Each month we introduce you to one of our Mentors and ask them a few questions about their career and thoughts on UX.
This month we talked to Chris Belmore…
I’ve been designing digital products for over ten years, specialising for the last six years in entertainment products for the broadcast and sports industries. During this time I’ve designed products for clients like Formula 1, Arsenal, the Olympics, BBC, and Sky.
I now head up the UX and UI design teams at Ostmodern, and focus on setting them up for success and then getting out of their way. I don’t believe there is a set way to ‘do UX’, and try to help my teams forge their own path and develop their own processes, providing advice on different ways to solve problems, rather than solving the problems for them.
How did you start your career in UX?
My first job was working in account management for a digital marketing agency. I realised that I loved working on the projects where we had to design and build apps and websites, moreso than managing events and email campaigns. In particular I loved how the UXers would dig into the problems, and design something that made things easier for users. Eventually I asked my boss and the Head of UX if I could move into the UX team, and a month later I did.
What is a typical day for you?
I spend time catching up with all of my team, project by project. We talk about how their projects are going, and I try to offer advice on the way they’re approaching specific tasks. I don’t attend project standups, sprint planning, retros, or any client meetings, because I’m not directly working on the projects, and I want my team to have full ownership and accountability. Other than that, I have meetings with the other department heads, and I’m involved with a range of new business activities.
What do you recommend to someone who wants to start a career in UX?
When designing any solution, try things you know will fail. Fleshing out ideas that are destined to fail can teach you as much as following through on concepts you think will work.
What is the best advice you have received in your career?
Show people your working, and tell them about your biases, hangups and uncertainties concerning your work. They’ll trust you a lot more for it.
What is the future of UX for you?
I would like to see more companies move away from shipping as ‘the final step’. Shipping a feature to the live product is just putting it into the wild, where you can truly test whether it is successful. It’s the middle of the journey, not the end.