How I got UX ownership at an enterprise software company

In my previous role as a Visual Designer I struggle to sell my design proposal to colleagues and POs until I took a UX specialisation course at GA and turn out to be very successfully at Mendix

First things first. What’s a full stack designer?

It’s a person who can understand a business problem, propose a design solution and shape it to reality. Is a designer that gets involved in every stage of a product design: UX research, UI design, HTML/CSS.

Get to know me

I study design in Lisbon where I cover all set base topics of design but mostly graphic design. After uni I felt comfortable to pitch for marketing campaigns, that’s what everyone else was doing. Instead I decided to moved to London. Here I had the opportunity to get to know lots of people at meetups and I remember getting all that buzz about designing for digital products. My first work experience was designing screens for a mobile app, Mobiloud.

Over the last years, I worked as a Digital Designer mainly crafting beautiful interfaces for web and mobile apps across a variety of brands, projects, and companies. If you want to see my career, check LinkedIn.

How I turn around to become a full stack designer?

Mendix knew I have a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS when I joined, but they make it clear that they were looking for a designer and not a frontend developer. That was good for me, as I always been interested in technology and it looked like Mendix make it easier for me to over come my fears of coding. Mendix can generate all the html for me so I only need it to rewrite the css and apply an extra layer on top of the white label version.
They provided me training on more CSS and SASS.

I always been interested on technology and it looked like Mendix make it easier for me

How is it like to work at Mendix as a UX consultant?

Travel and Clients
I will travel to the client facilities and that could be anywhere in UK. Sometimes in Europe also, specially Germany. We have clients in London, Canary Warf, Maidenhead, Southampton, Dublin and so on. So The diversity of projects and clients it’s big and I never get bored.

Process and team
As a UX consultant I will be involved in the beginning of every project that starts. I will go on-site with a business consultant, that will be leading the project. The first few days we will meet the development team of the project as well as the product owner. That said, yes! we work in an agile framework.

After, writing some user stories on our backlog, I will use the 1st day to break the ice with some white board session where I will help define proto-personas, who most likely will be using the app. Nonetheless, also important to define some business goals for the project and understand what is the product owner vision to design a solution that can be deliver. It’s also good to start defining some user flows between screens and designing a low fidelity wireframes on the white board as the discussion is happening. After proposing some high fidelity wireframes following the brand guidelines of the company I will get less involved in the project. I am responsible to deliver a good picture of what will be the outcome of initial sprints. The following weeks I will come back to the project for 2 or 3 days. I will implement the style of the app on what the rest of the team has already developed.

The tools and design methodologies
I use the tools I want, and it’s free to any designer to pick their own. We believe that if you use the tools that you are most comfortable with you will be more productive. I personally use Sketch from the wireframes to the High fidelity mockups, but I know designers at Mendix that use a specific tool for a specific deliverable, as InvisionIllustrator, adobe XD. In terms of design approach, I am the queen of my kingdom, that means I need to know the project that I am assigned to and what my team is struggling with… so I can decide what to do that will benefit my team. Maybe, do a workshop session: stakeholders interviews, ideation session or come up with a quick mock up to represent a layout of a page…

What is the project that you are most proud of?

I enjoy every project that I did at Mendix, we have so many amazing clients that always keep me motivated. But one that I really enjoyed was the Face quote app. Zurich wanted to have a face recognition app that could quote a live insurance based on your photo. That was big time, cutting edge technology! using my designs all done in less than 8 days : )

What is the work environment at London office?

We are a very young and driven people. We will treat you as family and you will join an office with a terrace where you can overview Tower bridge and the Shard building. We have free lunch on Mondays and a sweet treat on Thursdays. To know the latest treats of the office you shall follow Rachael, on her Linkedin profile, she will keep you posted on the food and events from the London office. Mendix also arranges other big events over the year: Kick-off in Rotterdam office, Ski trip and summer and Christmas parties.