Women In Design feat. Yasmin Nestlen

This is our chat with Yasmin Nestlen, Executive Experience Director at AnalogFolk. AnalogFolk is an independent global digital creative agency whose mission is to use digital technology to make the analog world better.

Yasmin is a design and innovation leader with 20 years of global experience. She brings creativity and passion in bridging the worlds of design, technology, and strategy to solve complex challenges and helping brands reinvent themselves, connecting with customers, employees, and society in new and meaningful ways.

Could you please introduce yourself as well as your background?

From a young age, I was a creator and someone who looked to the future. At the age of 2, I told my parents I wanted to be an artist. When I was 8, while others were drawing ponies in school, I sketched a TV/radio watch. Fast forward to my master’s degree, when most of my peers were designing websites, I was exploring ways to merge the physical and digital worlds and built a smart space. That 18-month journey and work redefined who I was as a creative thinker.

I was born in the United States to German parents and hold three passports. I’m German, American, and now also British. I feel lucky being part of three amazing cultures and feel this combination provides a unique perspective to my work and the way I lead.

I recently joined AnalogFolk as Executive Experience Director. In my las role as Chief Experience Officer at Tribal, I was responsible for expanding the CX practice, building customer-driven innovation processes, and seamlessly integrating Ecosystem Thinking and XD strategy across all clients.

Prior to this, I held key positions in experience design and innovation at agencies such as MRM/McCann, Publicis Sapient, and R/GA. My work includes collaborations with some of the most exciting brands and transformative projects, from crafting blended retail strategies for Bang and Olufsen, leading product development initiatives for Nike, reimagining British Airways’ interactions with travellers, and connecting Volkswagen’s complex ecosystem.

My passion is inspiring clients and teams to be bold thinkers and address a wider spectrum of strategic challenges to create more lasting value and experiences that emotionally connect. I believe this is also important at an industry level to influence the next generation so engages in mentoring, judging, and speaking at events such as D&AD, FLA, IXDA, Service Design Summit, and SXSW.

In an attempt to capture some of the Wisdom you’ve gained as a woman in the design sector so far, what are 5 “stand-out things” you’ve learned that you’d like to pass on to your peers as well as the future generation of talent within your sector?

  • Never stop learning and exploring.
  • Believe anything is possible.
  • Treasure and embrace your unique perspective and gift of seeing things differently.
  • Build a strong network of people around you.
  • Always take on new challenges.

What is your take on the importance of role models?

First, it’s important for me to share that I believe role models enter people’s lives in various ways and different points of their journey, and frequently, their influence is brief. Sometimes, it only takes a brief encounter or exposure to someone’s experiences and wisdom to make a lasting impact and help someone realise their own potential and how there is more than one path forward. Whether a role model takes the form of a family member, teacher, friend, or colleague, these influential figures play a pivotal role in providing individuals with that essential extra push, invaluable guidance, and, most significantly, in unveiling the potential they have.

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