How I got started in UX

Posted on Sep 1, 2013

I guess I was always interested in UX, but didn’t realise it until a year or two ago. Looking at my background, I was always destined to follow the path I am on now…

Sociology

At A-Levels I studied, Art, Graphics, Photography, and Sociology. Sociology being the curve ball in an otherwise purely creative subject choice as I have always been curious about what people do [read nosey], and why they do it.

Customer Service

During my studies I started working at a start-up in admin and customer service, where I would hear daily from customers what problems they had on the website. This lead me to start a “moan book” which I kept on the product managers desk. I would go into his office and add to it whenever I was informed of something that could be changed on the website to enhance the customers experience, and reduce the number of customer service enquiries.

I went on to study Graphic Design at university, and continued to work in the same start-up in a variety of roles, but never forgot my customer service background, and still kept my moan book to record any issues I came across, but now also from a internal organisation/process perspective.

Graphic Design

Now calling myself a Graphic Designer, I changed roles again to be part of marketing team, which gave me insight into what the business wanted, and how they were looking for opportunities to engage the customers and grow revenue. I had the customer perspective, and now the business perspective.

User Experience Design

Working my way up the ranks in the company, I became the Head of Creative, managing a team of designers and developers. In 2011 the company chose to rebrand and I was responsible for reflecting this new brand on the website.

I led the UX efforts through the discovery phase, conducting research with the business stakeholders, and users. I created wireframes, persona’s, and did some guerilla usability testing. I even wrote the first drafts of the website copy, and worked with an agency on the visual designs for the site. With the product launched, I felt it was time to move on, and I now work in the UX department of a large media and publishing firm.



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