Thriving On Impact – Claudia's Story On Being a Co-Founder of Our Product Design Office by Having the Right People and the Freedom to Take Initiative

Claudia Mascas, UX/UI Design Consultant, shares her story about how she evolved as a Designer together with Accesa.

Thriving On Impact – Claudia's Story On Being a Co-Founder of Our Product Design Office by Having the Right People and the Freedom to Take Initiative

I evolved as a Designer together with Accesa, experiencing all the stages the company went through, from a small business to a company of over 1,000 people. My journey began when Accesa was run as a tech startup with a vision for a workplace in which people truly collaborate, harnessing the power of technology to solve complex problems and help both people and businesses.

Back then, I wore two hats, as a Graphic Designer and an Interior Designer, helping Accesa create and then elevate their brand experience. Fast forward 15 years and now I'm working as a UX/UI Design Consultant and I'm also a thought leader and co-founder of the Product Design Office, as I believe that excellent product design happens when you bring all perspectives to the table, from users and business to technical.

Over the years, I had the opportunity to contribute as a UI/UX Design Consultant and a Digital Product Designer to products and clients operating in Fintech or Manufacturing industries. In this context, the people I met along the way made Accesa experience special for me and significantly impacted my career. I worked with exceptional people who believed in me and gave me a chance to prove myself, and I found good mentors, talented colleagues or clients to learn from.

I always felt empowered in Accesa, having room to take initiative and contribute above and beyond the project's goals and objectives. For the last 5 years, together with my colleague Raluca, we are focusing on growing our community of professionals, sharing knowledge, delivering workshops and building best practices based on design thinking principles while constantly nurturing a product mindset inside our organization.

I believe the most impactful work we’ve done so far was to set up our Discovery Workshop Framework as a best practice to make sure we are building the right product, together with our clients, right from the beginning. By combining design thinking principles, user perspective, product management techniques and a good understanding of business context, we developed a consultancy approach in delivering value to our clients and forging long-lasting and trust-based partnerships.

Another way to grow knowledge in our community was last year when, together with my colleagues Raluca and Alex, we designed a Discovery Workshop Bootcamp programme and trained PO and UX/UI Design colleagues to understand and apply the best practices we've defined in our framework. Scaling up our ability to facilitate Discovery Workshops ensures an effective knowledge transfer across the team and for the client, the same great experience and high-quality results.

One thing that still gets me excited after all these years is the impact we have on the people, the end customers, who are using our solutions. Recently, I worked on a project to improve employees' experience for a Fortune 500 Insurance company. Based on employees' needs and following a four-stage design thinking approach, we designed a new Information Architecture and Information Finding Principles for their intranet site. Our work increased employees' engagement rate and streamlined clients internal communication process.

By having the right people to grow with and a safe environment to thrive, I feel that here at Accesa, my work is appreciated, and I have a meaningful impact on the way we live, work, and do business.