In January, Amber Sawaya, Zorroa’s EVP of UX & Product, was invited to speak to a sold-out crowd at an SLC Graphic Designers MeetUp.
Let's give you some background on Amber. Ten years ago, Amber Sawaya founded, and was a partner at, her own design and technology consulting firm. Then something happened in late of 2015; her firm was hired to consult for Zorroa, an up-and-coming AI/Machine Learning platform company who’s out to streamline visual asset storage. Amber knocked the socks off the Zorroa crew, so much so, that they asked her to come on board as EVP of UX & Product in 2017. It was an offer she couldn’t, and didn’t, refuse.
The SLC Graphic Designers who were lucky enough to get a spot at this MeetUp heard how Amber found her path first as a freelancer, a UX consulting agency partner, and a critical thinker. She told them about her UX, AI/ML, and customer management skills. She gave examples of case studies that showed off her user experience work, and discussed what she saw as the most common problems that customers face.
Amber's first steps of tackling work is to listen to her customer's stories and then get a sense of where they are coming from in order to fine-tune and personalize her solutions for them. Followed by that, she suggests that designers and developers work closely together to make sure that they’re solving problems visually and functionally, together, for the client. A good design alone is just that: a design. A great design also produces results for the client. Amber strives for her work to be the difference between good and great. She knows that clients expect the end-result of design development to have the same look-and-feel of what they approved back in the initial design phase.
Some of Amber’s examples are what she’s currently living in at her position at Zorroa: coming up with solutions that are already on Zorroa’s road map, such as new configurations that Zorroa can do — new Machine Learning (ML) pipelines we can train and refine — and how a company as a whole can explore new solutions together.
The SLC MeetUp designers talked about getting work delivered and making sure that their customers are happy with the work and want to continue on with their client relationship.
Some of Amber’s MeetUp attendees said that hers was the best MeetUp they’ve ever had. “We walked away feeling so inspired and Amber’s talk sparked so much conversation between us about where we want to go and do in life! So thank you for being so open and candid.” They felt that Amber’s work is incredible and hearing a snippet about what’s going on at Zorroa was refreshingly candid.
Amber has won multiple design awards, including a Merit AIGA 100 Show award for her work on Red Queen Book Arts. She is included in two UI patents, and is the best-selling author of The Client’s Guide to Building a Mobile App. She has been senior-level with 7 startups (venture and angel backed) with a variety of outcomes including successful exit and continued growth. She likes to lift weights and throw parties, but not generally at the same time.