Melissa Trojani

Melissa Trojani

Head of User Experience Design

Milan, Italy

THE TECH MUM

Tell us about your journey at Luxottica and where it has led you today.

It started 6 years ago: 11 November 2013 was my first day at Luxottica.
When I started, I was the only UX designer at Luxottica in an e-commerce team that had only just been set up, made up of ten or so people.
Now I’m in charge of a team of 7 designers within a digital team consisting of more than 120 people.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the fact that I can use what I know to help people and make their lives easier. And I love being able to work on such renowned, prestigious brands.

What skills are fundamental to your role?

Powers of observation, so you can spot details that make a big difference.
Empathy, so you can put yourself in the users’ shoes.
Creativity, so you can find the best solution to the problems you encounter.
And the ability to liaise, so that you always find the right balance between the needs of users and those of the business.

Tell us about the biggest challenge you’ve encountered and how you overcame it.

When I joined Luxottica, the small digital department in place at the time only worked with external agencies. When I introduced myself as a designer, I was welcomed with amazement and a little resistance.
I had to demonstrate the advantages of an in-house design process, both in terms of time-frames and adherence to achieving business goals. The results did the rest of the work, as well as a culture open to change and ready to embrace new positive developments.

What is the most challenging project you have worked on? And how did it turn out?

The most challenging project was definitely the first one we designed in house, way back in 2014: Ray-Ban Remix—a service that allows you to customise Ray-Ban sunglasses—remains one of the website’s most important assets. It’s the result of a lot of research, experiments and guerrilla testing carried out by a team faced with their very first in-house design project.
The success of the project fills me with pride, both as a designer and woman: when I designed it, I was 8 months pregnant expecting my first child. My very own “we can do it” moment!

What advice would you give to university students or young professionals considering a career in the digital world?

Be observational and experimental. Be scientists. This is a fast-changing world, and those who cling to their ideas without being open to change fall by the wayside in a matter of months.

What does collaboration look like in your office?

Sometimes, it looks like a great big mess! There are groups of people interacting and working together everywhere. But that's what's great about it. Not a single project goes ahead without the involvement of other teams and without asking for everyone’s input.

Are there opportunities for you to mentor or help less experienced colleagues to develop? Do you think this is important?

Being a team leader is part of my job. It’s the aspect I consider the most important and gratifying.
Helping the guys in my team to grow and bring out their potential, encouraging them not to just be satisfied with the successes they’ve already achieved, but to strive to constantly improve is a daily commitment for me. And I do this by establishing an open dialogue based on trust and listening to one another.
It’s important because the health and wellbeing of the team depends on this. And when people feel good, they can make a big difference on any project.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt here?

No man is an island: the secret to success is knowing how to listen, asking for help, voicing your own doubts and certainties, and always talking about things. Because there are no good or bad ideas; the best ideas are the result of collaborative work.

Are you able to balance your personal goals with your professional goals at Luxottica?

In the past 6 years, I’ve got married and had two kids. I became a manager after having my first child and I was promoted again while pregnant with my second.
My family and career have grown side by side at the same time and neither of them has been a hindrance to the other. If anything, I believe that each these two aspects has benefited from the satisfaction generated by the other.