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June 19, 2019

Role Model Series: UX Designer

Agata Piekut by Agata

Interview with Małgorzata Piernik, Senior UX Designer at Accenture

You’ve been working in UX design for corporate software for 4 years. Could you please tell us something more about the specifics of this job?

My first corporate UX project was a total “boom”, because from startup reality I had to adjust to redesigning a eCommerce for airlines, which obviously felt great, but was challenging to the extend I could not even imagine before. What I really love about designing large scale projects is the impact that you can have on people’s everyday lives.

What I design are the services hardly anybody can escape from in modern society such as professional B2B apps that people use 8 hours a day at work or the utility projects that enable people to manage their everyday activities (such as shopping, banking, telecommunication services). I am particularly happy about having the chance to design professional software. It happens to many companies that they strongly prioritize the design for the end customers over the design of their internal designing services. Providing professionals with intuitive and well-designed software is a part of my job that I truly enjoy due to its positive impact on the employers working experiences on the personal level and on the level of the organization.

However, what comes with the scale is the complexity of any kind – teams, technologies, business processes, requirements and such, which requires different approach and can be quite challenging, ad must admit!

What are the types of projects that you most often work on?

In Accenture Digital I am often engaged in international large scale projects ranging from IoT and eCommerce to telco and fintech apps or the facilitation of design thinking processes.

What’s worth remembering when you enter this mode of work?

To be comfortable with the ambiguity and the unknown.

Usually, when one starts learning UX, she works on small projects. Could you please share your tips on how to scale UX design?

Get a job in the biggest IT company that accepts your application! You can read how giants do it (InVision publishes amazing free materials on that actually), but design is not a thing you can learn just intellectually – you have to learn through experience.

How did you start your career?

I studied design and I was supposed to become a furniture or industrial designer. However, on the very beginning that plan was just smashed with my first encounter with an electric chainsaw, which was absolutely frightening! I decided that software design is the only thing at college that does not require using dangerous tools in the production mode, so I basically picked this profession not because of great passion, but total fear of getting my fingers cut in carpentry workshop! And then hopefully it turned out that I was actually pretty talented in that field – my professional journey accelerated to a super speed and at 21 I was already employed full time as a UX designer, designing an eCommerce for airlines at 23 and talking to C-level executives before I turned 25.

What would you advise to a person who’d like to work in UX for large-scale software?

Accept that you will have to learn completely different ways of delivering design. Do not get irritated nor give up when you hear that something is impossible. Leave your ego in a storage and throw away the key. Become a fan of talking to people. And get your Sketch files clean eventually!

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