We are excited to introduce you to Elize Todd from US. She is UX product designer and strategists. Elize specializes in working with startups and small businesses. She loves mentoring and overall is very expressive and inspiring. Her Youtube channel is called Elize UX.

What defines a good UX design in your opinion?

A good design is One where every detail is well-thought out and has a reason for its existence!
In general, we tend to associate complexity with sophistication. Things with a lot of moving parts and flashy interfaces strike us as advanced and impressive. But the opposite is true of good design. Good design emphasizes simplicity. Part of a designer’s job is to have a critical eye and cut down on clutter, until all that is left is a clear pathway towards the design’s objective. For example, if the goal of a site’s landing page is to get someone to engage with a sales promotion, your design should leave no question that clicking on that sales button is the right thing for the user to do. Websites and products that are easy to navigate make for happy users!

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What are the most often challenges you face while working in a UX field?

Challenges arise when user insights conflict with stakeholder views. It means I need to present strategies that are considerate for the user and follow UX best practices, but in a way that makes it seem ultimately good for the company. It’s taken some time for me to learn how to be better at how I speak to business execs. It’s so important that UX designers know how to use numbers to prove the value of user insights and user experience design to the company. If you explain how the conversion rate, (i.e. the number of site visitors who buy something) for an e-commerce site grew by X percent after incorporating customer insights, you’re much more likely to convince a businessman why user interviewing matters. You’ve got to speak the client’s language!

What is your favorite project you’ve ever done and why?

I did an app design for a vehicle-sharing startup, Envoy, that I really enjoyed because I was able to think about not only digital experiences but physical experiences as well!

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Would you share 3 habit recommendations you think are crucial for success?

1. Being good at asking questions.
When you work with users to test a site or product, people rarely articulate needs in a way that immediately provides actionable insights. In fact, people are better at identifying what they don’t like in a product, and its up to the designer to read in between the lines about what exactly is missing. UX designers have to mine for that good information! Part of how we do that is asking the right questions.

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2. Being an active listener.

This one relates to my first recommendation. Sometimes it’s not about asking questions, but making a deliberate choice to remain silent. Silences are socially awkward, and people like to fill them. If you remain alert and engaged but fail to fill a pause during a user interview, often the user will plow ahead and sometimes these continuations contain the best feedback you’ll get from that interview! Active listening is about making people feel heard. Users are more amenable to giving detailed feedback if you make them feel like their experiences are valid.

3. Constantly self-educating!
Being a motivated self-starter is what makes you stand out from the crowd.
It’s easy to get intimidated by some job post descriptions – you need this skillset AND this experience AND this proficiency – and that’s for a starting position! Many UX beginners feel overwhelmed by the requirements asked of them, but you can start small by choosing one topic or skill to develop on your own time. Plus, there are so many good and FREE resources online to help you get started. I recommend the Nielson Norman and Human Factors International sites and Youtube channels. Plus, Georgia Tech and MIT offer free UX design and mobile application experiences courses!

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