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Meet Rowan: Senior UX Designer

Laura Ruys
Laura Ruys
UX Designer
Rowan

Welcome to Talking Tuesday! With this interview series, we introduce our specialists to you every month! They give you an insight into what it is like to work at Humanoids and what they are doing at the moment! This month Rowan: Senior UX designer will be introduced.

What kind of project are you doing now?

For almost 2 years now I am improving the customer onboarding process at ABN AMRO. As Service Designer I focus on the end-to-end journey.

What's most interesting about this?

I believe Service Design is the new UX design! By now we know very well how to create amazing digital interfaces, yet this doesn’t always result in happy customers… Imagine you want to onboard at a bank and you need to identify yourself 3 times! Or you need to switch from web to app to email and again to app. Or the app flow didn’t mention that you needed something you need when you sign later on and you get stuck. You’ll be surprised how much this happens and how no one sees these issues!

What do you add to a team?

I would rephrase that into ‘contributing to an organisation’ because I work over multiple teams, not in one only. The whole issue is that teams are often hyper focussed and responsible on their own flow that they don’t see the bigger customer journey. I bring teams and even departments together to show them that they need to cooperate and share a joint responsibility on the customer experience. Something that can only happen through collaboration (and someone like me who investigates, maps and communicates these customer journeys). Something I love doing!

What tip would you like to give to someone who is just starting out?

Definitely find your strength! What do you excel at naturally? I have always been good with finding connections both in complex subjects and with other people and these qualities help me excel in Service Design. I have done plenty of UI and visual design work and found out it’s not my strength.

Can you name a business situation or event that was of great benefit to you?

That would for sure be the accessibility tests I did at DigiD 4 years ago. I interviewed people with low literacy, blindness, motor impairment and neurodivergence on using digital tools. It really opened my eyes to the ‘blindness’ you have on the experience of those with different capabilities. It helped me to broaden my mind on what makes a good design great, sometimes contradicting with design conventions and best practices. Now we train every designer at Humanoids in accessibility, making sure we all get this critical thinking. Something I’m very proud of.

Can you tell us something about your growth as a specialist in recent years?

Honestly it feels like I have been working as a designer for 10 years already even though it’s been only 4 and a half years at Humanoids now. It’s insane how much I learned! I guess it really helped that I always tried to explore topics I was still unfamiliar with. First information architecture, then accessibility, service design and now strategic design. A traineeship is the perfect place to try out all those different flavors of UX design, so I’m very grateful for that opportunity.

What do you like so much about this sector?

For me it’s not so much working in IT or in Fintech, but more working on something complex that has a big impact on the life of people. What DigiD and ABN AMRO have in common is that both governmental and financial affairs could be an obstacle to someone enjoying their life. Or we turn that around and design to remove friction, reduce worries and fulfill dreams.

What are you most proud of since joining Humanoids?

That has got to be leaving a better Humanoids traineeship behind for my new colleagues than the one I had 4 years ago. As research lead I got to bring accessibility and UX research at Humanoids to a new level. It feels good to transfer the passion and knowledge to a ‘new generation’ and to leave a mark on an organisation. Together with the other lead designers and the founders we really managed to create something amazing!

What makes Humanoids special?

What I just mentioned before is something quite unique. Every designer and developer here started as a trainee, we all know what it felt like. We get so share what we learn with a new cohort every half year, and if every employee does this, there is a tsunami of knowledge to absorb. I believe that really helped me grow so fast as a professional. And it’s fun as well! We are really invested in each other and help each other out.

That was the Talking Tuesday interview again! Next month, we will introduce another specialist to you. Also, take a look at our LinkedIn page for more content and tips from our experts!

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