Photograph — UX Collective

My Pivot Journal is a Ventures Africa weekly series documenting people’s career transitions from one industry to another, especially to tech.

Elvis Obi was a copywriter with no plans to work in tech. However, his intrinsic artistic nature led him to become a product designer, and now, he has seven years of experience in design under his belt. Over the years, he has made significant progress in this space with his innovative product designs and even moved further to focus on designs around accessibility, and virtual and augmented reality. “As an Accessibility Designer, I am inclusive to the needs of my users. My work spans designing for target users, users outside of my target demographic, people with disabilities, and users from different cultures and countries,” he said.

How it started

The year is 2019, and Obi just graduated as a biochemist from Mountain Top University, Ogun State, Nigeria. He was looking forward to the compulsory National Youth Service post-graduation but was not shortlisted. To avoid staying idle, he picked up a skill. “This was a smart decision I made. Because unknowingly, we were approaching the pandemic year. The skill I picked up at the time was copywriting,” he said.

In 2020, Obi secured an internship at BTDT Hub – a leading human development firm in Africa. He was part of the pioneer interns at the hub owned by popular career and business coach, Dr. Dipo Awojide. Awojide had put out a tweet for four interns who must be final year students. Although he was not one, Obi applied and got the position. “He was supposed to pick four people, but he picked five at the end of the day, and I was the fifth. I felt there was a reason he picked me – maybe my LinkedIn profile. That made me feel lucky. Each intern had a task to manage the company’s social media, and we got the most engagement and following when I was on duty, ” he said. His time at BTDT Hub lasted two months.

His first job post-internship was with a South African company where he worked as a product copywriter. “Whatever you see on Facebook, there are people who write strategic pieces of copy for those products to get your attention. Copy provides meaning and context, making products more accessible to users,” he explained.


When he decided to pivot, Obi chose product design because of the opportunities that abound in the field. His growth in the space was, in part, influenced by his friend – Joshua Ayokhai, an interaction designer. Also, working closely with a product designer during his time as a copywriter at a South-African company influenced his choice.

“I went into product design because it is an industry with unimaginable opportunities. It spans digital to physical interfaces. I am very particular about my impact on humanity, and product design provides me with the opportunity to earn a living while impacting lives. I also love the community around the design industry; the collaboration and problem-solving that it fosters,” Obi stated. 

Pivot Journal
Elvis Obi

How it is going

Obi started freelancing in 2021. Since then, he has worked on various projects with over twenty clients from different countries, including Canada, Ukraine, Kuwait, Germany, the USA, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Australia. 

He is presently the co-founder of E-margination Studios – a design agency that aims to be the best digital hub for the best designers and developers globally. The company currently operates in Abuja, Nigeria, and Maryland, USA. 

Obi is also contributing to the community with two projects. One of them is a business tool resource for designers and developers, and it is called Designer’s Toolkit. It is a resource with over forty documents that can assist newbie designers. The kit contains information about design contracts, quotations, CVs, cover letters, etcetera. The resource kit was created in collaboration with his colleague, Andikan Bassey, and seven other contributors.

Obi also has an ongoing design challenge created for junior designers; whoever comes up with the best design gets a Macbook. Currently, Obi is focused on accessibility and inclusivity in design. As an AR/VR (Augmented and Virtual Reality) designer, he creates visual and graphical experiences that immerse users into the virtual realm in a new and unique way. As an accessibility designer, he is responsible for designing products that can be used by a diverse range of people, like those with visual, speech, or cognitive disabilities.

He also speaks at events to lecture people on design. Today, he got nominated for the 2022 Figma community award.

Career Hack

Personal branding and collaboration. 

“Putting my work out there and letting people know what I do has gotten me this far. I also collaborate a lot; doing this with other designers made me learn fast. I got to learn their skills and design tactics. Collaborations help you get more projects and a larger portfolio,” he said. 

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