I am based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.
I've always been a very curious and creative person. I can even think back to when I was little and my favorite video game was Thrillville, which is a video game that simulates being an amusement park owner. I was so fascinated with getting to make design decisions, getting to connect with park attendees to better understand their experiences, and learning the business behind running an amusement park. Even though this was a just a game, I see that fascination continuing to be with me today. I'm energized by problem solving and really prioritizing users first.
What specifically led me to UX was that I wanted to really get to know the why behind certain design decisions and how that affected a users experience. I found myself sitting in on UX research sessions as a note taker and when I realized there was a career there, I jumped right into learning more. I've landed in more of a UX research role as I'm a very active listener, extremely empathetic, and thrive off of my curiosity.
I am a UX researcher because I believe research should remain at the heart of all design decisions. I am energized by connecting with users, collaborating with team members, and recognizing business needs to advocate for design decisions that will best create an amazing experience for users. My true joy of working in UX is that I constantly get to learn from users, team members, from others in the industry, and from constantly self reflecting to recognize my own biases. My hope, and the reason I show up everyday, is that I'm driven to use UX research as a tool to promote equity.
A typical day for me starts with walking my dog - rain or shine. After our walk, I get going by brewing some coffee with my pour over and having something light for breakfast.
I then start the day off catching up with messages and getting my to-do list for the day prioritized. After that, I hop onto Zoom to have a brainstorm session with my design team and identify areas where I can support by doing research.
After that, my day can consist of so many things. From reading, planning, giving research presentations, or facilitating research; my main focus for the rest of my day is to find ways to make sure research is living and breathing in the organization.
I also try to take a lunch break at the same time as my partner. Since we're both working remotely full time, having lunch together is a great way to connect and ensure we both take a break from our screens.
After lunch, I'm back at it. Collaboration is key for my day! My favorite days consist of me getting to connect with users and getting to share their stories with my team members. I also, really enjoying inviting any and everyone to research share-outs because user research can be impactful for everyone, and I often learn so much from the different perspectives my team members bring.
I finish up the day, typically with my dog sitting at the door letting me know its time to log off and head out for our evening walk.
I am currently most proud of developing a research strategy for my company for the very first time. Research has always been at the heart of our work but in the past we've worked with outside agencies to facilitate research, so research has just been looped into our Product roadmap in exploratory and validation stages of design. With me leading research internally, there's already been several opportunities to do research earlier and more often. I've developed a strategy to ensure alignment with our UX design team, prioritize collaboration, and increase how often we are connecting with users.
I was recently blown away by how Depop included a research survey in app. It was super easy to complete and felt like it would help improve my experience as both a buyer and seller. Plus I just really like buying second-hand as a way to support the environment.
Some of my biggest challenges are finding ways to become aware of research opportunities early on without needing to be in every meeting, and identifying ways for research findings to continue to be accessible after initial share out or without me present.