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Recent work

What students say

“Rafael was able to calm my nerves and anxiety and take Designlab and UI/UX design one step at a time. His kindness and patience allowed me to grow as a designer and understand the perspective I needed to have to be a successful and considerate designer. With Rafael's techniques, he gave me the space to express my concerns, take time to understand my own blindspots, and reiterate my initial ideas. With his guidance, I was able to view the designing process with fresh eyes.”

- Gilbert T, UX Academy

“Rafael's kindness and understanding were evident from the very beginning. He created a welcoming and supportive environment where I felt comfortable sharing my thoughts, ideas, and concerns. His ability to empathize with my struggles and challenges was truly remarkable. Whenever I faced obstacles or encountered difficulties, Rafael was there with unwavering patience and encouragement, never failing to uplift my spirits.”

- Graham H, UX Academy

“Rafael’s mentorship strongly influenced my decision to continue onto DesignLab's UX Academy from their Foundations course. I even requested him again as my UX Academy mentor! He provided thoughtful, constructive feedback, created a safe space for me to ask questions, and always encouraged me to think beyond the scope of DesignLab’s curriculum. The knowledge and breadth of experience he brings to the table is matched by his kindness and never-ending support. Any student would be lucky to have Rafael as a mentor!”

- Rachel L, UX Academy

“Rafael was my UX Academy mentor and an exceptional one. From the beginning, he demonstrated a deep commitment to helping me grow as a designer. What impressed me the most about Rafael was his ability to provide support in various ways. Whenever I felt overwhelmed or uncertain, he was always available to listen and provide guidance, not only as a mentor but also as a friend. He gave me the time and space I needed to find my own creative solutions while at the same time providing valuable resources and thought-provoking questions that helped me refine my approach. Thanks to his mentoring approach, I was able to find my own unique perspective and identity as a designer.”

- Samyuktha S, UX Academy

“The concern and attention he had for me during the mentoring session are what I most admire about him. He takes seriously giving students a human-centered experience. It wasn't just about job job job. It was about understanding my motivation and challenges so he could help me in the best way.”

- Roberta A, Career Services

“Rafael (an intellectual designer hiding in the body of a metal loving coffee-aficionado) was a fantastic mentor. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t just preach empathy, but practices it. He guided me through my capstones with genuine interest and a critical eye. He encouraged me to find my own point of view and identity as a designer. At key points he’d ask one of two million-dollar questions: “Why?” & “Is it accessible?” Not unimportant: he was available, flexible, and super reliable. I’m prepared to do the work I want to do because of working with Rafael.”

- Veerle A, UX Academy

“Rafael is fantastic! He's got so much rich UX and UXR experience to share. He's approachable, gives helpful feedback, and shares thought-provoking questions and examples that make me think and learn. He's been flexible and accommodating as well. Thank you, Rafael!”

- Kait P, UX Research & Strategy

“Rafael was my mentor during UX Academy and he was the best guide ever! He is a great listener and gives very constructive feedback. Always positive, he pushed me up and encouraged me the whole time. I learned a lot from him also because he shared with me so many resources. In his feedback, he always made me think about something and send me very interesting links. I felt his good heart and kindness and he is really one of the reasons for my success.”

- Katia B, UX Academy

“Rafael was the best mentor! His approach to teaching is theoretically based while providing the perfect resources. He is so attentive to the student's needs and is always striving to enhance the design process. He builds a strong rapport which facilitates communication.”

- Constance I, UI Design

“Rafael helped me develop my design skills with his thoughtful feedback and guidance throughout the Foundations course. I always looked forward to our one-on-one sessions because I knew I would come away with a clear sense of what I could work on and how I could keep getting better. He encouraged me to see design in my everyday life and gave me the confidence to call myself a designer. I am grateful for his insight and I couldn't have asked for a better mentor when starting my UX/UI journey.”

- Alexander K, UX Academy Foundations

“Rafael was my UX academy mentor. From the beginning of the course, he lifted me up and supported me. He assists by offering various information and links to enhance my understanding during the design process. He was always happy to answer my questions and provide me with detailed feedback. I consider myself truly lucky to have him as my UX mentor. It was an honour to work with him. I'm grateful for his advice and assistance! Rafael, you are the best!!!”

- Eden D, UX Academy

“Rafael was an exceptional mentor. I felt really supported and comfortable to make mistakes without judgment. He was really patient with me, especially with assignments that took more than a couple iterations. I really valued his mentorship!”

- Ilana M, UX Research & Strategy

“Rafael is such a great mentor. He was able to provide me with so many resources to help with my UI journey that I was able to utilize immediately. Rafael is also a very patient, empathetic, and understanding mentor who supported me through the ups and downs of this course! Highly recommend him to any student.”

- Abby N, UI Design

“I had Rafael in my UX Foundations course, and it was such a pleasure working with him. He really took the time and effort to respond to every one of my submissions and was very thorough and thoughtful in his responses. I could tell he genuinely cared about me and my work and wanted the best for me. I’m sure he’s this way with any student he takes on. He has a lot of insight into the field of UX/UI and answered any questions I had. Any student who has him is lucky!”

- Yuri C, UX Academy Foundations

“Rafael was very encouraging and helpful, and always sent relevant resources that I could read and save for later.”

- Jesse C, UI Design

“He was a fantastic mentor and it was an absolute pleasure to learn from him! He provided very specific and detailed feedback and very graciously answered the numerous questions I had! He went above and beyond to provide me with resources and support for all of my projects and coursework. He is very wise, and talking to him gave me a lot of perspective about the field of UX Design. It truly was an honor to spend one-on-one time learning from him, and I am very, very thankful for all of his guidance!”

- Hello!, Design 101

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Past students

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UX Academy

UX Academy Foundations icon

UX Academy Foundations

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Career Services

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Design 101

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UI Design

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UX: Interaction Design

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UX Research & Strategy

Rafael is teaching on Designlab

Next courses start October 6th!