Silvia Riva

Service & Experience Designer

What are the users’ needs? And what about the client’s business? And the teams’? Where’s the value? I ask myself a lot of questions: I’m a User Experience Designer.

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I understand users’ needs and issues by listening and observing them and imagine how to improve their experience. Then, through a ton of sketches, flows, prototypes and sheets I design a specific solution for them. But not just for them!

In a project, everybody has issues and hopes, and the right solution is the one that, seamlessly and with great diplomacy, meets everybody’s goals: users’, business’, teams’, and respects both the environment and the human beings.

So we, as designers, need to develop some knowledge in all the fields that we are involved in, armed with compassion and diplomacy. This is what I love about my role: finding the best solution for everyone, I never stop learning and challenging my own choices to improve the solution.

My story as a designer starts with videogames and fantasy literature: “Can you make a banner signature for the forum?”, “Can you design my book cover?” I discovered my passion for digital graphic design when, in the hot Sicilian summer, with a tower pc, more of a stove, I was there, at three a.m., running Adobe Photoshop in one window and a YouTube tutorial in another.

The Communication Design course of the Politecnico di Milano was an easy choice for me. With my dream of being a graphic designer, I left Sicily to become a professional — hoping to be in the advertising sector?

Four years later, as an intern in an interior and product design studio in Milan, I was considering giving everything up, if maybe I made the wrong choice all along. I wasn’t satisfied: editorial graphic design and branding weren’t so interesting after all.

“You’re overthinking” my university colleagues told me while designing the final cover of their masterpiece and I was still evaluating my final target and questioning the usability of the whole project.

Silvia at work with her laptop

Then I frequented the Interaction Design class, we designed an app, a sort of Tinder mixed up with TheFork, and one of my most precious memories is the scenario design and the prototype creation… I was overwhelmed with enthusiasm.

From that moment on I found my own path: in 2016 I started designing innovative experiences for both the digital and physical world at a startup incubator in Milan, working for brands such as Ducati and OCTO Telematics. In 2018 I joined Ogilvy to design brand experience for Barilla, Campari Group, Nestlé, Unilever, Carrefour, Gruppo Ferrero

I learned that, whatever path you choose to follow, doubts are always just round the corner. Rather than go straight and ignore them, maybe the time to recalculate the route has come.

I’m into several things, which I dig into with a “seasonal” approach.

You can find me drawing, singing, reading manga and watching anime, playing video games, gardening, photography… I’m instead a cat-lady all year round. In the near future I’d like to start traveling again and enroll in a Japanese learning course — why not?
Duck in a lawn

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