We're pleased to welcome the latest member of the Influence Society Collective: Toby Fletcher, a talented UI & UX Designer based in Buenos Aires. Get to know Toby below.
First off, tell us about who you are– where you're from, and some of your personal interests and passions.
I'm originally from London, but moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina over a decade ago. I studied Hospitality Management in university and have always had a passion for travelling and experiencing new cultures. I'm very much a foodie, too. There's nothing like arriving in a new country and trying the local cuisine! My other passions include being a dad (I have a very creative 6-year-old daughter, Rubí, who obviously takes after me), interior design, and typography. I'm currently obsessed with Salsa music and am trying to learn a few moves, although I admittedly have two left feet.
What's your professional background? How did you get into UI/UX Design?
Once I left university, my first ever job was managing Richard Branson's online diary! I had taught myself basic HTML and Photoshop in my spare time, so it was a great starting point for getting an understanding of how websites work, mapping out user journeys, and generally figuring out how to make the user experience as simple and intuitive as possible.
From there I began working for Apple, localising content for their online European market. After a few years of working in the corporate world, and realising I could work online from anywhere, I decided to turn freelance and move somewhere much warmer than London! Buenos Aires seemed like an interesting destination– I had read a magazine article at the time that described it as "The Paris of South America." I bought a ticket and fell in love within the first week I arrived. And I've never looked back.
What's a recent project you're proud of?
There are a few, but I recently had the opportunity to design a site for a new multi-billion-dollar development in Kuwait, Hessah, which combines leisure, retail, dining, offices, medical clinics, residences, and hospitality suites. It was awarded “Best Developer Website” in The 2022 Arabian Property Awards.
What are some trends in the space you think hospitality businesses should pay attention to?
Post-COVID, I'd say health and well-being are paramount. Sustainability is obviously still as relevant as ever. Workspaces within hotels are something I'd like to see more focus on. And Smart Tourism - literally everything is going digital, so businesses can't afford to neglect it.
Why did you join the IS collective? What are your hopes for it?
I previously worked with Influence Society's founder, Sébastien Felix on a couple of projects. We got on very well and I've always admired IS's portfolio and breadth of work. It was a no-brainer when I was given the opportunity to join the team. I hope together we can expand on what they already provide in terms of quality and service, which is second to none.