Interview: Product Designer at General Motors

interview-tile-inbar-sela-general-motors

Name: Inbar Sela
Age: 32
Find me on LinkedIn

Current Job title: Product designer – multimodal and voice-only interfaces
Company name: General Motors
Creative Sector: Global Product Development, UX design and software

University Attended: Tel Aviv University, Israel
Course Studied: Linguistics, French language and literature studies, and Cognitive studies of language

Years/months working in the industry: 7 years

Your job sounds really interesting and quite unusual. Can you tell us a bit about it and what sums up a typical working day for you?

As an Interaction designer in GM’s UX department, I’m designing Voice experiences that enable drivers to talk to their car, ask it to play music, check the weather and even connect to their virtual assistant to turn on their smart-home thermostat. A typical working day varies depending on the stage each project is at, whether it is framing preliminary concepts for a design, analysing data from a field study recently performed, or mocking a new feature in an interface that is about to be user-tested soon.

What advice would you give to students who are currently seeking internships or are perhaps nervous about doing them?

Internships, not even in a sector you plan to specialise in, can significantly widen your horizons and open you up to new ideas and even unique career paths.

How did you obtain your first job?

GM Israel’s User Experience Technologies lab was looking for a few linguistics students to work as HMI research assistants, and published the job posting via our university secretaries. I immediately applied as it was very rare to find anything similar to this opportunity, while most of the linguistics students I knew back then had been working in anything but a job that is related to our studies. This had opened the door for me to the entire User Experience world, which I barely heard of as a student.

What have you learned since working in the creative industry?

I was exposed to the world of product design that was not at all touched on as part of my studies. I acquired new skills and got to know new technologies and new tools.

What do you wish you had known while studying?

I wish I had an idea of the desired skills that will be most beneficial to start my career.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to explore, make mistakes and adapt. Be courageous. Talk to as many experienced individuals that are immersed in the industry as you can.

Would you like to ask Inbar any questions about her career?

 you can find out more about product design at General Motors and contact her on LinkedIn

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