Welcome to Faces of Formally! We are so excited to kick off our staff interviews with the incredible Briana Das. Briana works her incredible magic at Formally from behind the scenes as a product designer! Most of the visual content you will see on our website is the brainchild of Briana, who created her own degree program at Brown University in digital experience design. But, her passion for design goes all the way back to childhood. Growing up in the Bay Area, Briana recalls “doing design for as long as I can remember, starting with random project-based stuff before, just kind of noodling around with artwork and building things,” and this interest eventually “turned itself into a love of digital design when I grew up.” And she didn’t stop there — while becoming an expert in all things design, Briana concurrently studied psychology to be able to “understand human behavior” and is now focused on “creating with and for those people.”
Like so many immigrant rights advocates, Briana’s ties to immigration stem from personal history. Her parents “came to this country when they were young, so truly the reason I have the life I have is because of immigration.” Their experiences motivated Briana to join Formally, where her goal is to “make complex processes accessible and build trust with people” — and she is doing just that. You would never guess that our design expert has only just graduated from college! Briana’s wisdom and years of experience come from hard work and dedication. While an undergraduate student, she took computer science, art, and sociology classes to fulfill her self-created degree while working at Formally. Giving us a peek inside of the atypical 9–5 day of a product designer, Briana describes her intense “design power hours,” the time when she “would turn all my devices off in the evenings and focus on my creative flow.”
Briana’s face lights up when she mentions the most enjoyable aspects of working at Formally. “Accessibility and inclusive design are the core of what I do every day,” she exclaimed when asked how important Formally’s mission is to her daily work. These tenets of Formally’s mission are always at the forefront of her mind. According to Briana, the design process is often nonlinear, “Before I even start designing everything on a computer, I ask myself questions like, ‘Okay is this the language we want to use? How can we make our platform more accessible?’” Briana strives to incorporate trust into her workflow and is always conscious of how she can further empower people by designing a platform that enables clients to own their data and complete their own forms.
So, you may be wondering why Briana decided to join our small company instead of a larger social impact startup. Well, the answer is quite simple: “One of the things I love most about Formally is the people involved. The first time I sat down and had a conversation with Amélie I was in awe of her, thinking ‘you are my role model, I want to grow up to be you.’” The community mixed with each employee and intern’s high level of emotional investment drew Briana in. Everyone at Formally can agree with Briana in saying “working with people who have this determination and drive to do so much good in the world while being incredibly intelligent, articulate, and kind at the same time is very precious.”
For Briana, the rewarding aspects of working at Formally are constant motivation to do better and refine her designs. Seeing “all of [her] designs come to life in an impactful product that people are using,” is always the most gratifying part of her workday. At Formally, we are constantly trying to improve and move the bar higher and higher, and just like Briana, it is what drives us forward. Briana’s hope for the next year is to see more people benefitting from Formally’s platform! She is amazed by what the team has created together and truly believes in the power of accessible immigration, “we have built such a powerful tool, and getting it into the hands of more people will be huge.” Although Briana will only be working part-time with us in the Fall, she has taught the entire team how to work, think, and collaborate in a more effective and empathetic way. Before you go, check out Briana’s favorite feature on Formally.us (and the hardest to create!) — our amazing attorney review!