Consultant Profile: Lauren Nicholson
As a continuation of the series where we interview our UX experts, we spoke to a member of our team who’s been here since 2019, worked on numerous projects in a variety of industries, and leads our office in New York!
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?
I studied Product Design at the University of Brighton. I remember going to my lecturer and telling him I had no idea what I wanted to do after I graduated. He thought UX might be a good fit, and let me know about a conference happening in Brighton later that week. Coincidentally, it was on the same street I lived on – so I went down, listened to the talks, and chatted to people in the industry. That was where it all began for me!
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 with GVC, which ended up lasting over a year. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the company. I ended up relocating to Gibraltar for the contract, which was fantastic. I learn a phenomenal amount in a relatively short amount of time. I had the opportunity to work on a range of really interesting projects across GVC’s multiple brands, from research to UI focused projects. It really helped me learn how to give and receive constructive feedback, a crucial skill for any UX designer.
What would you say is your expertise within UX and UI?
My area of expertise definitely lies within scaling design for product and company growth. I’ve worked in a range of design systems, comprising component libraries and style guides, which ensure visual consistency across products, channels and whole organisations.
What industries have you worked in so far?
I have worked in quite a few different industries, such as: the news industry, the veterinary service industry, the fuel retailing industry, and online betting.
What has been your favourite project so far?
A very memorable project for me was at the ‘Digital Control Centre’ (DCC), a collaboration between Hitachi Ventara and Salford Royal NHS Hospital to ‘improve care with data.’ We were due to work onsite at the hospital, but as lockdown coincided with the project’s kick-off in March 2020, we ended up conducting the whole project remotely. As with the rest of the world, we had to get to grips with full-time remote working for the first time, organising user interviews, design workshops, and user testing sessions to fit around the increasingly intense schedules of the team at the hospital.
The project was incredibly challenging, but it defined the first lockdown for me. It was rewarding to work on something that had incredible potential to improve patient care. I had so much admiration for everyone involved!
How do you perfect your ‘design thinking’?
I find being active in the community is a really great way to help hone my design thinking skills. Attending conferences and listening to how other designers talk through their process and tackle the design problems within their respective organisations is a really great way to challenge how I view the design process and go about creating solutions.
What’s the best thing about working at UX Connections?
Definitely the variety! I’ve loved travelling all over London, and now further afield, it keeps things new and fresh and you get to work with so many talented people in the client teams.
One thing you’d improve the UX of, if you could?
The Amazon website. It simply wasn’t built to scale to its current size and now their product categories, filtering and account area are out of control! 19 menu options under ‘My Account’? Good luck finding what you need. That’s not even getting started on the dark UX patterns, how many people have accidentally been subscribed to prime for 6 months before they’ve realised their mistake? They could really do with an IA overhaul!
We’d like to say a huge thanks to Lauren for giving us the time to ask about her journey to UX, as well as those who have taken the time to read this – feel free to leave us any questions!
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