min read ·
December 7, 2020

Meet Our Experience Design Practice Lead: Ruben Cardoso

Experience Design Practice Lead

Ruben Cardoso

With over 12 years of practice in product strategy and design, Ruben is passionate about people and problem solving through innovation. He is a strong and empathetic leader inspiring teams to deliver the best customer experiences.

When the industry demanded user-centric design; Fabric passionately embraced it. We brought in Ruben to lead the initiative, a well-travelled User-Experience Leader with an ambition to shift the mindset of the world to be user-first. After demonstrating this at Fabric, we're confident he'll do just that! A design mindset is now core to our ways of working and present from the inception of all projects. Learn all about him, his leadership style and our Experience Design practice in the video!

Want to learn more? You can read the complete interview below.

How did you get to be in technology? What industries and projects have you worked in?

Since I was a kid, I was always fascinated by machines. I loved telephones, keyboards, anything and everything with buttons I could press and interact with. My creative side led me to a design career, developing an interest in editorial design, I designed magazines and books, but always felt pretty incomplete and wanted to go beyond the realms of paper. I eventually envisioned, designed and coded (yes, coded) my first mobile magazine for the first iPad generation, that was my first significant achievement as a digital designer.

I’ve worked in Portugal, the UK, the USA and Australia, across different industries from a financial services project trying to consolidate and simplify the experiences for users across multiple regions in the world or supporting an early-stage startup trying to record the stories of our grandfathers. What united all of these and many other projects I worked in was my constant curiosity about the people I’m designing for, it’s interesting how every single project is different, and there’s always something to learn. People are inherently fascinating, and helping them with great innovative solutions is incredibly rewarding.

Why Fabric?

Fabric combines an incredibly talented team with some never-ending set of client problems waiting to be solved, with an exciting proposition always to deliver value, no matter the size of the problem. I joined Fabric in the hope that I would have the opportunity to explore many other domains, with even more exciting people to help, with the freedom and space to fail and learn. All of that materialised and so much more and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this family. And it feels like a family! 

Discussion with the team at Fabric's office

What does the Experience Design practice lead at Fabric do?

As the Experience Design Practice Lead, my goal is to encourage everyone at Fabric (and our clients) to be champions of the people using the products and services we develop. 

I believe creating the best user experience is ultimately everyone's responsibility, not just the designers' job.

It’s all about getting everyone to stand in the users' shoes, all the time. My role is to encourage everyone involved in a project to be more empathetic towards them, so (as a team) we can deliver the best for them. I believe this is the foundation for a user-centric culture which is fundamental for successful services and products.

What's your typical day like?

Every day is different! Some days I could be engaging with users, and others, facilitating design thinking workshops. And some days, just sitting down with developers discussing the best way to solve a particular problem. 

I also spend a lot of my time with my experience design team members mentoring them and empowering them. I try to give my team the best tools to make Fabric the ultimate value and customer-driven consultancy to push innovation with our clients.

Ruben typing on his laptop

What's your leadership style? 

I was very fortunate to have had great mentors throughout my career. They gave me the right challenges and freedom to bring the best out of my potential. I now feel the need to provide that back to the people I lead, and I’m incredibly passionate about that. It is all about giving back, right?

I think it’s essential to build strong relationships with regular one-to-ones. And I also like to provide a safe space for open communication. I enjoy guiding without micro-managing. I particularly thrive on motivating people to embrace a challenge so that they can go on their journey. I also find it necessary to celebrate my team’s successes whilst helping them overcome failure.

I genuinely believe in a growth culture, and that's what I try to bring to my team and Fabric. 

Ruben in a one-on-one catch-up with one of his mentees

What's the most challenging part of your job?

It's tough sometimes, I do a million things and my job changes every day, but that's what makes it exciting. My job boundaries are so undefined that sometimes I don't know what my job is anymore. The context switching is a blessing and a curse, but it's my job to be able to manage it elegantly. So I can't complain, I love what I do. We're developing the powers of omnipresence and omniscience at Fabric, MVP will be ready soon!

Ruben working at his laptop

What excites you about being a practice lead at Fabric?

Meeting new people every day: clients, teams, users, you name it. And the challenges I'm thrown every day. Seeing my team and team members grow and thrive despite the challenges.

Ultimately I feel like it's a role that allows me to learn, from my peers, my team members, my clients. And as long as I'm learning, I'm happy. Fabric is an always changing, always growing business, and there are infinite opportunities and possibilities which I do enjoy taking on.

Fabric is continually shaping its services to evolve with the fast-paced technology industry; you may have noticed the recent emersion of our DevOps, QA, UX and Learning practices. Our Practice Leads discuss the adoption of these disciplines and how they have transformed our ways of working. This interview is our first in this series, so stay tuned!

If you'd like to learn more about the Experience Design practice at Fabric and some of our capabilities and toolkit — click here.


Want to learn more about Experience Design at Fabric?

Fill in your details, and get an introduction to Ruben to discuss about our Experience Design toolkit, and how it can help your business.

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