His creativity drives him toward making mobile apps both beautiful and functional, so that they improve and enrich the lives of others.
There’s a common stereotype about artists—they lock themselves away while they are creating, not wanting help from anyone while they focus solely on their own needs. Fernando de Lamadrid could not be further from that typecast. The technical leader of the user experience design team at VMBC is passionate about people, product, and process. His creativity drives him toward making mobile apps both beautiful and functional, so that they improve and enrich the lives of others.
As a young child, Fernando remembers being obsessed with logos, catalogues, and advertisements. He credits his family for this interest. “My mother is an architect, so I would say that I was connected to design thinking from very early stages.” Fernando went on to become a graphic designer and an art director for advertising companies. He began his career working in print and eventually transitioned to computer-based design.
After a while, though, Fernando wasn’t sure his work was in alignment with his personal beliefs. “One of the reasons I started moving away from advertising and closer to product design is that advertising was about selling lies and I didn’t want that. I was trying to find something that really meant something.” He discovered that with user experience (UX) design, he could use his artistic skills to make life easier for other people. People are more reliant on their mobile devices than ever before, so improving the ease of use for mobile applications is Fernando’s mission.
Naturally, Fernando found a great fit at VMBC. He worked first on the TracFone project and found that his ideals were instantly in line with the values of the company. He says, “We are making a product easy to use, and that product is allowing people who don’t have a lot, to be able to get a benefit in the form of a free cellphone with a line. I think that’s really cool.” Fernando also finds himself in alignment with what he’s heard CEO Jesse Crowe discuss in regards to his vision for the company. Fernando says of Jesse, “”He wants to build the entrepreneurial spirit within the company, with the goal in mind that we all should be owners of our own products and projects. He talks about developing skills that impact people.” Fernando finds that this resonates with him because with every design decision he makes, he considers the users’ experiences.
Fernando’s been with VMBC since November 2012. During that time, he’s seen the company experience both slow, steady growth, as well as rapid change. He says that even though there can be tough times—long days and hard work—the people at VMBC are kind to each other. Fernando also sees that many changes in team and project structures have opened the door for innovation and new processes. For example, Fernando and his team of designers are starting to analyze patterns in design with hopes of streamlining their work. They’re working with the quality assurance team to build better guidelines for what kind of information is transmitted from team to team. Fernando and his team came up with all these ideas on their own—to make things easier, better, and more efficient. No one asked them to implement new processes, but they feel compelled to make things better. Because isn’t that what VMBC is all about?
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