Alumna Danielle Morimoto, who graduated from Northeastern with a BFA in Graphic Design, is a Senior Experience Designer at Adobe. Working on the Emerging Design team in San Francisco, Danielle is always thinking about the future of technology and tackling big questions about what’s next. In her role, she has the opportunity to explore a wide range of topics, challenges, and solutions – uncovering untapped potential and ultimately identifying how consumers could be using Adobe in the next few years.
Danielle has worked at Adobe for more than four years now, originally joining the team as a co-op and then returning as a full-time Experience Designer after graduation. Since then, in addition to her current work with the Emerging Design team, she has worked on the Design Lab team and Project 1324, which was a digital platform for young creatives to connect, collaborate, and grow together.
“At Adobe, I get to do a little bit of everything and really go beyond sitting behind my computer and designing,” Danielle said. “I love engaging with other people, getting to know them, sharing stories and really learning from each other. I’ve been able to do so much of that here.”
Danielle truly has had some incredible and unique opportunities – ones that have allowed her to embrace her passion for working with others, exchanging ideas, and sparking conversations.
Just last year, she was a main stage speaker at the Adobe MAX Creativity Conference, the world’s biggest design conference. Held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the event brings together the world’s most creative minds for a week of inspirational talks, workshops, and networking events. In front of 14,000 people, Danielle demoed the newest features across the Creative Cloud including Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.
With her passion for information and knowledge-sharing, Danielle now also hosts Adobe’s live stream, where the company invites top creatives from different fields (from graphic design to photography to video and more) to engage with the creative community.
“During Adobe’s live streams, the artists create pieces on the spot while thousands of viewers ask questions and learn from their process,” she said. “As a host for Adobe’s live streams I get to chat with the creative community, share tips and tricks and career advice. It’s something I do on top of my regular job, but it’s a breath of fresh air and keeps me inspired.”
During her time at Northeastern, Danielle always knew she loved design, but her co-op experiences helped her explore the various fields in which she could work in as a designer. She talks more about her co-op experiences, as well as what made her the design leader she is today, in this Q+A with the Huffington Post.
“All of my co-op positions were extremely helpful. I knew I wanted to work at the intersection of art/design and technology, but I didn’t know exactly what field I wanted to go into,” she said. “When I started at Amazon for my first co-op, I was working more on the visual design side of things, whereas at my second co-op at Intuit, I was focusing on UI/UX. By the time I got to Adobe for my third co-op, and eventually a full-time position, I knew user experience was where I wanted to focus.”
In all that she does, Danielle is committed to exploring the human-centered side of design, working at the nexus of art and design, education, technology, and mentorship. She is particularly passionate about helping young people as well as other women, and recently was selected to participate in Adobe’s volunteer and leadership development program to help integrate technology into girls’ schools in rural Malawi, Africa.
For this trip, she worked with two non-profit organizations, Team4Tech and CareMalawi, to help the teachers and educators better integrate the tablets they have into their classrooms. She went to different villages to observe the classes and then helped run workshops to offer ways to help the educators with various applications and general tablet management.
“It was my first time to Africa, and the educators and students we were helping were so kind. There’s very little technology there, but people are very capable and willing to learn that they pick everything up pretty quickly,” Danielle said. “Without as much technology, people are genuinely connected to each other, communicating face-to-face and talking together in their villages. For many reasons it was an eye-opening experience.”
After arriving back from this volunteer trip to Malawi in May, Danielle added becoming a Northeastern Instructor to her docket of experiences. This summer, she taught an intensive Experience Design course as part of the Semester in San Francisco Program. She designed the curriculum and taught the undergraduate intensive course while still working full-time at Adobe, which made for some long days and evenings but was all worth it. In fact, one of Danielle’s students in her class this summer introduced her to Northeastern’s Women’s Interdisciplinary Society of Entrepreneurship (WISE), a student-led group dedicated to helping women develop an innovative mindset through interactive workshops, a thought-incubator, and mentorship pairings.
Of course, the goals and vision of WISE align with Danielle’s own passions and priorities, and she now plans to be back on campus this Fall for the WISE Summit to run a workshop on UI / UX.
“The women entrepreneurship angle of WISE really spoke to me,” Danielle concluded. “For me, I never would have ended up where I am now if it hadn’t been for mentorship and exposure to the possibilities. I look forward to continuing to help other people especially the next generation of women, learn about the value of design and understand how they can create our future experiences.”
You can learn more about Danielle on her website. We look forward to welcoming her to campus in October.