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Design & UX

Rebecca Tarozzi, User Experience Designer at 9Spokes

Growing up in Italy, Rebecca fostered a strong appreciation for art, architecture and history. She shares how this appreciation led to a passion for design and the ability to create products that people love. Thanks for sharing Rebecca. 

Firstly, how would you explain to a five year old what it is you do?

I have the best job ever, I play with colours, letters, pictures and drawings everyday, and I get paid for it!

“I have the best job ever, I play with colours, letters, pictures and drawings everyday, and I get paid for it!”

And for the adults, what does that translate to in regards to your day-to-day?

User Experience Design is about problem solving, making sure products are easy to use and easy to understand.

What are some of the common misconceptions about working in User Experience Design?

Well, there are a lot of misconceptions about Design, one that always surprises me is that design is about making a product pretty. I agree that composition, colours, typography photography play an important role on the overall impact of the product but I believe that ultimately, design is about people and how they interact with the product in front of them.

Design is human-centred, as a UX designer I truly need to understand the people who experience a problem before finding a solution. Empathy plays a crucial part in the design process, you always need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes, ask questions, get out from behind your desk, experience things, stay inspired. I believe it is the best way to create solutions and products that resonate more deeply with your customers and audience. 

Was working in tech something you dreamed about doing when you were younger, if not what was?

Not really, growing up in Italy really opened my eyes on the world surrounding me. I’ve been extremely lucky, as a kid I got to travel across Europe and Italy and I was always surrounded by stunning architecture, incredible art and history and because of that my dream as a 10 years old kid was to become a restorer.

It was only during Art school that I came across design and thought, wow this has to become my job, I can express my creativity and bring all my experiences together to create products that people will love to use.

“..I came across design and thought, wow this has to become my job, I can express my creativity and bring all my experiences together..”

Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and ultimately about how you ended up working at 9Spokes?

Where do I start? I jumped between quite a few roles and companies in my career. 

My first proper role as a designer was for Sky News in London, I was part of a pretty big design studio and we were responsible for all the graphics for the live news and documentaries for the channel Sky News. Looking back working for Sky News has been an awesome experience, it really formed me as a designer and as a person.

Following my experience at Sky I decided to start working as a freelancer to expand my knowledge across different design disciplines.

My NZ experience it’s quite varied as well, at first I worked as a senior creative and then Art Director for a crypto startup and then I joined a well-established SAAS company. 

During lockdown I started looking for a new job opportunity and I was very lucky as I started working at 9Spokes just after lockdown was lifted.

Can you share some more insight into what that transition was like?

I changed quite a few roles and companies in the last 6 years and I guess I have been really lucky because the transition from big corporates to tech startups felt very natural and easy. Now that I actually think about it most of the CVs I sent in the last 3 years went to startups! 

What is it specifically that you like about working 9Spokes relative to your past jobs? 

I’ve been working for 9Spokes for just over a month but I feel like my expertises and opinions are valued. I also get to work on a product that has the potential to really help our customers and their business succeed.

Do you have any advice for people considering tech as a career path and how they might get there quicker? 

Never stop trying! Get your CV out there, look up companies you’d like to work for and send them an expression of interest, create a network of people around you that can help you find your first tech role.

Lastly, 9Spokes continues to evolve.  What kind of candidates do you think 9Spokes is looking for in terms of experience, attitude and character?

Experience is always important but the attitude is what makes the difference. Always bring your best self to work, be eager to learn and experience new things everyday.

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