My background

I’m a multi-disciplined product designer with over 10 years of experience across industries from hospitality, e-commerce and retail.

I started out my career in design as a graphic designer for a newspaper in western North Carolina. After working part time there and also working at a bank as a teller, I quit my job(s) and moved to the UK when I was 23 (fell in love with an English guy, who became my boyfriend, and now my husband).
Fresh off the plane from my small town in NC in 2012, I hit the streets knocking on doors for part time work in Tunbridge Wells while applying for design jobs. After scaring a number of reserved British people with my American enthusiasm, I landed a job after 3 weeks as a digital designer.
The rest is sort of history - I’ve always been into tech, coding, design and gadgets. I love thinking ‘what if…’ and reading about new ideas being tested and then brought to life, like self-driving cars, augmented reality used in medicine, etc. I consider myself lucky to work in a field where I can constantly be pushed to learn new things, and to think of how to solve problems from different perspectives.
When I’m not busy being a design nerd, I love being outdoors whether it’s gardening, hiking or travelling. I also love motorsports and enjoy racing go-karts, drag racing (in the US) - or just hanging out with my partner and our two kitties.

How I work

Research + Documentation

I approach every project with an open and very inquisitive mind. I want to know how a product impacts every party involved, when and why - and what are the pain points? Research methodologies like usability testing, user interviews, journey mapping, ethnography studies are all practises that I adore and will testify how much stronger it makes a product team to fully understand the big picture.
Prototyping + Testing

When I have my UX/UI hat on - I like to work very quickly when it comes to brainstorming ideas en masse. I also like bringing other designers relevant to the work to bounce off ideas from, because 2 (or 3 or 4) heads are better than one. After I’ve come up with a few ideas, I’ll jump into prototype mode and use tools like Figma or Invision to set it up, then get it going with UserZoom for either remote unmoderated or moderated user testing. In the old pre-pandemic days, regular usability testing in person was something that I enjoyed doing iteratively (plus it’s so much faster than remote testing to get feedback).
Managing a team based on trust

When I built my team, I really wanted them to feel that they are the owner of impactful work in the team - I do not believe in micromanagement, and I’ve made a habit of hiring people that are way more talented and smarter than me to get the job done even better. I also want them to know that I trust them - so while I do provide feedback to my team and definitely make a point that I expect high quality work, I want them to make their own decisions, push their own boundaries, and provide their own spin on how we can improve the product.
Transparency with Stakeholders

Being transparent with the relevant stakeholders as to how the ideation and testing are going are super important to me - I want all hands on deck when it comes to product improvement.
How I Work

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© Created in 2021 by Valerie Paur