I come from the picturesque city of Trieste, the last Italian city close to the northeast border. As a child, I couldn't resist the allure of websites, and video games held a special place in my heart. These early interests sowed the seeds of what would become a fulfilling career.
My story took an exciting twist during my final year of high school when with my family I made the move to Trento in Italy’s most beautiful mountains.
From Psychology to Tech
I finished high school convinced that I would become a doctor. Things actually went quite differently: I failed the admission test for Medicine and ended up enrolling in what would have been my Plan C, the Bachelor's in Cognitive Psychology offered by the University of Trento.
There I discovered that a bigger interest all along had been the Mind and the Brain. During those 3 intense years, I learned a lot about human memory, perception, attention, neuroscience, and research.
Initially thinking that I would go into sleep research, at the end of my lab internship in the UK I ended up finding myself looking for alternate career paths that would enable me to provide quicker, more tangible impact compared to traditional academic research. It was towards the end of my degree that I luckily discovered the world of HCI: I then found out that I could bring together my passion for the human mind and technology, which drastically changed the course of my career path.
I decided to blend these interests by pursuing the recently opened Master's degree in Human-Computer Interaction. Thus, my journey as a UX Designer began. I am endlessly fascinated by the world of UX because it allows me to make products more user-friendly and presents fresh challenges every day.
My thirst for knowledge and cultural experiences has led me to study and work in four European countries: the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, and Sweden. The opportunity to travel and connect with people from all walks of life is something that truly lights me up.
My career so far
I've also had the privilege of participating in a few hackathons, where I've been fortunate enough to secure two victories: NOI Techpark’s summer hackathon in 2019 and the UX Challenge offered by HIT in Nov 2019. These experiences have honed my problem-solving skills and fueled my passion for innovative tech solutions.
In addition to hackathons, I've embarked on a public speaking journey, sharing my insights at tech conferences and events, both in person and online. It's been a thrilling adventure, and I look forward to continuing to connect with and inspire others in the tech community.
Since 2022, I am also a mentor for aspiring UX Designers: I find that helping others is not only fulfilling in itself, but it also helps me to keep my skills sharp.
If you'd like to dive deeper into my professional journey, you can take a look at my CV here.
Out of the office
When I'm not immersed in the world of UX design, you might find me indulging in a few personal passions:
- Vintage Treasure Hunter: One of my most cherished hobbies is the quest for vintage clothing. There's something truly magical about discovering unique pieces that carry stories from the past - and that are good for the environment!
- Cat Enthusiast: At home, I'm the proud companion of Bruno, my feline friend. If you’re ever in a call with me, you will experience the cat-on-the-keyboard phenomenon in real time.
- Eternal Explorer: I love trying out new hobbies. From nurturing houseplants to strumming tunes on the ukulele, from sewing my own clothes to finding serenity, and balance through yoga and meditation, I'm always eager to embrace new experiences.
Around the web
Maria Teresa Stella – Meet the Mentor
Maria Teresa is a Senior UX Designer with a background in Psychology and is based in northern Italy. Having worked most of her career so far in a design team of one, she believes in bringing forward design knowledge and working in multidisciplinary contexts. On the side, she enjoys mentoring young designers and is now also dabbling in public speaking.
"User experience" che passione - Made in BZ
La User Experience, in italiano "esperienza utente", comprende tutte le reazioni di un utente che derivano dall'utilizzo di un prodotto o servizio digitale. Conoscerla è importantissimo per progettare il design di siti web e piattaforme digitali e capire che contenuto o funzione implementare per garantire all'utente un'esperienza significativa dall'inizio alla fine dell'interazione digitale.
My newsletter for aspiring and Junior UX Designers
The Portfolio Club | Maria Teresa Stella | Substack
Your online publication on all things UX for aspiring and junior UX designers, by Senior UX Designer + mentor Maria Teresa Stella. Click to read The Portfolio Club, by Maria Teresa Stella, a Substack publication. Launched a month ago.
Articles - Archive
Releasing Oniru, our new design system
We present to you Oniru, the design system created in-house at SpazioDati which we use to build sales-intelligence products in the Atoka suite. Why a design system? After a lengthy rework of core features and screens, the Atoka platform, whose design had started to feel outdated, now has a polished and modern look. However, a significant issue quickly emerged. When it came to expanding the interface further, the team now had several design items and code specs, but no clear guide on how to use i
ll caso Pinky Gloves e lo User-Centered Design
La scorsa settimana la startup tedesca Pinky Gloves ha fatto molto discutere sul web: il loro prodotto, un guanto che permette di eliminare gli assorbenti in modo "discreto", si propone come una soluzione al "problema" dello smaltimento degli assorbenti.
La mia prima settimana come UX Designer in Svezia
Riflessioni sull'approccio scandinavo al lavoro nel design Da poco ho iniziato il mio tirocinio come User Experience Designer presso la design agency Topp a Malmö, cittadina del sud della Svezia a due passi dalla Danimarca. Spinta a venire qui dalla fama del design scandinavo, ho deciso innanzitutto di osservare come in Svezia ci si approccia a questa professione e al lavoro in generale.
Fail fast, fail forward
Molto spesso fra articoli e post riguardo design e startup ho trovato, in più varianti, la frase che si riferisce a una strategia che mira a testare un'idea il più presto possibile, per capire se è efficace e se può passare alla prossima iterazione o se invece si tratta di una perdita di tempo e denaro.