Designers / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Alfonso Barrionuevo, Senior Product Designer at Solera

Alfonso Barrionuevo is a Senior Product Designer at Solera, a global leader in data and software services, working on products for the automotive industry.

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1. To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Since my childhood, I have always been attracted to music, art, and technology. I started a weekly show on a local radio station with a friend of mine.

At the same time, I started studying Audiovisual and Digital Radio Production. And years later, I began to specialize in design and web development, which allowed me to work in some design firms.

Currently, I work in Madrid as a Product Designer at Solera Inc. for the Global Data & Content division. We work in global products for the automotive industry with the main focus on data, as it is our strongest point.

2. What’s a day in the life like for you? Can you explain a recent workday?

I usually get up early, make a good breakfast, and start the day by checking emails and messages in Teams. We have daily coffee meetups in the department to keep in touch as we usually work on different projects.

When the workday is over and depending in the mood, I usually disconnect from work by running, walking, or meeting with some friends for dinner and a chat.

3. Does your current role allow you to work flexibly or remotely? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Right now, the whole company works remotely. But before the pandemic, our department was already working remotely several days a week. This has helped us quite a bit to keep up with the same performance levels and quality in all the products we work on.

Continuing with this work philosophy —and now much more— allows me to focus on other projects or simply enjoy life with friends and people I love.

4. What does work-life balance mean to you, and how do you work towards that goal?

I am lucky to work doing what I like, but I also know that I am happy because it allows me to have a great work-life balance and can enjoy family, friends, and traveling around the world.

5. In the last 12 months, have you started or stopped any life-changing routines or habits?

First, I focused more on my family. I’ve also started to read a lot more again especially a genre that I left years ago, the graphic novel. Also —and with the help of the pandemic— I’m doing a little more exercise and cooking healthier.

6. Do you have a favorite book, podcast, or newsletter that you would like to recommend?

If I have to mention something that I have been very attached to, and especially in these months of confinement, it would be Gilles Peterson’s work with his online radio Worldwide FM. Quality and eclecticism at its best. Highly recommended. In my house, you can hear it most of the days.

I don’t have favorite books, but I can say the last one I read, El Invierno en Lisboa by Antonio Muñoz Molina, I liked it very much.

More things I’ve been reading and listening to lately:

7. Is there a product, gadget or application you can’t live without?

I would say no, I think I could live without almost any digital product, but for instance, I couldn’t live without music.

8. If you could read an interview about balancing work and personal life for anyone, who would it be?

I’d probably like to read something from Jacinda Ardern, Christopher Nolan, Ryuichi Sakamoto.

9. Do you have any final thoughts on work, life, or balance that you would like to share with our readers?

We need to enjoy life at maximum and all those little pleasures it brings us because we will only be here for a short period of time.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.