In the latest instalment of our Meet the Team series, we sat down with our newly appointed Senior User Experience Designer, Elise Pace, to find out her interests, pet peeves and top trends to look out for.

 

After graduating from the industrial design program at Auburn University, I moved to New York City and then on to Vail, Colorado before eventually landing in Australia four years ago. I grew up in a small town in Alabama, so I still have a slight twang. I love all things design, especially finding new art exhibitions to go to. I also enjoy the outdoors – living in Colorado for four years really showed me the beauty of hiking and skiing.

 

Honestly, I had no plans to even travel to Australia in 2016. I came on a whim after I found an affordable flight from Heathrow to Melbourne and I was on a plane two weeks later. I took a break from work back in June 2016, and travelled around Europe for four months while also living in Bordeaux, France for a bit. I fell in love with Melbourne after two months and I decided I wanted to move here long term. When I moved back in early 2017, I realised how amazing the workforce and healthcare system is here. The Australian way of life is so nice and I’m very grateful to call Melbourne home now.

I believe designing for transparency is more important now than ever. With the rise of misinformation making us question our sense of reality, I think we need to focus on designing openly and encouraging critical thinking from our users. Solving user needs is key – caring more about our users and the impact of our work than about the work itself is on the rise.

I’d say the (bad) rise of dark patterns has got to go. Quoting Wikipedia, dark patterns are essentially the “user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things.”

I also think using fluff tech terms are out – speaking clearly and directly to your users is better than confusing them.

I learned how to weld while I was in industrial design school. I was working on a project with DeWalt at Auburn University and I decided to make a drywall carrier to help construction workers in the field.

  • Biggest pet peeve? When people eat or chew gum with their mouth open.
  • Favourite sport?Hiking around Grindelwald, Switzerland was pretty fantastic, but my grandparent’s old house on the bay is also a top spot.
  • Favourite food?  Gosh, I love eating. I’d have to say finding great fried chicken in Australia is a hobby. I also love a particular chocolate dobash cake from a bakery called Pollman’s – I used to get it every birthday in my hometown.

I’m really excited to gain more user insights by conducting more qualitative work like user interviews and making it very transparent with our whole team. I want to make sure the user feedback is front and foremost on our team’s mind.