Sara Vilas Santiago, Designer in Alicante, Spain
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Sara Vilas Santiago

Verified Expert  in Design


Alicante, Spain
Toptal Member Since
February 24, 2017

Sara has worked with over 100 multinational corporations, mostly in the financial sector. She specializes in enterprise product design and design leadership. Sara is always up for a challenge and ready to both help you with strategic decisions as well as going full hands-on for your design needs.


Work Experience

Design Leadership Forum Member

2018 - PRESENT
  • Supported the mission of this initiative by InVision which is to advance the practice of design leadership by fostering a community where the worlds best can learn from one another in-person and online.The Forum strives to be inclusive and relevant to those confronting the challenges of leading design teams.
Technologies: Spreadsheets, Google Docs, InVision

Freelance Design Lead

2017 - PRESENT
  • Led the design for complex interfaces.
  • Specialized on B2B, internal tools, complex interfaces, and workflows; including product design, responsive, mobile app (iOS, Android), and web apps.
  • Mostly worked in fintech, healthtech, and education fields.
Technologies: Responsive, InVision, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch

Head of Curriculum and Mentorship

2017 - 2018
  • Set up a scalable and metrics-driven system to manage the performance, growth, and life cycle of 400+ remote mentors across the world.
  • Established a team and processes to drive the mentorship operations and community initiatives including helping the company grow by managing the capacity growth methodically and creating a support network that empowers these mentors (professional designers and design leaders) to work better with students and develop leadership skills.
  • Perform market research to strategize and prioritize online creative education initiatives. Analyzed over 5 years of data to understand what are the courses and course elements that were more valuable to Designlab's students. Improved the product based on those learnings and started revising existing courses.
Technologies: Adobe Photoshop, Balsamiq, InVision, Slack, Google Docs, Google Drive, Asana, Content Management, Spreadsheets

Mentor (UX and UI)

2016 - 2017
  • Mentored students through their UX Academy Bootcamp (480h).
  • Helped students understand the different phases of UX as well as its different deliverables and where and why to use each one of them.
  • Aided students in solidifying their concepts with capstone projects in which I act as a creative director setting a briefing with them and monitoring the progress of the project as well as pushing for the highest quality possible.
  • Coached students through their day-to-day challenges through the program, but also regarding their career changes and career search topics.
  • Worked together with the Designlab internal team to improve the mentors' and students' experience.
Technologies: Responsive

Creative Lead

2013 - 2016
  • Worked with over 100 multinational corporations, mainly in the financial sector with their digital transformation projects. I helped them from strategic decisions all the way down to pixel-perfect final deliverables.
  • Worked on very complex interfaces including retail banking, business banking (SMEs and corporate), private banking, intranets and employee portals, automotive financial platforms, and insurance portals.
  • Built two teams and processes to make those teams work together, gain ownership, but at the same time keep consistency. This included setting up a complex design system across different products and platforms.
  • Created innovative concepts, demos, and products that were award-winning in FinTech events such as Finovate.
  • Led workshops and sessions with multi-disciplinary teams to get to the right solution: desirable, feasible, and viable.
  • Worked as a brand manager also—striving for a long-lasting unique impression on customers and employees to improve sales and market share.
Technologies: Responsive, Avocode, Zeplin, InVision, Sketch, Adobe Creative Suite

Travel Agent | Graphic Designer

2012 - 2012
Bru & Bru Exclusive Travel Designer
  • Design customized and luxurious trips from inbound to space travel.
  • Presented and created conceptual proposals to clients.
  • Negotiated with suppliers and B2B relationship management.
  • Created the documentation for each trip including quotations, booking details, tickets, personalized plans and guides, and extra information.
  • Crafted the internal design for marketing and sales purposes.
Technologies: Responsive, Adobe Creative Suite
2019 - 2020

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Business Administration

University of Alicante - Alicante, Spain

2017 - 2017

Certificate in Leading for Creativity by Tim Brown

IDEO U - Online

2009 - 2013

Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design

Alicante's Art School - Alicante, Spain

2008 - 2013

Bachelor's Degree in Tourism

University of Alicante - Alicante, Spain


Leaders of Learning

Harvard University | edX


Leading for Creativity by Tim Brown



Growth-Driven Design Certification



Zeplin, Avocode, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, InVision, Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch, Spreadsheets, Evernote, Adobe Illustrator, Figma, Asana, Google Docs, Slack, Balsamiq

Industry Expertise

Education, Travel & Leisure, Banking & Finance, Healthcare, Government, Insurance, Marketing


iOS, Android, Webflow, Web, Desktop, Mobile, WordPress


Training & Training Content Development, Proof of Concept (POC), Demos, Design Sprints, Design Thinking, Commercial Banking, Training, Responsive, Complex Reasoning, Complex Problem Solving, Team Building, Team Mentoring, Creative Strategy, Concept Development, Interaction Design (IxD), Tourism, UI Audits, UX Audits, Team Leadership, Complex Application User Interfaces (UI), Personas, Business Strategy, Investment Banking, Workshops, Ideation Workshops, Discovery Workshops, Whiteboarding, Usability, Sitemaps, User Flows, Prototyping, Branding, Identity & Access Management (IAM), Logo Design, Personal Finance, Innovation, User Experience (UX), User Interface (UI), Leadership, Team Management, UX Leadership, Design Leadership, Product Design, Fintech, Complex Web Systems, Product Strategy, Enterprise, Enterprise SaaS, SaaS, B2B, B2B2C, Corporate Design, Startups, Startup Consulting, Lean Startups, Early-stage Startups, Educational Portals, Adult Education, Continuing Education, Agile, Enterprise Design, Enterprise Systems, Enterprise Software, Design Systems, Web App UX, Web App UI, Web App Design, Dashboards, Dashboard Design, Data Visualization, Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C), Usability Testing, Strategy, User Research, Research & Analysis, Information Architecture (IA), Atomic Design, Angular Bootstrap, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Leadership Development, B2C, Content Management, Google Drive, Graphs, Big Data, Personal Finance Management, Employees, Performance, Wireframing, UX Design, Private Banking, Domain Research, Workflow

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