7th June 2020 •
Within our highly skilled Digital Team lies the treasured UX bunch – but what’s it like to specialise in customer experience at Torpedo? We caught up with our Senior UX Architect, Julie so she could tell you all about it, from her perspective.
I’m a Senior UX Architect at Torpedo, and I have been here since early 2019.
My role can vary depending on the needs of a project. One day, I can work on a more research-based project e.g. looking at a user experience page audit and trying to understand how competitors are tackling the same challenges. Other days, I facilitate workshops and help our clients to make decisions on the scope of their project. I also put together requirements for the future product/experience we need to create for them. Sometimes, I work on more delivery-based projects, working out the best possible user interface based on both the desired business outcomes and their users’ needs. It’s up to me to ensure the experience is as user-friendly as possible.
My day-to-day job is dependent on Adobe Creative Cloud (mostly), but I also use Figma, Sketch and Invision, plus a lot of document apps like spreadsheets, for example. Lately, I’ve also relied more on an online tool called Miro – it’s a tool that allows us to use virtual post-its on an infinite blank canvas. It’s particularly useful for remote workshops, where we can work in collaboration with our clients.
Apart from the people I work with, what I love the most is the diversity of projects we have the chance to work on, as well as the diversity of sectors our clients are in. There are a lot of different challenges depending on the specification of a project, and it’s never boring!
“ Apart from the people I work with, what I love the most is the diversity of projects we have the chance to work on, as well as the diversity of sectors our clients are in. ”
The most challenging thing for me is ensuring the end-users aren’t forgotten. It’s often easy to think about the features first, and sometimes people can forget that at the end of the day, it is still a human who will be using what we develop. I think it’s something a UX person will always fight for, and it’s all part of the fun!
One of the projects that I’m proud of is an internal portal we created for Paragon (called Paragon World). This project was a little more product-based, as there were quite a few bespoke features which we needed to create. We took a fresh approach and worked very closely with Will (our Lead Developer) from the start, which was a real bonus! Together, we were able to come up with potential solutions to validate and put into a prototype very early on. In return, it meant that there were no silos in the process, and everything was technically approved before it was even going into the wireframing stage. As a result, the client was very happy with the final prototype and had very little feedback. Overall, not only was the product itself satisfying, but the process itself was very enjoyable.
That depends on ‘when’! When I was pretty little, I wanted to be a hairdresser. Later on, I dreamt about becoming an archaeologist because I (almost) always loved history…but my fear of snakes and spiders kind of killed that. Then around 12-13, I really wanted to become an architect, which I sort of am now, thanks to my title!
At some point, I also thought about becoming a journalist! I always loved the mix of potential travel, discovering new cultures, meeting people with different points of view, and trying to report on the news as fairly as possible.
As I wanted to become an architect, I studied civil engineering in high school. I then went onto a preparatory school to train and get a higher qualification. I did this with the hope of getting into an architect school (their entry exams are pretty tough!). But the preparatory school wasn’t just for aspiring architects. I had schoolmates who were trying to get into fine art schools, or design schools, and the latter got me a little curious. I started to look into design too. To the point, that at the end of my preparatory school, I applied for design schools instead! And that’s how it all started. I was admitted into a design school. In my first year I did a little bit of everything – product design, graphic design, interior design, and interaction design. I then went on to specialise in interaction design (which is pretty similar to user experience design).
It could be anything from going for a long walk in the countryside to travelling all over the world! I also like reading (I read a lot! Probably about 15-20 books a year), drawing (I’ve recently got back into it!) and playing video games (preferably on Nintendo).
Probably the Christmas party. It’s always been a little daunting for me: work Christmas parties. But this one in particular was not only very fun, it felt like I was part of something – and that was really nice!
“ It felt like I was part of something – and that was really nice! ”
Never take anything personally! In what we do, as a UX-er, we are in the frontline with clients. We get direct feedback. If you are too attached to something you have done, there’s a chance you will take some feedback quite personally, or even negatively. There is nothing better than challenging feedback to evolve.