Isabelle McWilliams

Experience Design Director
Isabelle McWilliams
"My specialisms lie in extracting information from users, turning this into insight and actionable design recommendations."

As an Experience Design Director, my role is to understand, and occasionally challenge our clients’ briefs to ensure we deliver work that meets business goals and user needs. On a day-to-day basis, I may be putting together a proposal with one of our portfolio teams; delving into the finer details of a project to provide direction and guidance to junior consultants; or designing a research programme for the latest phone form-factor, smart TV or emerging technology.

My specialisms lie in extracting information from users, turning this into insight and actionable design recommendations; but also in crafting delightful, yet useful, experiences. Lately, my work has been focused on the financial services industry but if I had to pinpoint my area of expertise, it would be e-commerce. This is an area that particularly draws on my strengths, persuasion techniques and psychology background. I also have an interest in bringing more naturalistic methods to research. I’m a founder member of Foolproof’s Special Interest Group on Ethnography, which explores best practice ‘in the wild’ research techniques and how these can create business value.

I am a Certified Usability Analyst (HFI) and, completely unrelated to the field of user experience, I’m also a qualified PRINCE 2 practitioner. I have a degree in ‘foreign’ languages (English, Italian) applied to politics and law, and I’m currently studying for a part-time degree in psychology. I’m fascinated by the fallacies and influences that guide our judgement and decision-making in everyday life and how that applies in the digital world.

My first foray into the world of working professionals was as a business analyst. Although the solutions I worked on ticked all the boxes as far as delivering to a specification, they didn’t really push the buttons of those that were meant to engage with them. This made me uneasy and prompted me to delve further into the world of user experience. Eight years on and I’m still there.

In my spare time I’m finishing up a part-time degree, which mainly involves drinking copious amounts of tea in front of my computer. In another life, I took two years out to travel the world and still daydream about it. When I have any time to myself, I also like to fulfil the stereotypes of France, my country of birth, by enjoying good food and wine.