Carmen Bocanegra

Senior UX Designer at Truss


How Design Led Me to Therapy

10:30 AM–11:00 AM

The greatest breakthroughs I’ve experienced in my own life were because I was able to gain a new perspective. My mindset grew and expanded, even through discomfort. I’ll tell the story of how as a designer, although I was adept at coming up with solutions, I realized I didn’t really understand my problems. So I went to therapy. There I learned how to recognize and name the patterns that did not serve me well. I discovered that what I learned paralleled to the kind of work I do. You’d think as a UXer, I’d have used my own expertise on myself to discover negative patterns and mindsets! But alas, we sometimes do not understand our own pain points until we seek another perspective. Instead, I learned how to reframe my life and my choices and how I can use what I learned in therapy to reframe the world for others - be it in personal relationships or professional ones.


Since she first learned to talk, Carmen has asked a lot of questions. This led to a love of experimentation and a science degree, but she ended up at an advertising agency because why not?

Over the past decade, Carmen has led stakeholders through the process of framing, research, strategy, and design at startups, consultancies, and in-house teams. She took a brief stint to learn how to apply her design and research skills to physical spaces by earning a certification in interior design. She’s intensely curious about how organizational design and technology can affect workflows and deeply passionate about ensuring that our language, code, and practices are inclusive and accessible to all.

Currently in Portland, OR, Carmen spends time AFK in the mountains, sampling PNW culinary delights, and getting lost on country roads with her spouse and her dog beside her.