Welcome on board ASHM


A big welcome to our latest member, ASHM (or Ashlea, in real life).

Ashlea lives in Canberra, Australia, and loves facilitating usability evaluations and figuring out what makes people tick. Nice.

Welcome on board, Ashlea. Do you still work as an industrial designer or have you moved into a more UX centric role?


Thank you! :slight_smile: My current role is in the UX space. When I finished my degree in 2012, I had no idea what I wanted to do, especially since I live in Canberra, but I knew it would be closer to UX than design for manufacture. When I was at uni a lot of my classmates were interested in automobile design or furniture but I was definitely much more interested in the usability side of the fence. I’d rather go off and do a contextual inquiry than spend three days in pro engineer fighting with the surface of a kettle.

My first job out of uni was an internship in a marketing environment. Living in Canberra, there aren’t a lot of options so I decided to try something a little different and broaden my skills. It was a three month contract that was extended to five and in that time I applied for design graduate programs at large government departments. By the time my five months was up, I still hadn’t heard from any of my applications so I applied for a job working at the technical helpdesk of one those departments for a major product of theirs. I wanted to understand the user experience of this product better in case I did get an offer at that department. A month later I did.

Last year was my grad year. As a design grad I experienced different work rotations and received a lot of training. My final rotation was in a UX based team that was working on the mobile app among many other exciting projects. It was so much fun and I was hooked. I was very lucky to receive a permanent placement in that team when the grad program ended and I am still there - I love it :slight_smile:


Hi Ashlea! Great to have you here. =)

There’s a strong UX community in Canberra, actually, and we have some good friends there; Donna Spencer who runs the UX Australia conference (amongst many other things) and Ruth Ellison at Stamford Interactive who also runs the Web Accessibility/Inclusive Design Meetup. Say hi if you ever bump into them around the UX traps there.

It sounds like your UX career is off with a running start thanks to your persistence and hard work. Well done. =)


Thank you! :slight_smile: I’ll be attending the UX Conference next month for the first time and I’m very excited about that. I did not know about the Web Accessibility/Inclusive Design Meetup and I have now joined - so thanks for putting me onto that :slight_smile:


Welcome Ashlea! Fantastic that you’re enthusiastic and enjoying your UX role. Terrific to hear that you applied for a tech support role as a stepping stone to working on the user experience of a product—a smart decision.

Luke and I are both presenting at UX Australia this year, so be sure to come up and say hi!