Consultant Profile: Lisa Nordgren
As a continuation of our series where we interview our own consultants, we recently spoke to the UX Connections team member who has been part of the creation of our Gothenburg office. We spoke for a while about her journey to UX, how she is always improving as a designer, and much more. Read on to see what she had to say.
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 have always been a creative person and interested in design. For my upper secondary school I studied arts, where we also studied design, which made me interested in designing physical products. For university, I studied product design and while I was there I realised that I was much more interested in the user behaviour and the user needs, rather than designing interior or furniture.
Then, I continued to do a master’s in product design and during that time I got more interested in digital design and saw this as an interesting field to be in – with a lot of opportunities! I also landed an internship as a UX designer and realised that I wanted UX and UI to be my future profession! So, to sum it up, I have always been interested in the user. From the beginning it was more three dimensional design, but then I realised that digital design was the one for me.
Do you remember your interview for UX Connections? How did it go?
Yes, I do. It went well, since I’m here! I remember that they were very friendly and didn’t ask these typical interview questions. Rather, there was a conversation and it was pretty laid back, but still very interesting. I got a good feeling from them and an understanding of the company culture and saw this as a good fit!
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?
The first project I had when starting UX Connections was within a field I hadn’t worked with before. As a consultant, that is part of the job, but as my first project it was a little bit overwhelming. What I learned from that though is that you don’t need to be an expert in every topic, because when you have the method, mindset and expertise of being a UX designer, you can apply that to whichever field you may work with. Going forward and working with more projects, my confidence grew and now I feel confident working within new fields, as the UX methodology is still the same.
What would you say is your expertise within UX and UI?
I would say I am really good at identifying things that don’t work. A big part of my job is to review existing products, finding out what’s not working and then recommending how to improve it. Which is about really getting into the mind of the user, understanding how they use the products and ultimately why certain things don’t work.
What different 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?
I would say it was a project I did for The National News. There, I was a part of the whole process from the beginning: reviewing the existing product, talking to stakeholders, competitor review and all initial research. Then I got to provide recommendations and design new wireframes for them, focusing on redesigning their navigation system. It was really fun!
How do you perfect your ‘design thinking’?
Discussing and getting second opinions from other people, that’s what I really enjoy! Even though we’re quite often one consultant per project, we always have someone to discuss ideas with or get feedback from and that’s how you learn and develop as a designer. This includes feedback from both clients and colleagues.
What’s the best thing about working at UX Connections?
Besides the amazing colleagues and the open and friendly company culture, it’s for sure the variation of projects. I get inspired by the problem solving and the design process rather than the topic in itself, which is why I enjoy different topics as it creates variation and different kinds of problems – I always learn something new!
Where do you find inspiration?
Just in everyday life because design solutions are everywhere. You can always find something that is clever and easy to understand or something that gets you frustrated. You don’t need to look at digital products, but just in general how different products work and communicate with users.
One thing you’d improve the UX of, if you could?
Since I was little, one of my hobbies has been to play video games. When I became more aware of UX design, I realised that it is a big part of creating video games and that the navigation, especially, can quickly become quite complex. One of my favourite games that came out last year is called Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s a relaxing life simulation game set in real time, where you are meant to make small progress each day. The game has received quite a lot of criticism for having poor UX design, such as inefficient navigation and menus taking time from the actual gameplay.
If I could only pick one thing to improve, I would change how the decision making works in some cases. For example, one thing you can do in the game is to build bridges. When you decide on which bridge to build, you need to confirm that choice by picking the top option in the dialogue box. When you want to demolish an existing bridge, however, the confirmation option is moved to the bottom, making it very easy to click the wrong option and therefore need to start over. It may look like a small detail, but when the majority of the game’s confirmation options are placed at the top, it creates an inconsistent pattern that sets up the user for frustration and confusion when their expectations of what should happen aren’t met.
We’d like to say a huge thanks to Lisa 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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