Before I got into User Experience (UX) design, I studied Art. I worked across various mediums, but I particularly enjoyed mixed media and abstract painting. When I was younger, I wanted to be a Concept Artist – someone who designs the imaginary worlds in video games and films.
Whilst studying Digital Design at Glasgow Caledonian University, I fell in love with UX design. UX design is the perfect blend of strategy, aesthetics, and psychology to solve real user problems. I dove into as many resources as possible on the subject and framed every project that the university provided around UX design in some way. This allowed me to learn about designing for augmented and virtual reality, voice interfaces, multi-user displays, and web and application design. I was hooked.
I'd always known that I wanted my first job to be for an innovative start-up; a company that was challenging the status quo in their industry by creating a new form of value. This type of challenge really appealed to me.
When I discovered the open job listings for Phlo, they were looking for a Graphic designer to create visuals and campaigns to support the Marketing team. Phlo's mission of disrupting the pharmaceutical industry (then at the height of the pandemic) grabbed my attention; I could see how much of a game-changer same-day delivery of medication would mean to people, so I applied.
Unfortunately, I was beaten to that position by the fabulous Ellen McLean–it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Luckily, my portfolio caught the attention of the product team and they invited me to interview for a position as a UX/UI Designer.
Typical days kick off with a team stand up. We establish how we're progressing individually and discuss what we'll be working on that day. It's good to touch base with the rest of the team and address any concerns or blockers to work early. After that, I'm often in meetings to discuss ongoing work with stakeholders, collaborate with developers and product owners, or hop into feedback sessions with other designers to throw some ideas around. Outside of those, I'm in Figma iterating on designs or doing research to help improve the strategy behind any upcoming projects.
There are many, so I'll shortlist a few important ones to me here:
The people I work with and the collaborative culture.
Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do – this is particularly true for the design team. Whilst we might create ideas for designs on our own, the end result has often had many voices who've helped to shape the outcome. Feedback always makes the work better. We as a team understand and practice that principle every day, and being able to work with such a talented group is the best part of my job.
Unlike companies who say one thing and then do another, Phlo cares about its mission to improve the lives of its patients.
I've been fortunate to have played a part in most of the teams within Phlo. Whilst each team has its own dynamic, the one constant is each member's drive to produce work that provides value for our patients.
Every week, before I know it, it's Friday. That was true in my first week at Phlo, and it's still true today; time flies when you're having fun.
That’s a good question! There are so many possible answers. I'd say the design to development handoff–the processes, systems and tools that make it better–has been one of the most significant learning points for me.
I’ve learned that it's one thing to design a good experience. To be able to design in a way that's optimal for the patient's needs, doesn't cause headaches for the developers, and achieves the project's objectives is a skill that takes practice.
It's a bit cliché, but the expression, "You don't know what you don't know", can be a helpful motivator to keep exploring and keep learning both in UX and in life. There's always more to discover. The technology behind what we create is getting smarter, faster and more personalised every day. Make sure you're up to date on a broad range of subjects, particularly in tech and advances in user experience design–it'll help you stand out from the crowd when you interview for a position.
I like feeling alive, so I train in various martial arts and try to do something physical every day. To appear more interesting than I actually am, I'm using Goodreads to challenge myself to read a book a week in 2022 (this year’s general theme is Philosophy).
For fun, most of the time, I'm designing something–I'm currently an active contributor to a handful of Web3 communities. When my brain inevitably runs out of juice, you can find me watching the latest Sci-fi series (The Silent Sea), listening to a podcast, or chilling with Mrs Cameron.
There’s no better time to become part of the Phlo community. Take control of your medication management and join the 1,000s of patients we’ve helped safely manage their medication.