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Ergonomics (Human Factors Design)
Year of Graduation: 2015
Job title: UX Researcher
Before University I was living abroad in Japan and I attended an international school in Tokyo. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at university, but I knew I enjoyed the subjects Biology and Psychology. I also wanted to do something that incorporated some creativity/design. Hence, when I stumbled across the Ergonomics course at Loughborough it sounded like a perfect fit! I also feel that being exposed to Japanese design made me aware of the need for human-centered design.
Where are you now?
I have recently joined the BBC as a UX Researcher. The User Experience (UX) team at the BBC work to make the websites and apps as easy to use as possible. With a background in Ergonomics, I run research to test how usable these designs are. I use a range of research methods such as lab based user testing, surveys, diary studies, in-depth interviews and more! All to understand user’s experience with our digital products.
How did you get there?
To get to this point, firstly I did a placement year as a Human Factors Consultant. This is quite different to the industry I am in now, but it was definitely a beneficial experience. I would always recommend doing one even if you aren’t sure what you want to do! During my placement, I did some HCI work and this gave me a steer that maybe the UX industry was more for me. Following graduation, I got an internship in the UX team at the Telegraph, which again was an invaluable experience. I learnt so much in a short space of time, which put me in good stead for securing a job.
Where are you going?
I’m not one to plan my career. I imagine I will stay in UX though as I think it is a great industry and it is growing, which means opportunities! I want to gain as much experience as I can; it would be great to eventually call myself an expert in such a niche area.
What if anything would you have done differently during your time at Loughborough University to help you prepare better for your career/life upon graduation?
I don't think I would have done much differently. I feel like I had a good work-life balance throughout university, which I think is important! The only thing I might have done is get involved in more extracurricular activities. You never realise how good those opportunities are before they are gone!
What advice would you give to a student studying your subject at university now?
Definitely do a placement year, keep an eye out for all the opportunities sent out via the design school, check your CV by the career service before you apply. In addition, I know they tell you this on the course but I still missed the mark, 'make sure you choose a diss study that you are REALLY interested in!'