Ana Sofia is a Senior Designer at Microsoft. She delights in democratizing innovative solutions. With over 10 years of experience in the tech industry, she includes diverse perspectives into her designs. Ana knows that adoption to innovations might be difficult. By sharing her insights on innovation, leadership, work culture, and collaboration, she helps products teams and end users adopt innovation.
She has designed for mixed reality, artificial intelligence, retail from consumer to enterprise products in multiple countries. She advocates for D&I initiatives by being a chapter leader at Microsoft Latinx Employee resource group. She creates allyships for minorities, and mentoring innitiatives.
When she is not working or volunteering, you can find her dancing and exploring unknown lands.
How are you planning to celebrate Women’s Day this year?
Attend and facilitate a panel hosted at Microsoft.
Would you say there is an under-representation of women in UI/UX design?
It is not seen in early and mid level career, but we are missing a seat on the table in design leadership positions.
What are some personality traits of women that make them better (or worse) UX designers?
We are nurturing, so some people prefer women design managers. We do more analyzing since we feel we have to constantly prove ourselves and create solutions with all of the right data.
Who are some design leaders (male or female) you look up to?
David Kelley, how he integrated design thinking in solving complex problems.
Dieter Rams, he simplified products.
Hendy Lamar, an actress and inventor, she created a technology that prevented signals transmitted over radio from being intercepted by the enemy during WW2, which now is an essential technology for wi-fi, bluetooth, and other wireless networks.
Muriel Cooper, co-founder of the MIT Media Lab and a pioneer of computer-graphics design.
Tasha Lutfi, a Design Director at Microsoft who I was fortunate to meet, she empowers minorities, she brings out her most authentic self, and creates innovative solutions to Microsoft.
As a woman, what’s the greatest challenge you’ve had to face as a designer?
Speaking up in meetings, and speaking up with my authentic voice.
What, in your opinion, could we UI/UX designers do, as a relatively young and collaborative fraternity, to solve the problem of gender inequality?
Learn to be empathetic, vulnerable, and curious. Small but impactful questions such as “how was your day? ” can create empathy.
By being vulnerable so the person can open up, you could even learn that they they were sick and maybe that is why they were not giving their 100% at work that particular day.
Remove the politeness of not talking about raises and promotions.
We need it to be okay to ask that so we can learn how to do it.
Your message to young women looking to make their careers in UI/UX?
Always negotiate and ask for the stars!
This article was last updated on November 26, 2023; Originally published on March 4, 2021