Gemma Helyer

Senior UX/UI Designer

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What would you do, if you weren't working as a designer?
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I would have loved to have been a surgeon or a vet.
What design tool do you currently use?
What's your favorite band or artist to listen to while designing?
I listen to one playlist on Spotify. 2000s Pop Punk
Your favorite font? :-)
Museo Sans Rounded
Favorite book or movie (non-design related)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
What's your favorite color in hex or RGBa? (gradients are allowed too)
What was your first real/paid design project and when did you make it?
Landed my first design job at an agency as a web designer I can't remember a specific project but I got to work on loads of various projects.
If you could write something on the loading screen of all design tools, so all designers can see it, what would it be?
Just breathe, today is going to be a good day.
Did you study design, or are you self taught? And how did that path influence your work style?
I hold a traditional graphic design degree, I was not introduced to UX until 2 years into my career. From there on I pick up the trade by watching those around me and taking it upon myself to gain better knowledge and understanding of the UX process. I think every designer works out their own work style, what works for me wouldn't necessarily work for you.
The biggest innovation in product design right now is...
Augmented Reality - Seems to be a rise of filters and so on.
With all the current experience, what would you tell yourself when you were just starting out?
Try not to overwork yourself, it's very easy to fall into. "I just want to say yes to everyone and please everyone". You're human and you can't do everything. Learn to say no, and be ok with saying no.
What do you think is the biggest problem in the design industry right now and how can it be fixed?
There are a lot of designers out there right now "gatekeeping" design, not even willing to share what font they used for example. Not willing to help someone asking for advice. This isn't how the design community works, no one owns design. We all learn design from our peers, it should be a collaborative experience and have the ability to learn from one another and pass knowledge to upcoming designers.
Conversation resumed: Jul 1
What do you think about Google starting their own UX Course? Do certificates like this look convincing if you ever planned to hire a junior designer?
I have wanted to take the course myself until I've done that I can't comment on how good the course is for upcoming designers. Personally, I don't take education into account. I've worked with various designers who do not hold a traditional design degree. I base everything on my portfolio and knowledge. If you can tell me how you solved a problem for a user or business and made a difference and can measure the success. Then I would offer you a job.
What’s your favorite non-design activity?
Running, bike ridering anything active.
How can people learn design better? What should they focus on the most?
Focus on your weaknesses, are you not good at UX copy for example. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone.