is that I often get in a hurry and with the anxiety I am too demanding of myself, to the point of drowning in my own intensity. There I would say relax, time to time, everything comes at its moment! Patience is the part of science that I have not come to know much.