Hey Emily, got time for an interview?
What do you do?
I’m a multi-disciplinary, end-to-end product designer.
I solve design problems with user centred design techniques.
What are some personal qualities that make you nice to work with?
I’m a yes, and… kind of person: friendly, empathetic, a good listener, open-minded, practical, introspective.
Describe some traits and values you exhibit as a designer. You’re…
A holistic thinker. I move well between big picture strategy and then hold that in my mind to relate it to the smallest design details.
A persistent interviewer. Like a three year old, I have a lot of why’s: as I understand things, the world keeps opening up.
Product-minded. I’m interested in business, competitive markets and how this relates to design goals.
Visually perfectionistic. Yes, I will be fussing over a better icon, adding more white space, and checking if colours and typographic scales meet accessibility requirements.
Digital experiences are a conversation between a system and a user: I like to reach in and tinker around with the language as I go: it’s an important tool to support users so they can achieve their goals without getting frustrated or making mistakes.
Good at grasping complex technical concepts. Back end constraints, complexity: they are all part of solving design problems.
What’s your typical process?
Talk with users to understand their context, goals and Jobs To Be Done.
Connect with colleagues in other departments who can provide insight and information on our customers’ context and pain points.
Explore and experiment using a variety of design thinking and ideation methods.
Pull data to gain further understanding of the problem area.
Have conversations with engineers to understand technical constraints, scope and effort for various design scenarios.
Research best practices and play with/examine other products that may or may not do the same thing as my product.
Determine flows, interactions, create wireframes and prototypes to materialize ideas, test them and collaborate on possible functionality with developers and customers.
Seek feedback from customers and colleagues, then iterate designs as needed.
Which design tools do you use?
Whiteboard, markers, paper
Sketch, Invision, Adobe Creative Suite
The phone, Zoom
Do you belong to any professional organizations?
Can you tell us a bit about your work history?
Most recently, I was a product designer at Loopio, a B2B SaaS software platform that automates RFP responses for sales, proposal, sales engineering, information security and marketing teams. As the design lead on an agile team focussed on the Projects portfolio, it was my mission to flip a technology-led experience into a user-centric experience as I designed new features and improved existing functionality.
Previously (2016-2018), I was a UX/UI designer at Canada Post Digital, where I contributed to a new Design System, designed a new email system, designed software tools to enable people to ship and track parcels, and improved the usability and accessibility of existing online tools.
Before that, (2000-2016) I was a graphic designer, creating corporate identities, websites, print materials and packaging at studios such as Rodmell & Co, Watt International, Bruce Mau Design, and A.K.A. New Media, for clients such as London Drugs, Sobeys, Cott Canada, Safeway, Walmart, Knoll, Dufflet, art galleries and museums. As well, I worked as a communication and design consultant with my own clients in finance, biotech, the arts, not-for-profit organizations, restaurants, music, fashion and fitness.
What do you do when you’re not designing stuff?
I’ll most likely be on a bike—ideally in a forest carving turns and shredding gnarly stuff with my peeps.