This week, we caught up with our UX Designer Rhodri to talk all things UX, technical and tyres.
How long have you been at MK?
What did you do before?
I’ve worked in the creative industry for 17 years. After graduating, I joined a PR and marketing agency called Freshwater as a graphic designer.
After seven years at Freshwater I joined the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as a graphic designer where I worked for 10 years. I progressed to Creative Design Lead at ONS where I managed a team that produced interactive content for the website – this is when my focus began to shift from branding and print to digital design.
During the latter part of my time at ONS I moved onto a role as a UX Designer working on projects such as the Business Register and the 2021 Census.
I also freelanced for a number of years, working on a number of high profile public and private sector projects for organisations such as Sport Wales, Wales Millennium Centre and the NHS.
What’s your favourite thing about working for a comparison site?
The big draw for me was the fact that we’re empowering consumers by providing free impartial information. Driving quality of service and value for money in an industry industry that can save millions of people money seems like a good thing to me.
The start-up factor was also very enticing, the opportunity to shape the design direction of the site from an early stage in its development was something I was looking for in a new role.
What changes have you made to the site?
My primary focus during the first few months was putting things in place to ensure we were analysing feedback and the behaviour of users on our site. As a result, we’re in the process of improving a number of features such as the navigation and filters. Research and feedback allows us to empathizing with our users to build a better product.
I’ve started to work on a design system and I’m working with the IT team on a components library for the user interface. There’s also a number of exciting new features in the pipeline, so watch this space!
What do you like about being a UX designer?
I’ve always been interested in user centred design hence the slight career change in the past few years. I loved my time as a graphic designer, but I found the subjective nature of the work frustrating at times. The research, design and development cycle on the other hand is pure evidence based design, I can focus my energy on enhancing the user experience, accessibility and usability of a product which I find much more rewarding.
What’s the highlight of your career?
During my time at ONS, I worked on an interactive unpaid work calculator which was used live on the BBC Victoria Derbyshire show. It allowed you to find the monetary value of your unpaid work by entering the hours you spend each week on household tasks. It was quite nice seeing something I’d spent weeks designing being used live on national TV!
What are your colleague’s like?
My colleagues are great – very knowledgeable and friendly! There’s a wealth of experience at the company from a price comparison background which has helped me settle very quickly. Everyone seems very open to new ideas which is music to my ears!
How do you keep up with emerging trends?
Reading books, blogs, TED talks, social media and attending conferences are great ways of keeping up to date. I attend UX Wales meet ups which are a great way of meeting user centred design professionals in South Wales. I find that being part of a community where you can share successes, failures and best practices is the best way of learning.
What is your favourite thing to do outside of work?
Anything outdoors related! That could be snowboarding in the Winter or long hikes in the beautiful Welsh landscape during the summer. I quite like my sport as well – I’m a keen runner and love a game of football.Back to all articles