Hello! I’m Layla (she/her) and I’m a product designer from San Francisco, CA.
I care deeply about design justice and view design as a powerful tool in shaping the relationship between humans and technology. I study and practice how to prioritize user safety, intersectionality, harm prevention, worker’s rights, accessibility, and class consciousness through liberatory design in all realms of technology (user experience, product, AI, VR). I challenge existing notions of inclusive design, human-centered design, and product equity and encourage myself and others to interrogate impact of social, political, and economic systems in the development and design of technology.
I have always loved design as the intersection between creativity, problem-solving, and the human experience. As a kid, I was already implementing design systems when selling my classmates semi-personalized, course-specific binder cover designs for a handful of cheerios. At 8, I was sketching wireframes for the newest smart phone "for girls" when I saw the iPhone making waves. My young entrepreneurial spirit even cold emailed a typo-filled business pitch made on Microsoft Paint to a “firstname.lastname@example.org” (spoiler: I did not get a response).When I first learned about UX design in my teens, I was too amazed that I thought it was too good to be true. So, I spent my high school and college years exploring my other interests like education, languages, and entrepreneurship. I eventually graduated with a B.A. in International Economics, which influences my tendency to consider a global, diverse market and balance creativity with strategy.
By the second half of college, I’d come to understand that I utilized design thinking to communicate, build, organize, and improve whatever I was working on. I began to self-teach myself user experience design through a series of personal and professional projects and eventually found myself entrenched in further understanding design’s role and responsibility in society. I dedicated my undergrad thesis to exploring how the design of technology impacts marginalized users and pushes harmful agendas (Ctrl-V: How Design and Tech Replicate Systems of Oppression). This research is the foundation of how I approach designing, and pushes me to be a better designer, not just in my skills and methods, but in how I design beyond and against the status quo, binaries, and harmful economic, social, and political systems.
design justice, surveillance capitalism, design and policing, black feminist theory, liberatory design, social stratification, social control, the new jim code (benjamin), the digital poorhouse (eubanks), privacy, behavioral economics in design
race after technology, Ruha Benjamin
design justice, Sasha Costanza-Chock
society of the spectacle,GUY DEBORD
automating inequality, Virginia Eubanks
algorithms of oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble
age of surveillance capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff