Scott Burns

Product Designer

A senior UX / UI / Product designer talks about home working, his design process, and avoiding burn-out with a nerdy pastime.

I'd worked with Scott at Clydesdale Bank around 2017. I thought of him as being on the UI and visual design side of UX but in this interview he talks about the research side as well.

How are you finding the transition to working from home?

I'm used to working from home. I like it! I've got a room set up in my flat.

Persuade us to hire someone like you. Go!

I'm best at coming in, reviewing the situation, and helping turn a project around.

What's your usual job title?

I try to keep it simple, but for recruiters I use Senior UX designer. That's based on LinkedIn keywords and 'Recruiter Bingo'! UI is not that well known: I do prominently UI but it always involves UX. For people outside people like us, the granular job titles don't mean anything. At Lloyds I was the Senior Visual Designer but I did User Testing. It's rare to have a role as specialist as the job title sounds.

I solve problems - that’s usually how I see myself.

Talk us through your workflow / process ...

Depending on the contract, if there is a User Researcher then I work with them and do the design from their insights.

I don’t do wireframes anymore because they have design systems and Sketch kits. Quite often we skip the wireframes step now. For the Parliament [his current role] I amde a Sketch kit for after I'm gone. For a Fintech mortgages start-up I work with we've got a bunch of bits built out of stuff we've done before.

What's the best piece of advice for someone entering your field?

I do student monitoring and I tell them to take whatever they find. It's hard to get in when you start. but get the first one and that will give you better chances. Don’t be too picky. Any design job is better than no design job.

What inspires you?

Banks are not really exciting but making things easier to use is still good for people,I look at instagram, artist and illustrations - no UX or design! I want to be creative and look at different things. You need that, so you're not to get stuck always doing the same stuff. I'm not inspired by reading UX blogs, they are interesting but not inspiring. [He also described his hobby of painting lead figures - see the photo above.]

Best of experience from working in the field?

A company I was working for wanted to do a mortgage calculator. They were taking inspiration from everywhere, because they didn’t trust their product. They would take something and say: "Wow that's cool". So I helped them improve their process and trust their product more. I gave them a process with User Testing. Starting a Slack channel also changed their behaviour.

Biggest mistake you've made?

My background is in printing and it was hard to fix any mistakes, like spelling mistakes. I love digital because mistakes can be fixed - mistakes can happen!

How might your working practice might change in the future?

Remote working - I personally like it. It makes companies realise we can work from home. It opens up the possibilities. For a Canadian company I work with they're fully remote, using slack and making a couple of Zoom calls a week.

It can get cabin-feverish. Communication is the main thing. You need office banter, the face to face part!