We are bringing forward the humans behind the Signol app - they're a bunch of incredibly talented and diverse people that we hope you'll be pleased to meet. In this eighth blog post, get to know Clare Twomey, our UX/UI Designer.
Hi Clare, let’s start with your background before Signol.
I grew up in Somerset, born and raised as a nerd with no talent for sports, but a big imagination. Surrounded by creative siblings, I developed a love of story-telling and an eye for design. After graduating with a degree in illustration, I spent the next 10 years of my career writing and designing magazines for children which involved everything from Mr Men poems to Barbie crafts. The work was brilliantly creative, but I had an itch to scratch about moving into digital design so I decided to look for a fresh challenge.
So, how did you get involved in Signol?
I took lots of time and consideration over my next career move. I was eager to apply selectively to positions that matched my skill set, but equally to find companies whose mission I could really get behind. Climate change is a cause close to my heart and whilst I make choices in my personal life to live sustainably, I was really excited by the prospect of helping to make big scale change through my work. I was absolutely thrilled to be offered a position at Signol and especially excited to be involved in the early stages of shaping how the product looks and functions.
What do you like most about working at Signol?
The people and the work culture! I was simultaneously excited and scared about the prospect of joining a start-up environment. I had visions of chaotic schedules, panicked management and snowballing deadlines, but that has not been my experience at all. From day one, it’s been so clear that I’m surrounded by a really grounded, supportive and hilarious team, each one an expert in their field. They have managed to cultivate a really close and well connected dynamic despite working largely remotely. We meet regularly in small teams, but also as a full company and there’s a great learning environment where we’re encouraged to share what we’re working on, present findings to colleagues and ask questions.
You work across UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) - do you enjoy balancing those disciplines?
I do! I’ve always enjoyed being creative and I’ve tried my hand at a lot of messy fine art practices where the success of the outcomes are pretty subjective. What I’ve really enjoyed is bringing some discipline and logic into my creative thinking and stepping into a much more objective mindset. Designing a product that feels intuitive for our users is a daily challenge and I’m learning every day about assumptions I need to check to ensure the product functions seamlessly and looks good.
What’s the most useful item in your creative toolkit?
A positive outlook! Designers have been known to be a sensitive bunch and I find that bringing a sense of humour to work helps distance my ego from my output. Designing products is a hugely collaborative process so knowing when to change tack - even when it means abandoning draft ideas - is important. Checking in regularly for feedback and accepting it with a positive attitude ensures the team stays efficient (and happy)!
How do you stay scientific without losing creativity?
I really enjoy working closely with our Behavioural Science lead, Divya. She’s brilliant at ensuring we test every design decision we make - from the style of the language, to the colours of the product. Even when we feel confident about following a trend or standard design practice, Jay (our VP of Product) will ensure the data supports making changes. This methodical, scientific approach to design thinking is new for me, but it definitely helps us to make confident improvements to the product as we facilitate user feedback and drill down into the science of design.
We’re also dealing with a lot of data, and the design challenge is to present those findings in easily interpretable formats. Designing infographics is a fun blend of science and creativity and you can find them utilised throughout the Signol product.
What’s next for you at Signol?
I’m really excited to see our customer base grow and to build out the features of the product. I’ll continue learning more about the users and the industries we’re working with to ensure I’m making informed design decisions.
And here's a little trivia with Clare:
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Signol is a software platform that draws on insights from behavioral economics to encourage employees to make more efficient decisions. Signol provides personalized feedback through multiple communication channels, as well as data analysis for managers. In aviation, Signol aims to use behavioral "nudges" and incentives to reduce pollution and fuel waste and cut operating costs.