Interview with Youssef Abdel Zaher


Winner of Banking Instrument Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Youssef Abdel Zaher shares insights

 
 
 
 

Interview with Youssef Abdel Zaher at Tuesday 25th of October 2016:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
YA : As I am designing banking products and services , My studies which was in the business field helped me somewhat in the designing process but this began when I was working as a customer service officer in a bank , I used to get feedback from bank customers about new banking products or services they need , so I was trying to make brain storming and try to figure out new product and services ideas , when I came up with new idea , i was writing it right way on a paper and began thinking about its features based upon my customer service experience and what they will want from this product , to give them more financial benefits , or provide savings for them or make their transactions more easier or saving their time , after that it becomes a hobby and a passion for me to the extent that it takes most of my thinking time , then i began thinking about turning this hobby to professional work , so i presented my first banking product or design idea to the bank to be turned to a bank project but it was not executed as I missed the projects pipeline deadline , then i made different trials with different institutions but in vein , then I discovered by coincidence the A design competition , so I decided to win in this design competition, after one year working on my project which is the " co brand bank card credit hours rights loyalty program " or shortly " education currency " project , I presented it to the competition and then , thanks God , I won the award at banking and financial instrument category , after winning , I decided to design revolutionary innovative financial products and services to be sold and used around the world and this became my dream , so I worked on designing many banking product and services ideas and I am trying to turn it to real projects through finding an institution that have interest to turn these product or services ideas to real project

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
YA : It began as a hobby as I discovered in myself the passion and ability to design new banking products and services , then it turned to a lifetime dream to become a designer and design revolutionary innovative financial products and services to be used and sold around the world .

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
YA : I decided absolutely to become a designer as I discovered in myself the passion and ability to design new banking products and services .

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
YA : As I have more than 7 years different experiences in retail and corporate banking , I design banking products and services , what I want to design more are innovative banking products or services that are not made before in any place in the world , that represents a breakthrough and create new markets .

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
YA : What distinguishes great designer from good designer is how big and great the effect of his design upon people lives for example Thomas Edison and Steve jobs are great designers as their designs or inventions have great effect upon people lives .

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
YA : Good designs are ones that are useful to people , easy to use and innovative

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
YA : Normally everyone will invest in good designs if it is profitable but what will be more important than that is the effect upon people lives , that is to say it positively and radically changes people lives for example Thomas Edison invention of electricity lamp that positively and radically changes people lives .

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
YA : if I had the time , I want to design a product that remove any barriers of any kind either cultural , religious..etc among people of all nations around the world , a product that spread peace between nations and teach people to know each other culture .

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
YA : I wish to find a financial institution that support achieving my dream project which is the " Touristic bank branch "

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
YA : My secret recipe of success in design is " fall in love with your design " , I mean think at your design and how you will make it the best one all the time like thinking all the time at your beloved one , if you do that , I am dead sure you will succeed in your design .

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
YA : I always dream to make innovative products that change the world like Steve jobs and his statements or quotes inspire me .

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
YA : I follow up any innovative products in my field and in other fields , I practice regularly to design new products or services by using innovation techniques , I plan to make studies that will help me in the designing process .

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
YA : At university phase , I wished to work at one of the biggest investment companies as i made studies at one of most renowned investment professional certificates

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
YA : For me , Any design begins with identifying customer needs , so the product or service will be "designed" by formulating its features and process that cover expected uses of it based upon customers needs .

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
YA : My family was always the biggest supporter to me especially my father and my mother who continuously motivate me to be the best in my field .

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
YA : I presented my first banking product design to the bank to be turned to a banking project but it was not executed as i missed the projects pipeline deadline , then i made different trials with different institutions but in vein , then I discovered by coincidence the A design competition , so I decided to win in this competition after one year working on my project which is the " education currency " project , I presented it to the competition and then , thank God , I won the award at banking and financial instrument category

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
YA : Designers should present their works in easy , understood and eye catching form

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
YA : I have number of banking and non banking project ideas that I want to turn it to real projects , so I seek an institution that have interest in these ones like : Banking projects : Touristic Bank branch Vehicle Banking Smart Banking umbrella banking Football Banking hidden words Loyalty program co brand bank card Electricity rationalization program Recycle bin ATM Financial Camera service Resident Building financial services International fixed Deposit system Bank Mobile E-check card Time Card Fraction bank Account Stock Exchange projects Resident-Investor home equity plan silver-gold-platinum stocks program social network projects : Online Rosca Life Experiences social Network Investment social network Readers social network Talents Social network Touristic projects : Touristic bank branch Interactive Tourism Touristic Railway Touristic cafe Other projects : World Language Car Mall Business Mall Delivery box system

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
YA : My ultimate goal is to design revolutionary innovative banking products or services , that is useful to people in their lives and was not made before at any place in the world

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
YA : More innovative banking projects in the future

DL: How does design help create a better society?
YA : As Design helps in making people lives more easier so that it helps creating better society .

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
YA : My designs projects credit is just one winning project until now but I think no design will give me the most satisfaction as this means the ceiling of my dream and consequently I will stop dreaming to make better projects than this one to have more satisfaction .

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
YA : I will talk about the banking industry , I wish that banking product and service designers make use of the latest technology like virtual reality ( VR) , Augmented reality ( AR) and Artificial intelligence , when designing their products and services .

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
YA : According to high level officials statements in giant technology companies like facebook and Apple about the expected scale of latest technology use in our lives in the future like VR and AR technology , the design field will be headed toward heavily use of these latest technologies .

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
YA : My life moto as a designer " Dream big because you will achieve it at End , if you achieve part of it , you still achieve a big one "

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
YA : I think designs set the trends

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
YA : The question I wish people ask to me is " how your design will makes our lives better " .

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
YA : As a user of this design , I will ask my self " how this design will makes my life better and easier " and as a designer I will wish to make greater than that design or product .

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
YA : until now i did not experience that , but I will say yes I believe in co design when my partner complements me and I think that one is the ideal partner , that is to say he has the skills i do not have to make that design more successful than if i work on it alone .

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
YA : My bank customers have had the most influence on my winning project " education currency " as they provide me indirectly through interactions and through their feedback about their need to save to cover their kids future education expenses on which i based my project idea .

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
YA : by practicing , by trial and error , by getting feedback from family members , friends and professionals about your design , by getting more education that helps me in the designing process , by following up continuously innovative products around the world in my field and other fields and latest technologies used in different fields .

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
YA : I would want to talk and discuss with great designers and design influencers to learn from them

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
YA : My favorite color is blue , my favorite place is Aswan city in Egypt , my favorite food is Kebab , my favorite season is winter , My favorite thing is watching movie in the cinema .

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
YA : watching a movie that is based on new idea at the cinema or listening to new , different and energetic songs motivates me and gives me positive energy to design

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
YA : I have a concern about 2 issues which I think will affect our lives in the future negatively : climate changes and "extreme use" of technology in our lives

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
YA : I wish all people interested and are fans of the design field to achieve their dreams and wish them best luck , thanks