SAE Industry Insight: UX Designer, Stephanie Bell

08 Nov 2019

Stephanie Bell is a UX Designer for The Hut Group, a British e-commerce company with headquarters in Manchester that operate over 100 international websites. They provide web hosting, cloud computing, consulting and bespoke eCommerce services and work with brands such as Illamasqua, lookfantastic and MyProtein. 

What does a UX Designer do? 

As a UX Designer, Stephanie is responsible for being the voice of the user, especially against stakeholders who may want to make changes which don’t always put the user first. She said: “No day is alike as there are constant problems to solve which range from the minutiae of debating a product title category to a full end to end design of a website, app or system."  

How did Stephanie become a UX Designer? 

Prior to landing her current role, Stephanie worked as a graphic designer for three years, and then a digital designer for two years. She was made redundant from her previous job at Social Chain, but due to studying for her UXDI diploma, she was interviewed by three different companies and had a job offer from The Hut Group within two weeks. She said: “Resilience, determination and investing in yourself should never be underestimated.” 

After recovering from this setback, if she could go back in time and give herself career advice, she would say: “Trust everything that happens to you, it may not seem like it at the time but it will be a valuable lesson to you. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable!” 

What’s next for Stephanie? 

Stephanie plans to immerse herself in the UX world, learning more about research, methodologies and best practice before assessing where she would like to go next. She said: “I believe in a multi-hyphened career and know how much I love the visual side of things. I've been offered a couple of lecturer positions, so maybe one day I may dabble in this field too, but the unknown keeps it exciting!”

How can you fast-track your career in the technology sector?

You are in a great position as the tech industry is booming at the moment. Stephanie said: “There are more job opportunities than ever, which is really exciting, however standing out may be a little trickier. I've been told that my personality has swung the vote when I've been previously whittled down to the final candidates stage, so don't underestimate being friendly, approachable and a strong communicator - those skills can really set you apart.” 

She recognises that it can be difficult when starting out, but perserverance is key: “It's tough but so are you. Stick in - we need your innovation, your ideas and your new perspectives on an evolving industry.” 

Put your communication skills to the test by networking at SAE Extra events, where you can chat to experienced professionals after an engaging industry-targeted talk or workshop.

Note: SAE Industry Insight is an interview feature where we talk to people working within the creative industries about their roles and how they got there, with the intention of providing SAE students with career advice. The people we interview are not necessarily affiliated with SAE in any way.

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