26 December 2017

Focus of the month – Mélanie

1) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
Hello! I have just passed the thirty-year mark and I’m UX designer within SERIAL since 2 years now. I’m in charge of all the projects for which we would like to inject User Experience.
More specifically, I help our users with the designing of the product in order to create an experience of optimal use (if you don’t understand, I can explain it with a bottle of ketchup as an example).

2) Outside of work, what your interests and hobbies are?
Mainly, the Zumba to let off steam and relieve stress, and sophrology for the “zen side”.
I also like to discover the region. I come from Lorraine where everything is flat, so I begin to initiate myself to the hiking in the mountains.
And UX is also one of my favourite hobbies and I like to find out the latest innovations and methods. I’m a big fan of TED Conferences.

3) What was your background before joining us?
I come from the region of Bretzel and gingerbread where I got my PhD in Psychology Ergonomics.
In parallel with my thesis, I also worked as a freelancer “to go into the field” and expose myself to new challenges. For a long time I have also collaborated with the Luxembourg Government.
Last but not least, I loved teaching psychology and ergonomics at the university as well.

4) How did you come up with the idea of joining an IT consulting company? 
The end of my contract at my university has been a turning point.
I was doing research since 8 years and I liked it. But I felt the need to leave the university world (normal after 8 years, no? J ). I wanted to find a job in which the notion of innovation would be central, and where it would be possible to put in place new methodologies, to consider digital solutions, while continuing to train myself to innovation.
I was looking for a dynamic environment that would permit me to evolve, and where the UX would be considered not as a « possibility » but as a real added value, with the objective of having a team dedicated to UX.
SERIAL has therefore emerged as a logical and obvious choice.

5) How have you been welcomed within SERIAL?
The welcome has been great thanks to the kindness help and attentions of my colleagues and management (my mirabelle plum candies of Lorraine have no doubt helped me to make a good impression!).
I think I very much cached people’s curiosity because I was asked a lot how a research in ergonomic psychology could have allowed me to join SERIAL!

6) How did you manage to quickly make yourself indispensable to our customers?
I don’t know if I can really claim to be indispensable for them :-).
But to put it simply, I think businesses have fully grasped the stakes of a successful user experience. On my side, when I talk about UX with our customers, I try to share with them my passion and my 200% belief that they will have a ROI thanks to my work.
Maybe psychology also helps me to say the right arguments at the right time 🙂 !

7) How do you see the evolution of your profession?
I firstly hope that the UX will last (but I have no doubt about it!).
Until today, we talked a lot about UX for consumer websites. But the B2E (Business to employee) also requires that we take a closer look at it and I think it will be a big challenge in the upcoming years.
I dream of a world where we would find at least one UX Consultant by IT team. We are on the right path!

8) Tell us the truth. It’s not too difficult to be a woman in a predominantly geeky male environment?
Honestly, not at all! I never felt that my male colleagues behaved differently in my presence (unlike previous experiences in nuclear where it was not so simple …).
I appreciate being able to discuss with them other things than our current projects, and I take great pleasure in sharing with them our travels, our hobbies or our good dishes from our native regions!

9) What have you learned since you joined SERIAL?
I think I have become more mature on my approach and how to apprehend projects.
Two years ago, I had a little jitters every time I had to meet new clients. Today, I gained confidence which allows me to transform my stress into insurance.
Moreover, I came from a research environment. With SERIAL, I discovered that the different problematics met on the field were different.
Challenging and questioning myself is really one of the skills I try to develop on a daily basis.

10) Your colleagues have not yet introduced you to the code?
They try but I can’t hardly convert 🙂 .
However, I learn every day new terms related to IT when I discuss with my colleagues and I’m always proud when I manage to place one word or two!
I appreciate in SERIAL the availability of my colleagues who provide me with all the information I need when I have questions about any technical or other concept.
Sharing knowledge allows us to progress naturally.

11) Last but not least, what would you say to those who would like to join us?
If you like challenges and you are proactive, if you think that a company that does IT and includes UX in addition is super cool, do not hesitate, join us!

The HR opinion:

Nicolas Revol SERIAL

Mélanie is an expert consultant in ergonomic and User eXperience who plays a key role in upstream and at the beginning of a project. Curious and skilful, she is passionate about her job and she is constantly looking for excellence.
This passion permitted her to be actively involved within the User Experience Professional’s Association (UxPA). She has also contributed to the writing of numerous articles in specialised journals.
Melanie has also a great ability to listen and to communicate. She is therefore able to interact with different interlocutors, whether they are coming from business or from technical field.

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