For this week’s Woman Crush Wednesday it is Yolanda Martin Olivas’ turn to take the hot seat. Yolanda is the Director of Design, Service & Platform for Farfetch, the leading technology platform offering an individual way to explore luxury fashion.
The types of projects Farfetch undertakes include partnering with Chanel to provide an Augmented Retail shopping experience in their boutiques, and supplying curated daily content from a global omnium-gatherum of selected tastemakers in the form of Farfetch Communications.
Yolanda also helps to nurture future talent as a Member of the Industrial Advisory Board (DIPAP) Computer Science for the University of Westminster.
We caught up with Yolanda to learn more. Read the interview in full.
How did you embark on this career?
Pretty much by stumbling from one discipline to another… I started studying Journalism in Spain. There I got interested in Editorial design, and design in general, but also on the incipient web news cycle. So, I went to study Information Science and ended up doing a MSc on Interactive Multimedia (heavy on HCI) at Westminster University.
Where do you look for inspiration at the start of a project?
It depends very much in the type of project… but almost always I get inspired by nature. I design Platform Ecosystems and the best examples of those are designed by mother nature. But even when I am only doing UI design or Branding, I’ll go to natural patterns to get my inspiration.
What makes a project your favourite project?
I love solving complex problems, so the harder to crack, the more I enjoy it.
Are there particular hurdles that you have had to overcome in order to get where you are?
The terrible general misconception that designers come at the end of a project to “colour in” what the engineers have already solved. Design thinking, service design, platform design and experience architecture (as well as other design practices) are problem solving disciplines and they deserve more recognition than they get.
What experience outside of work have you found invaluable in your role?
Advising and mentoring the new generation of designers, engineers and entrepreneurs. I learn from them as much as they do from me and they broaden my thinking every single day. I love it!
What project or client would you love to become involved with, but haven’t yet?
NASA, SpaceX or/and Virgin Galactic… I am nuts about space exploration!