Looking back on working at the Telegraph

One and a half years ago, I joined the UX team at the Telegraph. I am glad and proud to say that I got the opportunity to work on designing and delivering the new Telegraph responsive website.

The Telegraph website redesign

I never worked in news and publication before coming to the Telegraph. Working at the Telegraph meant getting direct access to the people running the website from the digital director, head editors, journalists, advertising and commercial. Immersed in this world, you had to learn things fast.

As a UX designer, I couldn’t build the website alone — it is a team effort. Our teams were a mix of design, product and developers. From interns to veterans, people came with different experiences in their career. This diversity helped us do better design by having various views and style of working.

Being part of the UX team was being in an environment that allowed me to learn, contribute and grow. Not all of us code, not all of us have a graphics background but that’s ok — our skills complimented each other. We didn’t have a standard process. We try to ask the right questions and use our UX toolbox to get the answer. The spirit of the team was to do really good work and not to be a dick.

An UX designer with a Sharpie and a good attitude can do wonders

Takeaway points

  • Embrace overlapping roles. There were times when UX activities was overlapping with work being done by product managers or visual designers. Working collaboratively as a pair was a useful way to work and focus on the outcome.
  • Don’t be afraid of public speaking. Jane Austin encouraged me to do a talk. It was not easy, it required many revisions and practice but it paid off. Refining and articulating concepts so that it is clear for other people to understand has made me a confident speaker and indirectly a better designer.
  • Building a product at scale requires communication between teams. Things will fail otherwise.
  • I am trying to sketch more
  • I learnt how to make a proper cuppa tea.
  • The web is not print and print is not the web. But that doesn’t mean that some elements from one couldn’t influence the other.

Overall this has been great time in my career. News is a core part of our lives and it will continue evolve with technology. I look forward to seeing the new things the team bring to life in the near future. As I move on to other challenges in my career, I’ll keep this line to heart “shine bright like a Telegraph diamond”.