Design Inspirations with Yael Levey
Design in the digital sphere
Yael Levey, the creative face behind the moniker I Am Not My Pixels, is a digital product designer based in London. Her work centres around the look and behaviour of websites and apps.
Being a prolific creator, she’s put her stamp on many different projects across a variety of fields, from children’s games to investment banking to the UK’s largest digital weather service. These days, she keeps busy analysing means of communication and connectivity in professional environments.
Understanding the client
It is a guiding principle for Yael to put the customer’s needs and wants first. A deep understanding for the client facilitates the design process. Prioritising simplicity is of nearly equal importance, as is being “intentional about every aspect of the design” to ensure the highest possible quality of the final product.
Design as a team sport
In order to get to the root of a problem, Yael needs designers to be curious, adaptable, critical, calculative and, most of all, capable of working well with others. “Digital product design is a team sport, and you have to be able to work with a variety of people with radically different skill sets from yours.”
Yael’s relationship with music isn’t a situational one. She listens to music pretty much constantly, and one of the first things she does in the morning is to pick a playlist for the day. “I love feeling like I have a soundtrack to my life that I’m in control of,” Yael explains.
Music helps her stay focused and go into work mode. What kind of sound she chooses can very much depend on the parametres of a given project. Before presenting her work, for instance, Yael tends to play upbeat music. Without music, she finds it a lot harder to concentrate and get into the right creative rhythm, saying “That’s why it’s incredibly important to me to set up my space with music and acoustics in mind.” Head over to Spotify for Yael’s Inspire playlist.
Good design makes a product useful
“For me this [Dieter Rams] principle sits at the backbone of what design is and how it differs from art,” Yael states, emphasising at the same time the commonalities of the two disciplines. “Like art, design must function by filling a need and provide value to the person using it.” A design that isn’t useful is a design that has failed, in Yael’s opinion. That is why she reserves a considerable amount of time for the research and test phase of her projects. Being proactive is key to the art of problem solving.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out Ini Archibong’s take on “Good design is unobtrusive.”