Hi! This is Yas (pronounced Yazz rhymes with Jazz). I'm a product person with an extensive background in design, and all sorts of creative roles in architecture, marketing, and filmmaking. Currently, I am a Product Manager for the Design Systems team at Hack for LA (HfLA), a Code for America brigade (non-profit organization).
At the Design Systems team, we are building tools for 22 different product teams and more than 200 volunteers. As Hack for LA continues to scale up, design and documentation standards need to be made consistent across the organization. Our team seeks to help every HfLA team create their own design system that is robust, scalable, and based on sound design system paradigms.
Collaborating with HfLA has been a tremendous achievement for me because not only do I get to lead a diverse team of highly-talented researchers and designers, but also I am learning new things from my team constantly, and I get energized from them to pursue a long term career in the product space.
Prior to HfLA, I was a creative director and co-founder at Monkey Pie Labs (MPL), a small media and marketing studio with a mission to create impact for non-profit organizations and small businesses by helping them with promo videos, mini-documentary films, and better design for their branding materials and websites.
My approach to design is very human-centered. Whenever I was tasked with an architectural design problem, I visited the site with more than two eyes because my personal design paradigm was to explore for different experiences: I listened, smelled, tasted local foods, and interacted with people. The same story applies to my filmmaking journey- you can never tell a meaningful story of people without knowing them and trying to live in their shoes. When it comes to UX and digital product design, I have found the same paradigm very handy too.
Born and raised in Iran, I am an immigrant, but, this does not make me feel less strong. I never forget where I come from. Iran is such a wealthy country when it comes to architecture, food, and arts in various forms, cultural diversity, and a wide range of natural landscapes from ancient forests, and beautiful mountains to calm deserts and relaxed seaside resorts. I try my best to stay connected to my roots by cooking Persian food for my friends which helps me to introduce my culture with a product from my heart. If you ever feel bored and want to explore new tastes, just tune into my YouTube channel where I shared a handful of Persian recipes.