Meet the online mentors
Elena del Villar

Elena del Villar

Elena del Villar

Senior UX Designer at The Brand Agency

Elena is a User Experience Designer, born and bred in the design-loving city of Barcelona and currently based in the beautiful beaches of Perth, WA. With over two decades of professional expertise and a rather eclectic background – think of art direction for advertising, animation movies, fashion design & software development in the mix - Elena has worked for a myriad of industries across the globe. Her passion for fusing different disciplines such as Design, Technology and Psychology with a holistic and human-centered approach led her to eventually hone her skills in UX design with a special focus in realm of digital products. From helping small start-ups to launch mobile apps to deliver intricate software for big corporations.

Career & Background

What inspired you to do what you are doing now?

As I followed an unconventional career path, the inspiration or more so, the opportunity to become a UX designer appeared rather organically. When I started working as a graphic designer, always looked for ways to mix my craft with other disciplines and continue learning to expand my practice in other fields. Perhaps my curiosity about systems and Technology in general made me steer to the Human-Computer interaction design space (rather a novelty back then!) where I could blend design and programming to create interactions that engaged with people, told stories, or even sparked feelings. From there, I guessed that what moved me was to use digital design to solve real, everyday problems and make people’s lives a bit better.

What was your journey and where are you headed in your career right now?

I have an unusual non-linear career path that I think has given me a unique perspective and some interesting skills. I studied Humanities and Art History at University, went to a Design school, and took programming classes amongst other studies, and started my career as a graphic designer/illustrator in the fashion industry first!

From there, I moved to advertising, character animation in the cinema industry, then multimedia, UI design and frontend development, which led to consolidate my practice with postgraduate studies in Human-Computer Interaction and Agile practices. At that point, already had my feet in the SaaS industry, so I escalated my practice in several tech companies specialising in UX design and digital product strategy. In recent years, my craft has led me to the consulting space, having plenty of opportunities to engage with businesses in a strategic level, delivering digital transformation and Design Thinking practices.

In the future, I would like to become savvier about ethical practices in Technology and hopefully inspire and teach others to adopt more sustainable practices to create humane and respectful technology.

Your favourite food for thought


  • I can only think of book which will really make you question your career decisions… in a bad but fun way. Ask me!

Podcasts / Thought Leaders

  • Believe it or not, I don’t listen to podcasts! But I’m open to good recommendations 🙂

What drives and inspires you

What are your core values?

  • Authenticity
  • Diversity
  • Fun
  • Justice
  • Vision
  • Wisdom
  • Empathy – A good UX designer needs lots of it.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

I’ve drawn inspiration from many over the years, from well-known leaders in the UX practice such as Don Norman, Jared Spool or Jacob Nielsen to incredible businesswomen like Angela Ahrendts – former VP of Apple retail and responsible for strategizing the brand stores into community hubs. But to be honest, my biggest inspiration are artists. I adore cinema, music and visual arts so when in need of inspiration, you might find me at an indie rock concert, vibing into a jazz cellar, getting lost in a History museum or a sci-fi movie festival.

You as a Mentor

Why have you decided to become a mentor?

For me, it’s a way to pay my respects to those who have helped and inspired me along the way. But especially, as a woman who did not have many opportunities to engage with female role models in heavily male-dominated industries back in the day, I promised myself one day I would change that and contribute to help and inspire others who wanted to follow a similar path. And maybe, make my younger self be proud!

What are the top 5 skills or qualities you bring to mentoring?

  • Empathic
  • Great listener
  • Non-judgemental
  • Passionate
  • Patient

Ready to apply?

The best time is right now. Take a chance – you never know where an Assisterhood mentor can take you.