Edinburgh, Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Luke O'Sullivan

Product Designer

Hey! I'm Luke, a Product Designer at UserTesting. I have a background in coding and love gaming, sports (mainly getting injured), and spending too much money on tattoos.
Chat in Slack
Edinburgh, Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Read Story

Luke O'Sullivan

Product Designer

Where are you based as a UX/UI designer?

I’m based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I moved here straight after University for my first job and fell in love with the city immediately. I’ve been here ever since and recently just bought my first apartment, so exciting times ahead! πŸ™Œ


What led you into UX/UI design?

So my degree was essentially a combination of Business Studies and Computer Science. We looked at everything from marketing, and organisational strategy, right through to some pretty in depth coding. If you had asked me where I would end up before starting University, I would’ve said it would be in a business-centric role. But during my studies I saw myself veering more and more towards the technology side of things. The story behind how I actually discovered the course I ended up doing is a bit of a funny one with a little sprinkling of luck and coincidence, but that could be a blog post in itself πŸ˜….

During my third year I had the awesome opportunity to do a 6 month internship in the US, in Boston. The role itself was actually as a Web Developer, and through working alongside some fantastic people I slowly learned that UX/UI design was a huge field in itself. I had always figured that to do design, you had to be a developer which is why I pursued it in the first place.

In my final year I had the chance to do an interaction design module which I absolutely loved, and made me settle on the fact that this was absolutely the field I wanted to pursue.

The next challenge was breaking in to the industry. As I’m sure many people in the field know, it’s not very easy without prior experience or a portfolio behind you. So after graduation I was fortunate enough to be offered a grad role at Deloitte Digital (cough as a developer cough), but thanks to some really fantastic people, and a lot of persistence from my end I was able to pivot into a new role as a UX/UI designer very early on, and the rest is history! πŸ˜„


Why are you a UX/UI designer?

For me it’s the opportunity to work in a field that allows you to be creative, generally work alongside some fantastic people, and being able to spend your time solving problems that have real impact.

That alongside seeing your work get shipped and used in the real world, as well as being a bit of a tech nerd in general is what has led me to this field.


What does a typical day look like for you?

As we’ve seen Covid restrictions begin to lift, I’ve slowly began to see my routine go somewhat back to what it was like in pre-pandemic times.

Most mornings start with getting up around 7am-ish, and going to the gym. Luckily, I live extremely close to my current gym which takes me around 5 minutes to walk to. This gives me a small amount of time to grab some fresh air on the way, and wake up as I'm really not a morning person πŸ˜… I continued with at-home training throughout the duration of lockdown to help keep my sanity, but seeing the return of gyms has been a real God send lately.

After my workout, I head back home and get ready for the day. This involves freshening up after training, prepping some breakfast which is generally oats and a smoothie, and most crucially, brewing some coffee! β˜•

Once I've got some coffee it's time to sit down and start the work day. Generally this starts with catching up on emails and Slack, followed by checking my calendar to see what's on for the day. As UserTesting has offices in the US, UK, and Norway I work with colleagues across multiple timezones. This also means most of my design work gets done in the mornings, with meetings in the afternoons after lunch.

At 12pm or 12:30pm, I like to leave my desk and head for a walk. This is a habit I picked up during lockdown, and I find that even a short stint away from my desk is super refreshing and helps me focus in the afternoons. Most days, I'll grab a coffee from my favourite local café 12 Triangles, which I couldn't recommend more for anyone visiting Edinburgh. Oat Milk Latte is my go to 😍.


Once back from my walk I'll prep a simple lunch, and get back to it. As mentioned, most of my meetings take place in the afternoon, so it's generally time for knuckling down and facilitating, taking notes, or just listening. Depending on the day of the week I'll generally try to finish any time between 5-6pm.

After work it's time to prep some dinner. My girlfriend and I take this in turns, and are big fans of batch cooking (We say it's because we love to meal prep; but, mostly it's because we're too lazy to cook every evening πŸ˜…). We've got a few go-to vegan meals we plan for each week, and generally cook enough to last 2-3 days. I make a pretty stellar chickpea curry if I do say so myself 😏.

Now it's time for my favourite part of the day, sitting down with some good food and watching whatever series we're binging at that point in time. We recently just wrapped up watching 'The Expanse' and loooved it 😍. Once we've finished an episode or so, I like to head into the office and finish up the day with some light gaming to blow off some steam. PS5 is my current console of choice, but I also dabble in some PC gaming.

I'll generally try to get to bed somewhat early between 10:30-11pm where I like to do some light reading before it's lights out and time to grab some sleep before doing it all again the following day πŸ™Œ!

Learn UX/UI live β†’

What is your current desk setup?

Still waiting to hang some artwork on the walls as we've recently moved. My girlfriend and I share an office, we recently invested in some Jarvis standing desks which have been a game changer!


And your Workstation setup across devices?

I like to keep things pretty simple and only have my most frequent apps front and center. For everything else I'll pull down search and type in what I'm looking for πŸ˜….


What work are you most proud of?

I spent a large portion of my career to date working at FanDuel alongside a fantastic UX & Design team. Most of this time was spent working on their Sportsbook V2 which was a brand new cross-platform product designed from the ground up for the burgeoning sports betting market in the US. Given the sheer scale of the work, complexity and challenges involved, and awesome team who contributed to getting this whole thing off the ground and launched, it's definitely the work I'm most proud of to date.


Which Product recently blew your socks off?

Not so much a product as a plugin, I was recently playing around with the Breakpoints plugin for Figma and it was awesome! I'm hoping really incorporate this into my workflow going forward and help eliminate the headache of endless Frames for all the responsive versions of my work. πŸ‘Œ


What tunes do you listen to whilst designing?

Since my time in University, Saint Raymond has been my go to. I just love his sound, and he's one of the few artists who's albums I've just loved on such a consistent basis πŸ˜…. His latest album 'We Forgot We Were Dreaming' has been an absolute banger, and I think I've pretty much listened to the whole thing through daily at this point... Highly recommend 'Wide Eyed Blind' and 'Only You' for some absolute vibes 🀟.


Three suggestions for budding designers?

  1. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Reach out to more senior folk for advice, and remember that being asked to do work outside of your comfort zone is how you learn and grow. Noone is expecting you to know everything, especially at more junior levels, so take the opportunity for the early stages of your career to be where you take as much on board as possible and try new things.
  2. Patterns, patterns, patterns! Something I learned very early on is that web design is a tonne of fun, but can be a bit like the wild west in terms of design. It's really nice to have the creative freedom to do what you want for the most part, but remember people expect certain interactions and patterns to be adhered to. Things like 'Account' menus commonly being in the top right corner, or fixed widths being used on certain breakpoints are established for a reason. Don't fall into the trap of mimicking everything you see on Dribbble just because it looks cool. Also Material Design and Apple's Human Interface Guidelines are your best friends. Get to know these early on and it will pay off later.
  3. Focus on bringing value. Ultimately our job is to solve problems, while helping align business and user problems. Try ensuring your solutions aren't just change for change's sake, your focus should always be on improving the experience while adding value to the area you're addressing. Try to avoid working on designs and pushing for change in a business just because you think 'it looks better', always have solid use cases in mind coupled with research where possible.

Thanks for reading my story!

Edinburgh, Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Luke O'Sullivan

Product Designer

Fancy a coffee?

I'd love to grab a coffee and chat about
πŸ—“ Book time to chat

Ready to become a UX/UI designer?

As you'll have gathered, we're open and honest and would love to have you join our next UX/UI Bootcamp!
View Bootcamps β†’