Kathryn joined Natural Interaction recently as our Head of User Research. David, our inquisitor extraordinaire, sat down to ask her 13 questions. (Or wrote 13 questions on a Google Doc and shared it with her)
This is what happened next.
David Crossman: So to honour the tradition of starting at the beginning, what gets you out of bed in the morning?
Kathryn Davies: My daughter. Followed by tea (me) and milk (her).
DC: How long have you worked in UX?
KD: 10 years. I started out as a junior UX consultant in London.
DC: What is your favourite thing about your job?
KD: Definitely stakeholder interviews and exploratory research. I love learning about different companies, processes, technologies and industries, and seeing what goes on under the bonnet - all of the texture that underpins UX design.
DC: How would you describe your job to a child?
KD: I used to tell people that I ‘coloured in the internet’, but I that isn’t really true any more. I guess, much like a child, it’s actually asking ‘Why’ repeatedly and not taking no for an answer.
DC: Strangest work-related experience? (present or previous role)
KD: There was one time fairly early on in my career when I had to pretend I wanted to be a cab driver, in order to get a covert peek at the application forms. I was dispatched to the carriage office, effectively a meeting house for drivers. I knew it wasn’t my world, and such was the cabbies disbelief that a nervous stuttering kid in their early 20s had any hope of being a cabbie, I very nearly left empty handed.
DC: Who has been your favourite client to work with?
KD: Obviously, they have all been wonderful, apart from the ones who haven’t. Honestly though, I don’t think I’ve had a bad one. Bad moments, yes, but not bad clients. If I had to pick one, Fuller's simply for the scope of their vision.
DC: What has been your favourite project to work on?
KD: My government services projects were great. The level of detail, in research and planning made them very enjoyable to me. I love getting lost in the small matters - it's those aspects which can make or break a project.
DC: What’s your biggest achievement to date, personal or professional?
KD: I'm not very good at achievements - I'm always looking around for the next thing. Having said that, I’m in a job with a good work/life balance in a career that suits my skills and interests. I consider than an achievement in itself really.
DC: What’s the most recent app you downloaded on your phone?
KD: Duolingo, although not for the first time. I have a vague idea that I should learn welsh, if only so my children aren’t taught a language I can’t understand.
DC: And which app do you use the most?
KD: Aside from chrome, probably gmail. Not very exciting.
DC: What technological breakthrough would you like to see within the next few years?
KD: Let’s just focus on getting wifi working properly on trains before we start worrying about anything else.
DC: Favourite blog?
KD: I only really read one blog, The Spike. It gives me ideas about how to dress myself and feed my family and other things I really should have got the hang of by now.
DC: And finally, if I gave you £10,000 right now what would you spend it on?
KD: Why are you giving me £10,000?
David recently joined our team after spending 10 years in operations roles with a variety of blue chip companies. He's already successfully participated in user research and prototyping projects for Solverboard and The Picture House.