Hey Emily, you got time for an interview?
What flavour of a designer are you?
A holistic thinker.
A persistent interviewer. Like a three year old, I have a lot of why’s: as I understand things, the world keeps opening up.
I’m a writing kind of designer. I like to reach in and tinker around with the language as I go.
I like learning about what makes a business tick. It’s very similar—perhaps the same—as being curious about what makes people tick. I ask questions, listen deeply, and carefully consider the answers, kinda like a design psychotherapist.
I also like learning about technical details. Back end constraints, complexity: they are all part of solving design problems.
What’s your process as a UX/UI designer?
I make sure I understand the user’s context, goals and tasks.
I analyze the visual context, research best practices and competitive products.
I explore different options for UI components needed, research ideas and experiment to see how they fit with the style guide and brand.
I shape and improve the language of the product for usability and appropriate tone as I go.
I seek feedback from colleagues and collaborate with UX researchers to plan and observe user testing and use the results to iterate the design.
Do you have any specialties?
Visual design systems
Forms design and interaction
UX design of email
Registration and account settings
Communication with colleagues, clients and stakeholders
Do you belong to any professional organizations?
OK, so what’s your life story?
Wellllll, my whole life story might be overkill, but here’s an outline of my design life story:
I went to Queen’s University and emerged with a degree in English Lit. Then I went to OCAD, where I completed the graphic design program with a focus on packaging design.
I started out as a packaging and retail designer, and then out of curiosity, started tinkering around with web design, including teaching myself HTML so I could build websites for DJ friends. I have mostly worked as a freelance designer in studios such as Rodmell & Co, Watt International, Bruce Mau Design, A.K.A. New Media, and others. In studios I have worked on projects for London Drugs, Sobeys, Cott Canada, Safeway, Walmart, Knoll, Dufflet, Gagosian Gallery and museums.
I’ve also 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.
I got into UX design because the content I was working with as a web designer really bugged me: I could see that the conventional wisdom of marketing driven design was irrelevant. I discovered how UX designers create not only better content for users, but better digital interactions that are based on known user needs and expectations. I taught myself the basics of the UX design process, and eventually joined the UX team at Canada Post as a Visual Designer.
What are some personal qualities that make you nice to work with?
I'm friendly, empathic, a good listener, open-minded, practical, introspective and decisive. I play well with others.
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.