Breaking barriers in product designing across frontiers

Mariam Braimah hopes to extend these skills beyond international borders while inspiring Africans
Breaking Barriers in Product Design
A visitor takes a picture at the stand of Netflix during the Video games trade fair Gamescom in Cologne, western Germany, on August 21, 2019. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)

Netflix has become a universally known online streaming service with 148 million subscribers all over the world. The company and its shows are usually involved in modern pop and meme culture. Its exceptional growth which can be attributed to its user experience design is not by accident.

In an interview, Netflix product designer, Mariam Braimah narrates her ordeals during her growth journey, she hopes to extend these skills beyond international borders while inspiring Africans in the diaspora. 

Braimah joined the company’s Growth & Acquisition team. She was involved in the sophisticated process of attracting and keeping the attention of non-members immediately they hit the landing page of the company’s website, through to the process of familiarisation. 

She recently switched to the Emerging Experiences Design team, where she deals with the member and content experience of the product. Initially, she used to be money oriented in her approach, now, on the opposite end of the spectrum, she’s more into the abstracts. She concludes that it is indeed a dream job and she was only able to land such opportunity as a result of her experiences with various designs throughout her career which includes interaction design, user research, and UX writing.

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In the course of her work with Netflix, she is aware of the opportunities she has been exposed to. Braimah grew interested in the development of user interface in the African diaspora. Being of Nigerian descent, she has been connected to her roots in more ways than one. This led to her interest in the situation of the design sector in Nigeria. 

During one of her frequent trips to Nigeria, she reached out to people on Twitter to start design tailored conversations with teams and tech companies within the country. In this process, she yearned to gain insights on what it is like to design within the Nigerian tech space. She discovered the drive to learn from international industry professionals at Silicon Valley in the Nigerian tech ecosystem.

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This has contributed to her idea for the Kimoyo Fellowship founded by her in August 2018. The fellowship is an all-inclusive learning program designed to provide shared learning and experiences across the different borders of America and Nigeria. Her aim is to exchange ideas, develop talent and build experience. With this, knowledge will be gained effectively by both sides. She identifies it as a step towards identifying and sharing knowledge between both sides.

The long term goal behind the creation of Kimoyo is to explore the composition of design thinking through foreign views while keeping in mind the importance of context. Her next aim is to plan the next Kimoyo Summit in Lagos, in 2020, it will connect a  group of UI/UX design and research professionals and thought leaders that will link the creative communities of Silicon Valley and Nigeria.

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