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Consultant Profile: Felipe Fernandez

As a continuation of the series where we talk to our UX experts, we spoke to a long-time UX Connections team member, and asked everything you’d need to know about their UX journey. 

Meet Felipe.

Okay, let’s start off with the basics – where did your interest in UX start, and how did you get to where you are today?

My interest in UX started whilst working in customer service. I worked as a sales consultant about five years ago, and I was always very keen to talk to customers and fully understand what it is they were looking for, so that I could make the best recommendation. I saw UX as understanding that insight into what a user needs, which is what eventually drew me towards it!

How would you define UX? 

I would say it’s the process of understanding what a user really needs. I spend 80% of my time empathising and defining those needs before moving into any other stage of the design process, so we really achieve that level of deeper understanding. 

What was the most challenging part of your first project for UX Connections? What did you learn from this experience that has helped you improve your work?

My first project was a website redesign, working with Jack Morton. I joined the team with three other consultants to work on the wireframes for the new website, working individually on the different sections. The most challenging part, I’d say, was maintaining consistency across the whole design without a design system in place. This meant  I learned how valuable a design system is – it helps speed up the design process whilst keeping the design consistent, decreasing the time spent creating components and assets, as well as onboarding new members to the project! 

What would you say is your expertise within UX and UI?

Hmmm, I think I would say that my expertise lies in assisting stakeholders with identifying and refining the problem statement and quickly sketching up initial concepts to get early validation. 

What industries have you worked in so far?

I’ve worked in quite a few different industries! Healthcare, Rail Infrastructure, Oilfield Services and Betting are just a few that I can think of right now, but there’s a huge variation. 

What has been your favourite project so far?

My favourite project was when I created a medical app to assist users with learning disabilities with their medical, social and mental welfare. On this project, I worked from the beginning to end of the design process, with requirement gathering, building a feature matrix to make clear which features would be available on the MVP, and adding accessibility guidelines for our target audience. I was also able to create wireframes and specification documents to inform the development team. 

How do you perfect your ‘design thinking’?

I’m a voracious reader, I’m constantly reading new articles and books to keep on top of the latest working process or new design method. I had a mentor at the start of my UX career who guided me and taught me the importance of this, which was absolutely paramount to my success. 

What’s the best thing about working at UX Connections?

One of the best things about working at UX Connections is the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, and in a multitude of industries. One week, I could be working on a usability testing piece for a betting client before diving into a user interface project the week after! 

Where do you find your inspiration? 

My inspiration comes from books, films, and video games! It even comes from just interacting with other people. Coming from a creative background in advertising, inspiration comes from everywhere. You need to pay close attention to your surroundings! 

One thing you’d improve the UX of, if you could?

I’d definitely improve how a local GP practice communicates with the wider NHS system, through their digital services. To streamline this process would not only decrease administration time and fees, but also provide more transparency with patients dealing with a condition. 

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Felipe for taking the time to talk to us about his time as a UX designer, as well as those who have taken the time to read this – feel free to leave us any questions!

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