I’m living and working in Dublin, Ireland, but working for a company based in Texas.
We have our main office in Austin, and a smaller development team based here in Dublin.
I graduated in 2002 with a Visual Communications degree and went on to learn front-end development before getting my first job as a web designer/front-end developer.
I became very interested in accessibility and the WACAG Accessibility guidelines, and began specialising in creating and auditing website for government agencies, pubic service websites and applications. At this time I was also teaching myself about usability practices and bringing user centered design principals into my work ethic. The small company I was working for, for six years, decided to shut it’s doors, and it spurned me on to do a product management course based around user centered design. This lead to a position as a product manager/Senior Ux design position with a software company for 4 years, and then most recently to a UX position with an online educational company that I started in May of this year. (wow! That was longer than I thought.)
Personally I’m also really passionate about music, socialising, interiors and fashion. I’m one half of a deejay duo called TinyCoons, and with a best friend of mine we have a monthly radio show and we play at festivals and some clubs. I just bought a new house with my husband last year and slowly but surly we are shaping into our little Scandinavian design nest.
Current challenges include being a working mother, and trying to balance being the motherhood with a demanding job. I like to come to work early and finish up earlier to go home to see my 2 year old son before bedtime. I’ve recently found out I’m expecting again, so that an entire new obstacle to solve - but hey I’m good at problem solving.
I’ve worked mainly in a male dominated workplace since I started out, so I’m comfortable in this environment, but aware of the different perceptions and expectations on professional placed men and women. I’m reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg at the moment, and it has some great stories about the different perceptions placed on women. Great recommendation for all other females out there.
Work-wise wi have stared working in a weekly sprint environment and I am overcoming my own personal challenges on dealing with uncertainty. I’m a schedule maker & note-taker, and like to know what’s happening next. The sprit way of working, testing and developing, throws out a lot of curveballs, but I’m slowly getting better with dealing with these and adapting my work process to take advantage of change.
Learning to fail is another challenge I’m getting better at dealing with. I’m doing rigorous weekly testing with real users, and It can be disheartening if our team builds something to test, and our users just don’t get it. Luckily we are at the prototype stage where we can learn from our mistakes, and re-think and re-design. I’m getting better at embracing change all round.
With UX i’m really passionate about the methodology, collecting data, talking and testing with real users and feeding my findings back into the development team. We do a weekly presentation of our work, and finding with the team, and it good to show how the user is influencing the design of our product and not just the ideas of me the designer.
Lastly, I’m a dog person. I got bitten by a cat when I was little - and haven’t warmed to them since.
My husband neither wanted children or pets when we met - and gave me the choice of kids or dogs.
I changed his mind on the children part, and I’m now just working away on changing his mind on the dog debate - for our son of course!