about.

matt-souza-about-hero

I'm an autonomous product designer and a skilled advocate for the end user. By using various processes and methodologies founded in human-centered design, I am able to innovatively strategize, conceptualize, and ultimately deliver truly engaging customer experiences throughout a product’s life cycle. 

Currently, I'm a design lead at Toyota Motor North America, where my main responsibility is to innovatively improve the design of our enterprise systems. Always ensuring we not only meet our business goals and objectives, but also elevate our customer's experience.

Outside of work, I'm just your typical fitness lover, travel junkie, and unpaid Chipotle spokesperson. I have a 5-year-old rescue fur-baby named Tinker (no, I did not baptize her) who has more energy than any other dog I've ever met. 

1

1

Created with Sketch.

Research

After the business, user & design goals have been identified, outlined and vetted, I look for already existing knowledge & insights. Learning about previous studies or solutions ensures no duplicate efforts are wasted. It's important to work smarter and not harder.

Next, I look at any secondary research, as well as study what other competitors— as well as leaders in other industries— are doing. This allows me to draw on inspiration for the problem I am trying to design a unique solution. No need to re-invent the wheel.

2

2

Created with Sketch.

Ideate

Next, I will sketch out on paper what the experience may look like at a high level. Some times, I'll  jump onto Sketch for some quick wireframe ideation. It really depends on the project itself. This to me is the most fun, and often times my favorite step!

It's imperative to have a toolbox to which I can draw from. However, it's equally important to not pigeon hole myself by those very same processes and methodologies. The earlier I can get buy-in and visibility from potential end users, business, as well as developers, the better. This helps everyone feel like they have a stake in the project.

3

3

Created with Sketch.

Validate

After one or a few possible solution(s) have been drawn out, it's now time for some validation through either a proper usability test or some quick guerilla testing. The earlier we validate a particular flow or A/B variant, the faster and more confidently we can continue in the design process. While everyone can have a different personal opinion, no one can argue data informed design. Thus, I do everything I can to eliminate any HIPPO effect.

4

4

Created with Sketch.

Measure

Finally, it's important to closely monitor and track your project's success rate. It's easy to ship out a product or feature, and call it a "success". However, what defines a true user-centered experience is the follow up. Did we meet our goals? Do our success metrics align with what we had originally set out to achieve? If so, great! What can we scale onto other parts of our experience? If not, then why? Time to take a deeper dive and learn from our mistake.

My passion for technology goes way back to when I was a young boy growing up in Brazil. I can remember taking shoe boxes and drawing out screen interfaces on the bottom part and a fully ‘functional’ keyboard from the lid.

timedot@2x
2001

The Souza family moves from Brazil to Plano, Texas in attempts to pursue the American dream.

2003

I spend the entire summer break at the local library designing my very first Yahoo GeoCities website.

timedot@2x
timedot@2x
2009

I became a designer by chance (after enrolling as a film major), but couldn't be happier about what I do everyday.

2011

I started to transition into the digital product space.

timedot@2x
timedot@2x
2013

I successfully redesigned two corporate websites from the ground up and fell in love with UX.

2015

Managed to persuade executives at JCPenney to invest in a complete redesign of the app and let me lead the project.

timedot@2x
timedot@2x
2018

Looking forward to another great year filled with innovative projects and discoveries.