Today’s edition of Pro Interviews features Nina Patkai. Nina is a talented designer with a passion for creating great UX.
Pagezii – Nina, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Nina – As an engineer by trade, I’ve always had the passion to create great user experiences. I’ve a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, did a year of PhD studies at Cambridge University, and last year completed an MA in media studies.
Through my career, I’ve had a chance to contribute to software solutions in the manufacturing industry, and research institutes in Finland and abroad. Recently, I’ve worked on my own startup – StayInTech.com.
Pagezii – How did you get into UX Design?
Nina – When working as an “Applications Specialist” at a large manufacturing company, one thing that stood out was the poor usability of their in-house applications. These apps were difficult to use and especially challenging for new employees to learn.
Poor UX reduced productivity – better tools were needed to get the job done efficiently. Seeing the real need and benefit for it, sparked my interest.
Pagezii – How has UX design evolved through the years?
Nina – When I started designing in-house applications, it was really easy to do user testing, since the users worked in the same building. Back then, the terminology wasn’t so established as it’s now. I followed a “contextual design method”, which included gathering requirements, mapping user flows, shadowing users’ work, interviewing users, prototyping, and user testing.
Now at my startup, there’s a lot more remote user testing, since majority of our users are located in the US. Fortunately, there are great tools available to conduct testing remotely.
Pagezii – Speaking of which, what’s in your UX toolbox?
Pagezii – What are the design trends to look out for in 2017?
Wearable Tech, IoT & VR
Nina – It’s fascinating to think about the different possibilities for UX designers in the fields of wearable technology, internet of things (IOT), and virtual reality.
Another big trend I see is personalization. How to customize the user experiences for each user’s preferences by looking at their past behaviours, and geolocation.
Pagezii – And finally, can you tell us about your startup?
Nina – StayInTech is a career website primarily for women in technology. We’ve partnered with great companies such as Airbnb, Dropbox, Automattic and others to show their dedication to diversity and inclusion.
Our website is a great way for techies to get hired at a company that has these values. Over 40% of women leave their jobs in tech mid-career. We want to reduce that number and help companies increase diversity of their workforce.
Pagezii – Thank you Nina for sharing your experiences. Your startup addresses an important gap in the market, we wish you success in growing the site.