Stellenbosch, South Africa 🇿🇦
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#036

Anske van Niekerk

UX Designer & Researcher

Hi! My name is Anske — I'm into all things UX and Research. When I'm not working, you can find me on the yoga mat or somewhere in the mountains 🏔
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Where are you based as a UX/UI designer?

I am based in Stellenbosch, South Africa. 🇿🇦 It's a small historic, tourist, and university town surrounded by vineyards and mountains.

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What led you into UX/UI design?

I have always been fascinated (and a little muddled) by human behavior and how we are influenced by art, design, and business decisions - I just wasn't always sure what to do with this.

I studied performing arts, did a course in footwear technology, graphic design, and went to business school all before and during the time I got my degree in consumer behavior. It was in my final years of studying when I found myself creating CVs and websites for friends, family, and local businesses as a side hustle.

Not really sure what I was doing at the time, but I fell in love with the diverse and complex set of problems I had to solve during the process and soon found my perfect fit and never looked back when I discovered a career in UX.

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Why are you a UX/UI designer?

UX is a path that allows me to express myself both creatively and strategically. I simply love that I can use both these qualities to create pragmatic outcomes that can contribute towards solving real-human problems.

The multidisciplinary industry provides endless adventures. The industry is always evolving providing a wide variety of methods and tools to choose from. There's always a new challenge waiting to be explored.

It's a role that allows me to connect with others. It's a wonderful balance being able to work in tech but also work with, learn from, listen to and emphasize with people. Not only users, but with other incredible designers and developers in the industry. The strong sense of community in the field supports and inspires me all day, every day.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

Most days start with nature runs and coffee with the team.

On good days, we get coffee and pastries from our favorite local shop down the road.

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What is your current desk setup?

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And your Workstation setup across devices?

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What work are you most proud of?

The Local Edit One of the first projects where I took on product discovery and research. It's amazing being part of something that started as an idea and progressed into a product that will be launching soon.

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Which Product recently blew your socks off?

Being able to express myself, document, and organize ideas seamlessly and simply — Notion, without a doubt has changed my life. I'm in the process of redesigning our team Notion.

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What challenges do you face as a UX/UI Designer?

Patience - Practicing patience can be challenging especially when you are super passionate. Some skills simply come with time and some confidence will only come with experience. I am learning to not be so hard myself.

Prioritizing - As we blast into the future, it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with, not only deadlines and maintaining a work-life balance, but also to prioritize what is worth learning and focussing on within the industry.

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What tunes do you listen to whilst designing?

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Three suggestions for budding designers?

  1. Stay teachable. Do not get so loud trying to prove yourself that you become unteachable.  No one expects you to know everything anyways. Keep asking questions, then ask some more — even when you think you know the answers.
  2. Document, document, document. We look at things differently before we do it, while we do it, and once we have done it. Document your work, thoughts, and learnings even when you think is not worth documenting. Reflecting and articulating on this becomes a very valuable exercise and might become a valuable asset as you progress in your career.
  3. Experiment & Have fun! Do not take things too seriously. Experiment as much as you can and have fun along the way. Joining a community offers great opportunities to experiment with and definitely adds loads of fun to your UX journey.

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Thanks for reading my story!

Stellenbosch, South Africa 🇿🇦

Anske van Niekerk

UX Designer & Researcher

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