Meet the Mentor – Dominic Hurst

Written by: Emily on September 4, 2019
Tags: Day in the life of, Inspiration, Interviews, Meet the Mentors, Role Model

Meet Dominic, one of our mentors from our ‘Tech for Good’ programme at Holly Lodge Girls’ College in Liverpool. Dominic has been creating digital experiences for over 18 years in a range of sectors and currently he engineers experiences as a Senior UX Consultant at Valtech. Dominic is an advocate for UX and customer-centric insight driven design and has been shifting organisations towards data-driven developments whilst still keeping user needs at the heart of their digital offerings.

Dominic's headshot

We spoke to Dominic about his career path and what it means to be an InnovateHer mentor.

How did you get to where you are today in your career?

After school and uni, my first job was at the RSA doing admin on financial products, and it was when the internet was taking off, so I ended up helping out (given my design background). From there, I was part of the web teams, moving up to lead teams at a range of public sector industries. Gaining an understanding of the user excited me, what they need, what they are trying to do… So I stepped back a bit and focused on this 100% in my role. I still do this today at Valtech, it is amazing to do a job you have both the skills and the passion for.

What skills do you think you need to do your line of work?

A lot of soft skills really (despite being digital). Working together, being able to engage and share information with anyone, being able to listen/ digest information and analyse it, to understand what a user really needs rather than wants are all vital skills.

What’s an average day look like for you?

It can be anything to be honest. I can be out on site carrying out user research. This is normally speaking to 5-6 people one on one, to understand them, their situation and often what they think of the product we are testing. If not doing research it can be planning for research. This is very important step. We need to make sure we test with the right people, but importantly ask them the right questions. Finally I can be looking at data to understand the journeys users have made in the past, what parts of a website/app work and which cause problems. Never a dull day!

Dominic with the InnovateHers from Holly Lodge on their graduation day.
Dominic with the InnovateHers from Holly Lodge on their graduation day.

Any advice for a young person who might want to do this as a career?

Certainly use your creative skills, we never know what users think, so we need to be able to put ourselves in their shoes. Being creative help us solve problems users are having too. Be inquisitive, never sit and wait for work – go ask for work and come up with work. Finally network and talk to others. I only found this out late in the day, having a good peer group is great for career development.

Why did you want to become an InnovateHer mentor?

I have a few reasons. First is because I have had great female inspirations in my career who have both broken down the barriers. I have seen how bad it can be first hand and it’s not right. Second is because I’m a dad of 2 girls. I want them to grow up in a world and not face the issues others have had. Finally, I know from working in teams that a diverse team with a variety of skills sets makes better solutions and products. It’s that simple! Getting involved in this great initiative is a way I can give back and make a difference.

Follow Dominic on Twitter.

Want to help inspire the next generation of InnovateHers like Dominic? Find out how you can become an InnovateHer mentor here.

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