"Just start something."
One of the perks of working at a startup is immersion in almost every aspect of the company -- Alison Bunce can attest. While working in customer service, she crashed a few design meetings here and there before taking the plunge and learning UX design once and for all.
Read on for her take on, well, taking risks and how you too can see a big payoff at the end.
DesignRush: What inspired you to go into UX/UI design?
Alison Bunce: A couple of years ago when I was working at a startup, primarily doing customer support, I would see and hear what the design team was up to, and it seemed so much more fun than what I was doing.
As a perk of an agile, “startup environment," I was able to crash a few design meetings but, my role didn’t allow me the time to do more than sit in. I had heard about the UX Immersive program at General Assembly, from a friend who was a current student there. After validating my infatuation with design by way of three weeks solid of research about UX/UI, I took a big risk, left my job, and enrolled in the three-month immersive bootcamp at GA.
DR: What are a few of your favorite design tools and why?
AB: Sketch is my homegirl. Keynote has great animation tools. Marvel, InVision, Quicktime, Vimeo. Otherwise, pen, black sharpie, printer paper, post-it notes.
DR: What are some projects of your own that you are particularly proud of?
AB: First was leading and designing the website(s) for our cross-continental joint venture, directly with a Swiss Collecting Society. I led design amongst a mix of Business Executives spanning over five time zones. It was intense working with a large group of international people but, such a rewarding experience. I learned so much about the significance of fluid communication and clear goal setting to get things done efficiently.
I’m most proud, however, of a web application I designed that’s used to help publishers better see and interpret their royalty data. I had my first international business trip to present the application to two of the world’s top music publishers; I then worked with them directly to iterate the application based on their additional needs. I even had my laptop hooked up to the projector so they could see me designing on the spot!
DR: You have the day off. What can we find you doing?
AB: Sleeping in. Reading the paper (yes, I know it’s paper and I’m in tech, but it’s nice reading from a different interface!). Otherwise, catching up on any binge watching (currently on The Sopranos), then finding allergen-friendly tacos (they exist) and spicy margs with my boyfriend.
DR: Which blogs, websites, or apps to you check every day and why?
AB: Dribbble/Bounce: I follow design agencies like Ueno, as well as freelance designers. I starting posting some work on there to see what gets traffic.
Instagram: I follow some designers (mostly to remind me to get off Instagram and get back to work), and fashion/beauty/lifestyle brands and blogs.
DR: Any final thoughts, comments, or words of wisdom you’d like to share with someone in the industry?
AB: Yes, it's simple.
- Just start something.
- If you really give it your all, you can blow your own mind.
- Good feedback is amazing! Bad feedback is even more amazing!
- Don’t take design critique personally, cause personally, they don’t know you.
What advice would you share with designers? Share in the comments below.
Want more interviews like this?