User Experience Designer - Large Health Services Organization

"I oversee the development of communication material that reaches hundreds of thousands of individuals from various cultural backgrounds. My job is to manage several integrated projects end to end. Some days this may be managing the development of a website and another day I might be coordinating the launch of a digital campaign. My job is about being super organized and ensuring all the people and moving project parts are connected and working together. The primary focus of my work is to develop better user experiences and increase efficiencies."

Salary Range:

$84,500 - $102,600

The Tip

In a world of hype for big data and analytics, people forget design is about connecting with real people. Get out from behind your screen and talk to someone different every day.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Management Skills
  • Manage the design process

  • Manage multiple workflows

  • Develop and implement program schedules

  • Manage internal and external stakeholders

  • Act in a responsible manner with regard to the needs of people, their communities and society as a whole

 

Research & Insights Skills
  • Formulate focused and practical research questions

  • Develop and execute qualitative research including observation, interviews and text analysis

  • Develop and execute quantitative research including large data set statistical analysis

  • Apply a deep knowledge of human behaviour to understand usability

 
Communication Skills
  • Translate content into meaningful information

  • Write clearly, including technical, descriptive and narrative language, to suit a wide variety of audiences

  • Conduct user testing

  • Use specialized software to prepare, edit and distribute content across multiple platforms

  • Leverage social media

Design Skills
  • Apply data visualization

  • Build prototypes out of variety of materials

  • Apply information architecture principles various online and print mediums

  • Critique and improve design artifacts

 

Core Transferable Skills

Be an expert at all core transferable skills:

  • Thinking skills

  • Communications skills

  • Organizational skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Technical literacy

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Communication (information design) with a minor in computer information systems (CIS)

  • Completed UX/UI design certificate via distance learning from San Francisco State University (work-funded)

 

My major in information design, combined with my training in CIS, gave me the foundation to work in the dynamic world of UX. The certificate in UX/UI design was challenging but is now what sets me apart.

Employment Experiences:
  • Worked in sales for an electronics retailer part time in university

  • Completed a work term while in school as a communications and outreach coordinator for a non-profit organization

  • Started as a web developer and UX specialist following graduation for a mid-sized user experience consultancy.

  • Recruited by one of our clients (an energy company) as a knowledge management coordinator. In this role, I designed the system that stores all company information including documents, photographs, maps, manuscripts and audiovisual materials.

 

Taking a position for a mid-sized user experience firm allowed me to better understand the knowledge-management industry and learn to manage clients. Having junior roles early on gave me the ability to understand how to work with people. Some people I loved. Some I didn’t. But it gave me a better sense of the type of people I thrive with and the culture I succeed in. One day, one of my favourite clients offered me a job I couldn’t turn down.

The skills I gained from my information design work term and my other employment experience gave me the combination of hard and soft skills my current employer was looking for.

Community Experiences:
  • I was very active in student government and was VP—Communications for the student union in my final year of university

  • I am an active member in in the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

 

Student government allowed me to gain exposure to a variety of perspectives and learn from others about what motivates people. It also forced me to be excellent at time management. This is an essential lifelong skill. I attend one IABC conference annually. In addition to the networking potential, it’s an important window into the future of the industry.

Contextual Experiences:
  • Have worked in both independent consulting and for corporations

 

The best decision I ever made was to do consulting early in my career. Every day was something different. I’d be building a new website for a client one day and designing a database the next. I had to learn fast if I wanted to be profitable.

Relationships:
  • Worked with diverse clients and managers from different parts of the organization

 

My clients and peers aren’t all technical. I learned very early that to succeed, I’d need to learn how to speak their language. I can translate my job in a way my colleagues appreciate.