The individuals who make up Workday’s User Experience organization have a wide variety of career backgrounds and skills. These experiences offer us a more holistic understanding of our users and how they interact with our products.

In this series for Workday’s Design Blog, I interview some of Workday’s team members who share about their non-traditional UX backgrounds.

1. Expat Teacher Turned UX Researcher Leslie Forman

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How did your experiences living abroad impact you as a researcher?

My experiences living abroad helped me think more broadly about how different people have different experiences and perspectives. …

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Counter-clockwise from top left: Neil Pasricha presenting on stage about trust; Jared Hirata and me visiting the Twitter House; a fleet of dockless scooters on the streets of Austin; me with the SXSW sign; Bill Nye asking an audience question at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Talk; musician Mobley performing

At South By Southwest (SXSW), I took the opportunity to immerse myself in a wide variety of sessions throughout the Interactive conference track to better understand the human experience and the future of the digital, societal, political, and cultural landscape.

I synthesized some themes from the sessions I chose to attend: inclusion, the future of our society, and what it means to design an inclusive future.

Here are some of the highlights:

Building a Pathway Toward Financial Inclusion

I’ve never been much of a chef. As an artist and designer, I never liked the idea of spending time and effort to create something that will be gone in a few bites. Nonetheless, I’ve made an effort to step out of my comfort zone to experiment with making new foods. The pride of taking raw ingredients and turning them into a tasty masterpiece is a great feeling: I’m able to be creative and make something without adding to my stash of art projects.

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My basil hummus, served with baby carrots

Last night, I made basil hummus for the first time and proudly posted a picture on…

Designing effective products to help end users’ suffering

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Photo of woman in standing in front of large Buddha statue by Dan Gold

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

— The Dalai Lama

As a product designer, my purpose is designing experiences that help people and improve their lives.

Over the past few years, I’ve been exploring the fields of product design and Buddhist philosophy. Though spirituality and technology may seem to differ on a fundamental level, I’ve found there to be an overlap between product design strategy and Buddhist philosophy. …

Emma C Siegel

Inclusive design & research @Workday. Previously @Google. Probably in a hammock right now.

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