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A Day In The Life Of A UX Designer

Let me introduce myself: I go by the name of Laura, I work for Movio (surprise!), and somehow ended up converting to UX without even realizing what I was getting into. I’d like to start this blog post by explaining how I became a UX evangelist.

Coming from a graphic design background, I was pulled into the world of user experience while working at Movio – a term I only learned after joining the company. Wanting to give UX a go, I immersed myself in countless articles and online material about buttons, interview techniques, colour contrast, and everything in between. I’ve now been a full-time practitioner for well over a year, and I feel more grounded in the role than ever before. I am most at-home solving visual design challenges, but have developed a new liking towards arranging and rearranging stickies with my teammates and putting together interactive prototypes. The great thing about working at Movio is having the freedom to work in a way that best suits me. So, without further ado, I’d like to tell you what I get up to on a fairly regular day.

Morning
My daily morning ritual involves a mandatory email and Slack scan and a preparation of a hot cup of tea; my current favourite is a blend of herbs with some raspberry. It smells divine. After all this is out of the way, it’s business time. I go through some notes I’ve scribbled down the previous day for a quick reminder of where things are at. Today it’ll be wireframing in the shape of a new Movio Cinema-related feature dealing with email automation. I find my mind is fresher in the mornings, so I like to focus on the trickier and more urgent bits before lunch.

Wireframing is fun. It’s during this part that most of the experimentation happens, and no idea is too bad to test. This is where I (almost) let go of my inner perfectionist for a wee while and dig into the raw, honest workflow... Grey boxes after grey boxes. Towards the end of the wireframing process my hands are really itching to start adding some colour and flavour. However, controlling the inner Picasso at this stage helps by setting the right tone earlier in the day.

Within our team we produce simple, interactive prototypes of our wireframes and take them in front of some of our users to find out if we’re headed the right way. This usually happens multiple times during a project’s cycle and helps us get a better understanding of what we’re trying to achieve.

After a couple of hours of focused work moving grey boxes around in Sketch I dig my hands into the office fruit box for a healthy sugar fix. Eating light in the morning keeps my head feeling clear for longer and helps me concentrate.

Lunchtime
If there’s yoga, that’s where I’ll be before feeding myself some home-cooked lentils. Due to huge demand, Movio has arranged for two lunchtime yoga classes every week. If you ask me, I’d say it’s the best way to rewire your brain (in fact, the whole body) in the middle of the day.

Laura at the Movio yoga class

Afternoon
If I have meetings, they tend to happen in the afternoon and are either project catch-ups or one-off meetings. Most times when I’ve reached a point in my design or wireframe where I need more answers, I may call a quick meeting with the Head of Product, Ryan, and our Product Design Manager, Scott, to discuss how to best move on from there. These short sessions are great for realigning the team every few days, especially in the beginning of a project where there are always way more questions than answers.

For today, I’ve got a couple of meetings lined up that deal with the new campaign reporting for Movio Cinema. This creature has lived in the developers’ capable hands for some time now and it’s nearly time to set the baby free. Exciting times ahead! Releasing something new, and at this scale, often gets us biting our fingernails hoping for everything to work as expected. Needless to say, there are always surprises and things to learn from. Our team’s mantra lately has been ”We don’t know before we’ve tested it”. This basically means that in order to really understand our users, we need to give them tools to play with and then find out whether we gave them what they needed.

In the afternoon, I often receive requests from developers to help out with small bits and pieces in need of some design love. Today, it’s about a date picker, which means the design system is calling! We’ve put together a small team at Movio to work on this beast alongside other work. A design system ideally has a dedicated team working on it more or less full time, however, being a small team that’s a luxury we can’t quite yet afford.

A small team comes with its benefits. I usually get my hands on multiple projects and products at the same time, which keeps me challenged and invigorated. I like variety, and the opportunity to have my fingerprints on everything (don’t worry, I wash my hands).

End of day stand-up
We wrap up the day with a speedy “stand-up” which usually happens on the office couches. Everyone in our team goes through what they’ve been working on and what’s coming up next for them. Sometimes we consume cookies and discuss gardening. Communicating our workload with the other team members helps with getting an understanding of what everyone is doing and whether we can distribute the workload more evenly.

Afterwards I usually get back to my desk to finalise whatever I was working on, before calling it a day. Off to the gym, adios!

If you'd like to join Laura and her team at Movio, check out the UX job role we have available now. 

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