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At EMPLORES, I am currently mainly involved in product design, copywriting, and marketing. I call IT company directors or HR managers and try to get information from them to target the offered product: employee experience (EX) research. Based on the feedback, I design the entire business process, from quote calculations to data collection procedures, to the structure of the research reports and presenting the results to customers.
I am learning every day in my new role. Thanks to EUrunner.eu project, I already know how to build something new, but the business world has its peculiarities. But the most significant benefit for me is understanding how much work goes into running a successful business.
Since last year, I started lecturing again at the Psychology Department of the Faculty of Arts MU. I have prepared a course on user research, in which I demonstrate various approaches and methods of applied research through practical examples. I returned to teaching mainly to provide students with closer contact with practice, which I lacked as a student in the classroom.
At Mycroft Mind, I designed user interfaces for dispatchers of power companies. The applications developed were used to monitor and manage “smart” network elements, such as substations or meters installed at homes. As the only UX designer in the company, I was responsible for both gathering user requirements and designing the product design.
The work was challenging, but I learned so much more. For the first time in my career, I created a coherent atomic design system. I used it to quickly implement new features into the applications I was developing, making it easier to collaborate with front-end developers. I improved my skills in web application design and development. In addition, I learned how to work better with Adobe CC products: I improved the most with Adobe Xd, Illustrator, and InDesign, but I also learned other creative tools, such as Adobe Animate.
I started working as a designer mainly to improve my expertise. I knew how to conduct user research, but I could not translate the results into an exemplary user interface. At Solitea, I got the opportunity to participate in the development of a new ERP system. As one of five UX designers, I was responsible for a separate module dealing with asset accounting. I researched with users and translated the findings into design proposals.
At Honeywell, I worked on developing applications for transport aircraft pilots. In discussions with pilots, we received various suggestions on making their jobs easier. We then worked through these suggestions in-depth: finding out the existing solutions to the problem, how the area was patented, and which companies were working on the issue. After the evaluation, we usually discarded many ideas but continued with some of them. We first developed wireframes of proposed solutions, then interactive mock-ups, and continually tested them in collaboration with users. Approximately once a year, we conducted a formal evaluation for each project, which was usually the basis for management to decide whether to continue. Many projects ended after a year or two of development, but some made it to the product stage.
I probably learned the most on this job. I have worked with international teams of experts in various fields, led my research team, and helped designing industry standards for software development in aviation as part of a certification group. The work has given me a lot of insight into the principles of quality user experience design. As a principal investigator, I was also in charge of several projects, including a project on fatigue detection in pilots. I regularly wrote and filed patents for the US patent office with other team members, most of which got approved.
I started teaching at the Department of Psychology at MU towards the end of my master’s studies. When I was offered an assistant professorship in the first year of my Ph.D. studies, I was very happy to get it. At first, I only gave a few seminars and later I added lectures. After some time, I also started writing and opposing student papers and got involved in research. As an ERASMUS coordinator, I also worked as a guest lecturer at several European universities.
During this time, I wrote many pages of text every day, whether it was my own work, translations of books, or perhaps various journal articles. So I learned how to write well and I still draw on that to this day. While supervising student papers, I strengthened my knowledge of research methodology and learned to quickly find the mistakes and pitfalls of different research. I honed my skills in psychometrics, the measurement of the human psyche. And I also learned how to lecture and publicly speak.