Collaborating with people outside of your studio that are maybe better at certain things than you are

Sasha Irla
UX Lead @ Studio Kraftwerk — Amsterdam

Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Sasha currently leads the UX team at Studio Kraftwerk in Amsterdam. He believes that understanding user motivation, co-creation and an emphasis on craft lead to meaningful and desirable products & services.

What do you love about design?
I’m not a visual designer, and I don’t really like pushing pixels around, but I love working with visual designers. I like having opinions on design, and I think it’s important that UX/ UI or visual designers work together, because I think that collaboration is what makes things go.

What was the point at which you knew that you’d like to be a designer?
Very early on actually, I was into the arts, as I did Art School and that was, you know, traditional painting with oils and stuff like that. Sometime around 9th or 10th grade, early in high school, I was playing a lot of comput- er games, I started teaching myself how to draw in Photoshop, and I started doing all my art projects digitally in school. That was the point when I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

What was your first win that made you confident?

I guess it was maybe pretty early on in my career, most probably when I moved from South Africa to the Netherlands with my girlfriend. We saved up our money for a year, sold our cars and just sort of moved without any jobs and it was quite a scary few months. After a while, we both landed pretty sweet jobs at great agencies, and I guess that gave me a lot of confidence that I was probably doing the right thing, being on the right path.

What is the last change you made in your life?
I think agreeing to speak at these conferences, the first one was last year and it was scary as f**k. Since then I’ve kind of embraced it and I just sort of say yes to it. I’ve participated in trainings for speaking, but it still doesn’t feel natural. I don’t really like it but I feel it helps in a lot of aspects of my life and it helps me have better conversations about design when I can start putting all my thoughts together. So yeah, I think that’s something I’m working on. Other than that I finally started exercising after many years, that’s a big change.