Learning for Life

For a recent client project, my team and I conducted numerous User Interviews in which we were looking to get an insight into peoples lives (and how technology impacts their lives).

The interviews were particularly interesting because on one level we were asking pertinent questions about people’s daily journeys and routines; while also understanding their motivations, their frustrations and how their behaviours often waivered from what stated previously. We also learned which areas of their lives they wanted to better and how they were going about making those changes.

The results were, and the experience was, so unbelievably interesting. I feel so lucky to have personally gone through that process, and to benefit from the insights shared. There are a number of insights that surprised me:

  • The fact that some people feel actually like they are on top of their health/exercise goals (I always thought this was an ever aspirational goal).
  • How aware people are of their personality traits, and aware of what will or could not work for them.
  • The number of people who use a Bible app and have daily reading goals (Really wasn’t expecting to hear that)
  • That almost all of our interviewees either had or currently do use budgeting app Mint (which I had never even heard of before this process – I later found out that it is not available on the Irish App Store)

But, the one thing that I couldn’t stop reflecting on was how everybody sees themselves one, two or three steps ahead of where they are currently at. Like me, many have diagnosed their fitness as something they want to improve upon, but even after consistently resetting their goals and developing numerous plans – they continue to look toward the day when they will become what they imagine. Similarly with their professional lives, everyone was on a path (although, thankfully, in this area most were happy with their progress). It was refreshing to see other people’s thought processes and resolve. Inspiring even.

Since this study, I have gone out and bought a Jawbone UP, downloaded a series of apps and have acted upon the monthly contributions I so generously make to my local gym. By speaking with people throughout a week about how they are looking to better their lives – it has inspired me to better mine.

I’m currently finishing up my current role in Chicago and looking for UX opportunities back home where I can grow. This particular research phase has given me the impetuous to stop waiting around for opportunities to present themselves but rather reach out, and make my personal vision become reality. I’ve spent the past week hustling, connecting and networking to throw myself right into the heart of the community I want to join.

Thus far, the results have been amazing – two days in and I’ve already had a phone interview for one company, and an interview with another. I have set up meetings with 3 people and hope to learn from them about how I can  further reach out to those who could be my next future employers. In my case there are near on zero advertised jobs, in a field that I not only want to work for a good company – but also in a position where I benefit from the experience of a UX mentor/superior.

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