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UX Jobs & Skills

Careering: two journeys in UX

by Foolproof explores
21st July 2022

Recently, Ria Rajebahadur - our amazing work experience student, who spent some time with us to develop an understanding of human behaviour before committing to study Psychology at University - caught up with Erin and Nicola - two of our design consultants. They covered a lot of ground, including their respective journeys into UX, roles at Foolproof, and take on the industry and its recent evolution.

Here’s what they had to say:

Erin Giles, Senior UX Consultant

Ria: What did you study at university?

Erin: I studied Ergonomics/Human-Factors Design at Loughborough having always been interested in design and understanding how the brain works. The course covered lots of ground - from biology to anthropometrics.

Ria: How did you land your first job and what was it?

Erin: After I graduated, I spoke with some alumni contacts and landed my first UX role at Nomensa. My remit was much broader there, and more consultative. I was making design decisions as well as conducting research.

Ria: How did you find out about Foolproof and how long have you been here?

Erin: I knew about Foolproof through my previous company and I had always looked up to them as a consultant. I was always an ambition to work here, in the exact role I am in now, so when I got offered the job I was over the moon.

Ria: What do you enjoy most about working at the company?

Erin: I love the variety of projects Foolproof has to offer and being exposed to different types of projects and clients. I also love the diversity of those around me and collaborating with them and their skill sets. Everyone’s welcoming too. I started during the peak of the pandemic and thought it could be lonely, but I’ve experienced the complete opposite.

Ria: How do you see your career progressing in the future?

Erin: I would like to climb the ladder in an agency, having a principal role and managing a larger group of people in time. I also want to hone my craft some more and develop new skills along the way. My 5+ year plan is to go freelance as I value the flexibility of working my own hours but that won’t be for a long time. I like the security I’m offered at Foolproof.

Ria: What are the main differences you have seen in research and ways of working post-Covid?

Erin: When I conduct research now, it’s almost exclusively remote. This means we can scale research and reach people we wouldn’t ordinarily i.e. before the Covid-19 pandemic. That said, I do miss contextual research and think insights are lesser without an understanding of the participant’s environment or ecosystem in which the design sits.

"I would like to climb the ladder in an agency, having a principal role and managing a larger group of people in time."
Nicola Fluchter, Senior UX Consultant

Ria: What did you study at university?

Nicola: I did a bachelor’s degree in International Cultural Management, and for my master’s, I studied Human-Computer Interaction at UCL.

Ria: How did you land your first job and what was it?

Nicola: I worked a HR role at Allianz between my bachelor’s and master’s degree, and then applied for a job at Foolproof, having spoken to Phil Morton - an Experience Design Director at Foolproof. We discussed my experience, and he suggested I went in for a Junior Consultant role. I suppose you could say the rest is history! 

Ria: How have you found the progression from junior to senior?

Nicola: I think the onboarding here is good. I was exposed to lots of projects early on and was then quickly resourced on to a project as the only researcher, with oversight from a senior practitioner. After 6 months, I was promoted to Consultant, and gained the experience required to climb another rung of the ladder.

Ria: What is the average length on a project?

Nicola: It varies from project to project, but the average project-length is 2-3 months. There are other times when there are longer engagements and talent deployment will let you know ahead of the time. 

Ria: How do you see your career progressing in the future?

Nicola: I would like to take on more strategy work and help leadership make decisions that define the future shape and course of the business.

Ria: What are the main differences you have seen in research and ways of working post-Covid?

Nicola: We’d conduct a lot more in-person usability research and prototype testing. However, the beauty of this is that you can observe and interview participants in their natural environment compared to a contrived office environment. The lab is designed to make the participant as comfortable as possible, but it’s far removed from the environment in which a user would engage with an experience in their everyday.

"We’d conduct a lot more in-person usability research and prototype testing. However, the beauty of this is that you can observe and interview participants in their natural environment compared to a contrived office environment."

Stay tuned for more interviews with the people that make Foolproof.

Words and interview: Ria Rajebahadur

 

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