How César boosted his design career at Z1

César Álvarez
César Álvarez
Published: 16.12.2021

In the past 6 years, we've shipped over 60 amazing experiences —most of which we crafted from the ground up with our partners. We shape their vision into a Minimum Perfect Experience, delivering future-proof designs, scalable architectures, and a solid foundation on which to transition the work to their own teams.

Time to meet the Design Director at Z1, César!

A brief overview of your design philosophy?

I follow human-centric design, which means designing with your eyes wide open to the world, observing the diversity of the environment for whom you are creating, bearing in mind the emotions and culture of the users. For me, this is always a solid starting point from which to start designing, an excellent way to give birth to new ideas potentially valid. As product designers, we must always walk in the shoes of the users and have the ability to integrate the unique needs and difficulties that they may have.

So in my day-to-day as a designer, I apply Human-centric design in two different ways:

As a discovery tool, applying its principles as a framework helps me generate new ideas.

Secondly, as an internal validation method that allows me to evaluate specific and measurable aspects of an interface design, such as accessibility and usability.

César, Industrial Design Engineer, started his career at Z1 as a developer and made the leap to design.

How has Z1 helped you in your career development?

It's funny but I started in Z1 as a developer. I had previously created a studio with some colleagues in which we worked like crazy, with a lot of passion, where we learned every day, but whose projects were not profitable. During that period, I was already interested in knowing more about digital products and decided to train in programming. Later I started working as a freelance with my fellow partners and one day, Héctor, our CEO, contacted me. After meeting him personally, I had very good feelings and I began to work with the team as a freelancer until Z1 ended up becoming my only client. I started listening to Manolo, our VP of Design, talking about how they needed design and illustration, and I offered to help with these tasks. So I began working on the design of a project called Launch, and in turn, I was doing development focused on the layout before working exclusively on design. From there, I evolved to become the Design Director of Z1.

Z1 has offered me freedom and opportunities alike, they have always given me a hand to develop in all the design disciplines that I have been curious about, and I have learned a lot throughout the process. Not having limited myself in my tasks has made me a better designer today. Allowing me to do different types of things made me grow, acquiring greater decision-making capacity to choose where to take my work. I have been able to try a bit of everything and now I know what I like the most and what I do best.

What advice do you have for prospective Z1 candidates?

As a designer, my main advice would be: have your portfolio and website updated and ready to go. Analyze your mindset and what you are looking for in a company. For example, Z1 is a flexible and agile studio, if what you are looking for is a structured schedule and very closed roles, this may not be your place.

But in general, I would tell you to take a look at other agencies so that you can appreciate the good work environment we have here. Since we have a remote culture, if you are an open and communicative person, you are going to enjoy Z1 a lot regardless of where you work from. We have different mechanisms such as our Slack channels or team-building dynamics so that no one feels disconnected from the company even if they work remotely.

What do you like most about Z1?

I would highlight the quality of the clients we work with and the diverse nature of the digital products we craft. We collaborate with people all over the world with brilliant ideas who practice empathy and value your work. We work on super interesting projects, with realistic timelines.

Another very important thing is undoubtedly my colleagues. We have multidisciplinary teams that help each other all the time. It is super gratifying to work together and learn from each one because we all have something to contribute. Without realizing it, you are up to date on everything. You find out about new trends, be it tools, dynamics, technologies, etc. In the end, we are all aligned and updated for greater common enrichment.

César's taste for animation, illustration, and research always leads him to look for original ways to solve visual problems.

Do you recall any embarrassing fun moment at work?

I have a very fun memory of when we went to play paintball at the Christmas party in 2019. Suddenly Emilio, our CTO, appeared with a huge lump on his forehead. Someone had shot a ball at the CTO's head! It was really shocking but in a fun way. For a moment I started to think about the person who had hit him, how bad he or she was going through at the moment. The lump lasted for Emilio three or four days and the culprit of the "aggression" was never revealed.

When are you the happiest?

I would say that on the weekend, especially when the day is bright and sunny and I don't have any kind of commitment during the day. That is the moment where I can take my motorcycle without thinking about what time I return, lose myself without having a destination and really feel the freedom of the moment.

Get to know César and the rest of the Z1 team!

We’re delighted that César decided to join Z1 – it’s been great having them on board! If you have any questions or want to get to know César or one of their colleagues from the design team, we can put you in touch. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

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