Written by: Emily on April 13, 2018Tags: Interviews, Role Model, Women in Tech
With our second InnovateHer programme starting next Tuesday at Westleigh High, we thought it’s about time that we introduced the lead tutor on the programme. Meet Suzanne Irving!
Sue is a Junior User Experience (UX) Designer at the BBC and is based here in the North West at Media City. But she hasn’t always been a UX Designer and her path into the tech industry hasn’t been a straight one. Sue worked in retail as a graphic designer before discovering her passion for tech.
Here’s her story….
User Experience Design is a really broad subject. There’s a huge variety of skills required if you wanted to cover the complete breadth of the profession. In a nutshell, it’s all about making the user experience better, improving it all the time.
You can’t know everything, so we’re all constantly learning and keeping up to date with new methods and skills. For me, key skills such as User Research methods, Usability testing, wireframing, prototyping and visual communication are a good starting point if you wanted to research some of the industry terminology. Don’t worry if you don’t yet know what any of those terms mean – it will all become clear once you get into it!
Soft skills such as active listening and observation are important too, as is stakeholder engagement and being genuinely curious about problems and how to solve them.
Designing informed by data is really exciting, for me it was a whole new way of working!
Being a great collaborator is key. Also being friendly, a good listener and empathic are really important. Having the ability to listen to others and aiming to understand how different people think in different ways to ourselves; this is definitely needed in UX.
We’re never designing for ourselves, so you have to let go of your own opinions and be open to many iterations (versions) to meet both the customer / user and business needs.