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People Behind the Product: Cintia Romero, Pinterest Product Designer

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In our next edition of People Behind the Product, we sat down with Cintia Romero, Pinterest Product Designer, to learn more about her work in making Pinterest more accessible to all audiences. 

Hi Cintia! Thanks for joining us. Please take a moment to introduce yourself! 

Hello, all! I’m Cíntia Romero. I work at Pinterest as a Product Designer on the Design System team. In my work, I focus on design education, accessibility and inclusive design. I’m based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Outside of my role at Pinterest, I’m a Latina, a fashion designer, a martial arts practitioner and a dog mom.

A fun fact: My husband, Tiago, also works at Pinterest. He is a superb Software Engineer, and we have a Beagle Pindog called Sherlock. Tiago and Sherlock are also from Brazil; we moved to the US years ago and found California, our new home.

What drew you to Pinterest? 

Well, I love Pinterest! I’m an active Pinner and was so excited to work on a product that is part of my daily life. Pinterest sparks positivity in my life, and I always enjoyed working on a product that aligns with my values and lifestyle. I have loved my teammates ever since I first interviewed. What a great team! I felt it was the right place for me to join, and I was right! 

Accessibility is very important when building a visual discovery engine. We’d love to learn more about your work in the accessibility space. 

Agreed! At Pinterest, we strive to create an inclusive product that embodies our mission – to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love. When we say everyone, we want to ensure we do it right. Part of my job is to support our product to be more accessible and inclusive from the design side. Accessibility drives innovation, enhances the brand, reaches a wider audience, increases downloads and ensures that everyone can navigate our product with ease. It is beneficial to everyone!

A little about my journey on accessibility: As a color-blind designer, my desire to make design accessible started long ago. I may see colors differently than you; they may appear in a different tint, which can be tricky when designing. I also have friends and family members with disabilities, and I learned that interacting with digital products is a real challenge for them. My life experiences and social interactions made me want to do better by applying my skills to create an accessible design while reaching out to more users and motivating others to care as well. Before Pinterest, I advocated and worked on accessibility and inclusive efforts. I learned a lot from my previous colleagues. So, here I am, working at Pinterest, advocating for accessibility and doing my best to ensure everyone has the same experience when interacting with our products.

I believe a design system is the foundation of a product. If we build a solid and accessible foundation, we will eventually improve our product. Designing for accessibility is something I’m still learning daily. There is always something new to learn and evolve, which motivates me to do better and be better. 

You recently spoke at axe-con 2023, a digital accessibility conference. Can you share more about this experience? 

I love axe-con! It was an incredible experience! I try to attend the conference every year as an attendee, but I had the honor to join as a speaker this year, sharing how we make Pinterest more inclusive through design systems. I had a blast participating! You can access my talk here.

According to Deque, axe-con is the world’s largest digital accessibility conference that welcomes developers, designers, business users and accessibility professionals of all experience levels to an accessibility conference focused on building, testing and maintaining accessible digital experiences. I highly recommend joining! It happens every year.

You’re a member of PinAble. What is PinAble and what do you love most about it? 

For me, PinAble is a community committed to creating a welcoming, accessible Pinterest experience by ensuring everyone can explore and achieve their full potential no matter their ability. It is a safe group and welcoming community; the leadership is admiringly supportive. 

I love PinAble’s diversity and how each member empowers another to do better. They put together fantastic events that make us better professionals and human beings. I’m grateful Pinterest has a community like this one, and I get to be part of it. I have supported PinAble in past events, such as moderating interviews with external guests and helping to organize events, and I can’t wait to join future events! 

What inspires you? 

Traveling and exploring new places and possibilities! I love people, diversity, animals and nature. Whenever I travel, I make new friendships and learn about different cultures and perspectives. It feels great to get out of my bubble and discover new ways and mindsets. It sparkles my inspiration for sure! 

What are you currently Pinning?
So many things! Mainly vegan recipes (I’m vegan), tattoos, make-up ideas, fashion and home decor. Here’s my board. There are many incredible creators and content to explore!

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