Hi, Could you introduce yourself?
Hi, I am Hyam Fayed, a Product Designer currently based in Seattle Washington. I love working in new technology spaces, and have had the opportunity to work with some really talented people. I will always say that I got here by way of great mentorship and opportunity.
Back when I started, I was a Visual Designer trying to make my way into product when Abhishek Kumar at Plume reached out to me to work on some freelance Product Design work with them. I remember how excited and nervous I was, and it ended up being as transformative for me as I had ever imagined. I like to think that this was the best and most impactful thing to happen to my career.
Since then, I have worked with some of the most talented designers on projects with companies I would have never dreamed of working with. Now, I am working on AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning tools at Microsoft. At the same time, my partner and I started our own Design Incubation Lab called Playhaus XYZ where we are fortunate to be working with some really awesome clients in a really exciting new tech space.
Apart from design, I really love being out in nature, and really do based where I go and what I do around my local terrain. I have been spoiled with the abundance of trails we have here in Washington to say the least.
What are you working on?
I feel like I have always been working on many things at once. I have a few side projects that I am currently working on at Playhaus with some really talented folx. We work on both digital and physical product experiences. Lately, we’ve been printing and experimenting with a lot of 3d objects including PPE.
I am also very passionate about community building. When COVID-19 happened I noticed that a lot of folx, myself included, found it challenging to find a community of people to bond with. The idea was to create a safe and welcoming space for folx to bond over shared values and passions. From this, I started the Slack channel CreateRemote.
What are your goals?
Right now, I am even more so passionate about community building, working in transformational design spaces, and really coming up with creative ideas and solutions to complex challenges. We see a lot of models within our society being forced to change and shift focus due to COVID-19, and it excites me that I have been given an opportunity to work directly with solution forward teams to reevaluate existing business models and help restructure them.
I am also excited about working with younger folx. As a mentor, but also as a mentee. The youth is exceptionally creative and there is always something new to learn for younger generations in and out of the tech space.
Do you have a mentor?
I don’t currently have a mentor, but I am constantly curious and excited about everyone I get to interact with in design and technology. I have learned a lot from many different people both in and outside of work. I’ve had great managers along the way that have invested a lot of time into my success and I am forever grateful to them.
Do you mentor anyone?
I am not currently mentoring anyone specifically, although I would love to. I believe that without the mentorship I had early on in my career, I would not have gotten as far and as quickly as I have.
What could the tech industry do better to foster female talent?
I worked for a design agency a couple years ago with a female CEO and she did something I will never forget. As small as it was, she had created a channel in our company Slack for anyone who identified as female to join and have a safe place to talk.
This may seem small, but even on a micro level, little things like this when done right can start conversations that have the potential to initiate great change.
What advice would you give to people getting into your field?
Product Design is such a unique space that there really is a place for you if you’re passionate about improving people's experiences through product. Whether you feel like you excel in critical thinking, design, or have a background or passion in psychology; it’s all extremely valued and a crucial skill for building great products.
I say this a lot, but we really do also need more neurodiverse folx in tech. I think anyone who is passionate about helping people and can bring in a fresh perspective would bring huge value to any product team.
As for advice; If you feel stuck, and don’t know how to find your way in, there are a lot of really valuable online resources out there. From YouTube videos, to articles and online programs. There are also a lot of people like me who would love to help you if you find yourself in this position.
The best advice I’ve ever received was actually through failure.
What’s the best and worst advice you have ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received was actually through failure. That there are people who dream of being where you are, and one failure doesn’t change that. If something didn’t work out, there is always something better out there for you.
The worst advice I’ve ever received was, to never make your hobby your work. If you make your hobby your work, you will realize what you used to do in your free time starts feeling like a job.
And I want to just clarify, the day I was officially a “Designer” for the first time was one of the happiest moments of my life. Don’t ever let someone tell you that your hobby can’t be the same thing you do for work.
Who do you follow? What blogs do you read?
To be honest, lately I have not had the time to keep up with any blogs. However, I have read a lot of really great books recently, and the two below, I highly recommend.
You Are The Universe by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and Menas C. Kafatos, PH.D., as well as Find Your F*ckyeah by Alexis Rockley. They are both extremely empowering and insightful reads.
What’s the best way to keep up to date with what you’re doing?
Currently, this would be through my Twitter handle @hyumankind. I am also very passionate about visual storytelling, so if you are interested at all in that, you can follow my Instagram @hyumankind.