I help Human Centred Design professionals (UXers, CXers, service designers, product designers and anyone in between) use their personal superpowers to grow rewarding careers.
I sure am. I’ve spent the past twenty years working as a human-centered designer. In this time I have recruited, coached and trained hundreds of UX and CX consultants, I built a truly awesome UX consultancy, ran it for ten years and then sold it to PwC - one of the world’s largest professional services consultancies.
These days I help others grow their own amazing careers in this industry, whether they are new practitioners, seasoned leads, design managers, or companies who want to build their design capability.
Way back before the internet was really a thing, I was a bright-eyed psychology graduate looking for a job. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and I had no experience doing anything particularly useful. But I loved to write so I talked my way into a trainee role writing for the magazine of a business lobbying group.
That was where I was first introduced to the internet.
The very conservative organisation had a whacky division that sold websites to small businesses. This was pretty out-there for the time. Digital agencies didn't exist yet, and even the world's largest businesses didn't have websites.
I became friends with the developers who built these sites. The poor guys (and yes, they were all guys) had to do EVERYTHING, from designing the site structure, producing the look and feel, writing the content, and of course writing the code. Naturally they tried to palm off the content production to me, the chick who was good with words, which usually involved the promise of free drinks after work.
This was the most valuable user insight I have ever had, as it sparked the beginning of a long and happy career in human centred design.
Bit by bit my skills grew, right through the original dot com boom (and then the bust), through the earliest mobile technology, the launch of the iPod, iPhone and iPad, through the beginning of responsive design, Agile, design thinking, and now the dawn of automation, data, AI and the bots. Over the years I grew from the girl who wrote copy for her friends for free drinks, to the owner of a pioneering experience design consultancy and a seasoned practitioner, shaping the CX capability of a global consulting giant.
I know, right?!
The thing that hasn’t really changed through all this is that there are always people using the technology that we design. No technology will ever be successful without placing the human experience front and centre, fuelled by the delightfully flawed emotions of fear, frustration and desire.
Our industry has well and truly grown up since those early days, and that growth has come with its own set of challenges. There is a vast number of people who want to “get into UX” and don’t know how to land their first gig. Then there’s practitioners with a few years experience who struggle to do good work in a tense business world, with objectives that don’t line up properly and laughable deadlines. It can be a real downer to deliver your best work, only to have it blocked by a stakeholder who just doesn’t get it.
Through all these years my favourite part of my job has always been coaching others to build truly awesome CX/UX careers for themselves. There are a lot of schools out there that are happy to teach you HCD skills, but what happens after that? The initial education is just the beginning. I can show you how to get your foot in the door of this amazing industry and guide you to success once you’ve walked over the threshold.