Helen R.

Senior Content Designer and UX Lead
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Helen R.
Language and Linguistic Science
English Language and Linguistic Science
United Kingdom

My employment

Senior Content Designer and UX Lead
United Kingdom
Digital and IT services
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Senior Content Designer and UX Lead in the United Kingdom

The job I ended up in didn’t really even exist as a thing when I was at Uni. So don’t worry if you don’t have a career in mind.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

Asda is one of the UK’s top 4 grocers and best loved brands

What do you do?

A content designer is a type of User Experience (UX) designer. We apply user centre design principles to the structuring and writing of content for a service.

It’s a hybrid role: part information architect, part content strategist, part UX writer.

A content designer works as part of a cross disciplinary team of designers, researchers, business specialists, developers and others.

Working from evidence we build intuitive, usable digital services.

A UX Lead manages and mentors other UX colleagues. They set design direction. They help influence and persuade stakeholders. They help establish the best ways of working and contribute to strategy.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

My degree turned out to be useful, but overall I was in the right place at the right time…simple as that.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated!

Describe your most memorable day at work

Getting flown out business class to spend a week in San Francisco while Asda was still part of Walmart - twice!

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Persuading business experts that they don’t know what their users want!

We can make all sorts of poor assumptions because we have different concerns to our users and because we know the business too well.

It’s important to always work from evidence and research with real users.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

Fantastic - really friendly and open. I’m able to be open about my ADHD, for example.

We work flexibly and remotely. I work 4 days a week part time too, so I can also teach yoga and dance alongside my main job.

There’s no dress code - I’d find it odd to work somewhere that was very formal.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I was in York Student Television. It was a huge part of my university life and left me with great transferable skills in presenting, leading and persuading.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I don’t bother with traditional concepts of a career, or working my way up the ladder.

If I stay where I am I’d aim to move into a higher level design lead role as the team continues to grow.

If anything I might switch to contract work, which I’m constantly offered. It’s well paid so I’d just pay off my mortgage!

I am lucky to be in a well paid line of work so it’s more about doing interesting projects and being in a friendly team

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

The job I ended up in didn’t really even exist as a thing when I was at Uni. So don’t worry if you don’t have a career in mind.

Sometimes the only thing you need is to be the only person in the room who knew how to do something. That’s how a lot of folks ended up in social media or digital roles!

And who cares about a traditional career? Now so many office jobs are flexible think about the life you want not the job you want.

And consider a hybrid career like mine, where I teach dance and yoga as well as work in an office. I have done more on dance and yoga at times and more in the office at times. So the ratio doesn’t need to stay the same either

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

ADHD, UX, hybrid/flexi careers. Most things, really.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I got a degree and then a fantastic well paid job without knowing I had ADHD. If you are neurodivergent, don’t forget that in the right role you can really shine. Many companies now actively seek those with differently wired brains/different perspectives.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Helen’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Helen a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Helen to be your mentor.

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