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Unwavering Design Heroes | Entry 4

Blog - Career Options Series

Cetaris is a provider of fixed and fleet management software for large companies. While at the beginning of this presentation I didn’t quite understand what this all meant, by the end of it I definitely gained a greater appreciation for Michelle, Demi and Yu Shin’s work.

The Cetaris Team

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Michelle Farley is a Lead UX Designer, Yu Shin Wang is a Digital Designer and Demi Pinsonneault is a UX Designer .

I was very impressed by the team’s tenacious attitude. They really stick to their guns and speak up when they see opportunities for improvement. As a junior designer, this was really inspiring to hear because in general I think designers are undervalued, unless you work for a design forward company. The most valuable lesson I took from their presentation was that if you work for a company that isn’t as design savvy, if you really want to make a difference you have to gain people’s respect first. You have to build the value in design and slowly bit by bit demonstrate all the benefits, especially in regards to user testing.

A bit of background

Before 2015 Cetaris did not have any designers working in the company, so you can imagine the impact of having a team of designers has had on their brand.

Cetaris Fix

Cetaris Fix is a relatively newer development and is a mobile first web application. The challenge for this was developing a brand for content that doesn’t exist yet. But judging from the presentation slides, the team seems to be doing a fantastic job given what they do have to work with.

Process

Cyclical and non-linear. Those are the two words that resonate with me when it comes to design processes. The process at Cetaris is very similar to these models, in that they are too constantly going back and forth. The team invests a considerable amount of time in getting to know their users. Oftentimes they go to their clients workplace in order to observe their work environment, learn about their habits, workflows, likes and dislikes and build personas. This in turn allows the designers to create personalized, better, familiar user interfaces for their customers. The team referenced Steve Krug quite a bit and rightfully so. They also talked about Design Systems which is kind of like a living style/brand guideline that is continually changing.

At Cetaris the agile method a part of the development process. Solving problems for EUX (enterprise user experiences) is a very rigid, but the client/user should expect nicely designed and reliable user interfaces. People are more aware now that it’s not their fault if they have so many issues with older, more information dense user interfaces (which were more likely built by developers).

Programs such as Sketch, Invision (prototyping tool) and Zeplin (allows designer to click and grab CSS very quickly) are heavily used.

Challenges

Michelle gave an excellent example of what it is like to design. She described the evolution of a button, how it goes from this simple rectangle that changes color when you rollover, or that looks like it is being pushed when clicked or tapped.

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Words of Wisdom

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Thank you Yu Shin, Demi and Michelle for coming in to spread your knowledge. Their presentation was refreshing, highly informative and their stories were extremely valuable. There’s a difference between procrastination and a well needed break which is very true, because if you don’t take care of yourself then you cannot perform optimally. Embracing change in our lives and careers is also okay. While we might come from different disciplines, we all possess valuable skills. One thing that stuck with me the most was when they said,

“You don’t need to know everything, but have the hunger to grow.”

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tyana awada