DSI alum Liora Yuklea (‘15) has been working within the realm of design for impact since she got her start as a graphic designer in print journalism and grassroots activism at home in Israel. Though she felt she was in the right area of work, she found herself more and more interested in the strategic decision making involved behind the scenes in both fields, which drew her away from her visual focus.
“I found myself constantly asking–why are we doing this? Is this the best way to meet our goals? Who are we going to convince? And I just wasn’t getting good answers”, she told us. In the search for answers, she began to look for new ways to utilize her design skills and passion for social good, and in her research stumbled across DSI.
Reflecting on her time as a student here, she named our Technologies for Designing Change course as a standout in her experience, stating that it helped her challenge her assumptions and think critically about how technology affects people’s lives –something she continues to consider in her day-to-day life and work as part of Google Search’s Crisis Response team. Before finding her spot at Google, she came to appreciate the nonlinear elements of careers in the social innovation field, and believes it has helped her have a more healthy expectation of her own career path as she continues to navigate the field.
While it took some trial and error to find the right fit, Liora is currently serving as a UX Lead on Google Search’s Crisis Response team, where she helps design features and project strategy for their services. The team provides users with clear, accessible information in times of crisis and actions they can take to get to safety or provide assistance to the affected communities. Much of this work involves the efforts of cross-functional teams and collaboration with local agencies and organisations to ensure that informational needs are met.
As someone now working a high-stakes job, she encourages current students and applicants of DSI to take advantage of the freedom and experimental learning opportunities that the program grants while they can.
“The key is to grab every opportunity; don’t try to plan too much in advance and shoot in all directions. Just have a high level plan for the kind of work you want to do, but leverage opportunities to gain skills and experience wherever you can. Every step will take you forward in some way.”