Tell us a bit about yourself and what you get up to in your spare time
I’m from Belfast and growing up I spent most of my time playing sport including hockey, golf and football. I played hockey competitively at university and golf competitively back home. I’ve recently joined Concirrus’ 5 a side team and I'm part of our lunch time running club! Besides sport, I love socialising with my friends and doing a bit of photography. I’ve always liked taking photos and started out using my iPhone until one of my university projects required me to make a video. I borrowed my dad’s old camera for the project and loved it so much I kept it up. What I shoot differs. I really enjoyed travelling after my placement year at university around America, from Chicago to San Francisco, taking photos of the amazing scenery. I’ve even taken shots for the team at Concirrus!
Santa Monica, Los Angeles
Yosemite, National Park
How did you get into Design?
When I was at school, I remember filling out an online test to see what my ‘perfect career’ would be based on the subjects I liked. I chose Design and Technology, Art and Maths. It came back saying ‘Product Designer’ which suited me down to a T. At the time Loughborough University was number one for Product Design, as well as an incredible sports uni. The course was better than I imagined and included a placement year in Henley where I worked as a CGI artist for a consultancy specialising in automotive and interior visualisation. It was a real highlight and gave me the itch to get out into the working world.
Tell us how you came across Concirrus
Last summer I made the big decision to move from Belfast to London after finishing my degree. I soon found myself with an interview at Concirrus! I left the interview and knew it was where I wanted to be. It was the product, the team and the responsibility of the role that drew me in. I didn’t realise how well suited to the culture I was until I joined, we worked hard and come Friday were all in the pub having a laugh. It was great to get to know everyone from the off, each team is at the top of their game in what they do. I can sit with the Data Science team and be blown away with what they achieve. It’s testament to the fact that we’ve grown so much as a company, and that people want to work here.
Describe your role
As a Junior Product Designer my day consists of creating and optimising the user interface and workflow of the Quest Marine Hull product alongside my colleagues. I will often be dealing with client requests, making sure their feedback is implemented. We’re constantly trying to improve the accessibility and experience of the product so that it’s both engaging and simple to use. A lot of tasks involve cross-collaboration with other teams. For example, the Data Science team will say we’ve got several datasets ready and it’s my job to figure out the best way to display it on our platform for customers.
Within Design you have two aspects. User interface (UI) which is the visual side of things e.g. how it looks. Then you have user experience (UX), which is how you feel when you use the product. It’s what is shown to you not in terms of graphics, but in terms of the information presented. For example, the function of a feature and the result of its interaction, such as a button. I love UX design as you’ve got to get your head around the actual user experience of the product first. I thoroughly enjoy being able to sit down with different teams, whether it’s Product, Operations or another designer. Working through a collaborative process where individuals from completely different backgrounds with a completely different set of skills align to create something new often leads to innovative ways to solve a problem.
What has been the biggest challenge since starting at Concirrus?
For me the biggest challenge was entering a completely new industry without a background in insurance. It’s been difficult, but rewarding, and I’ve learnt so much. Being able to speak to people within my team who are from the insurance industry, such as Sam Mellett was really helpful. Sam joined at a similar time, so it has been useful to gage his insights as an ex-underwriter. There’s a wealth of knowledge in the product team, so I was brought up to speed in a very short amount of time. I supplement such insight with research in my spare time as well. I think that Concirrus is a warm and welcoming company which takes the edge out of becoming part of such an established industry.
What inspires you when it comes to design?
I always wanted to get into UX and UI design, but also always thought I would work for the banking industry. I wanted to make an impact on a traditional industry and change it for the better. By chance I ended up working for Concirrus, which is doing exactly that within insurance. I’d never considered the insurance industry, but on reflection it’s undertaking a huge transformation compared to most other industries. I find being able to look at a problem and coming up with new ways to solve it quite inspiring. Concirrus is paving the way in transforming traditional ways of working. We have a blank slate to work with and the journey that we’re on is very exciting.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I am a people person so something I’d like to build on is creating closer relationships with our clients. As both myself and the company grows, I'd like to incorporate more collaborative work with our clients. Being part of the sales process from a product/design perspective would be in line with my natural strengths. I would also like to think I could be running a line of business with more responsibility.
Read more of our ‘My First Three Months at Concirrus’ interviews here.