Introducing Sarah June Fox — Product Designer @ Trainline
We’re pleased to announce that Sarah will be one of our panellists for our discussion: Top Of Her Game
A little about Sarah:
Design is my second career. I worked in music for quite a while then fell naturally into Visual Communications when I needed a change of focus. Now I consider myself multidisciplinary: I work in product but I’m also a motionographer, printmaker, wanna-be writer and devoted type nerd.
Following my degree I worked as a freelance designer in Dublin in both print and web studios and was lucky to have experience working on projects from conception to production in small and large teams and also on a freelance basis. The scope of this work was varied, but mainly resided in the cultural sector. My move into product coincided with my move to London.
I am passionate about user-centred design, about research, analysis and problem solving. I am a strong believer that design should be attractive, intuitive and easy to use but above all, that it is about communication. I currently work in Trainline looking after their white label product suite. Outside of work I am a runner, reader and have recently made a new human.
We’d love to hear about your accomplishments. What are you most proud of?
Apologies for the platitude, but the tiny human that I made last year is my greatest accomplishment to date: it certainly wasn’t easy and the reward is so delightfully fantastic. Second to that I’m very proud of my career. My first job playing music full time was marvellous in so many ways but I am glad that I knew when to call it. Transitioning into design made perfect sense to me and I haven’t looked back. Other accomplishments? Winning one tennis match (out of 20), kayaking in the Ottawa river, overcoming an all-encompassing addiction to scotch mints, learning to bake bread.
Does the lens of gender and privilege play into the projects you choose?
Gender? I’d say definitely yes when I was a freelancer. I was so fortunate in the beginning of my career to work with some prodigiously gifted, strong women, these were the type of people I sought out. Now, in product, I am privileged to work for a forward thinking company with an incredible CEO, Clare Gilmartin, at the helm. She was definitely a big part of the attraction when I applied for this job. Coming from a place where I experienced some old world machismo (insert eye roll), working in Trainline is so refreshing. We need more women like Clare in exec roles, their influence definitely trickles down.
What are the conversations you wish you had before embarking on parenthood?
We actually talked about everything, a LOT. Our road to pregnancy was very long and very bumpy so we had a lot of time to research, plan, rip up the plans and start over. There are things that I wasn’t prepared for though and they all boil down to one thing, the internet; your constant companion and your worst enemy when you have a wee one. My advice? Whatever it is don’t google it (at first). Ask a real person (preferably someone you like). There are so many mean people online and they often make you feel like you’re making an absolute balls of it all. There is no one-size-fits-all baby manual, just follow your heart and your gut and you’ll be grand. Right?
How do you and your husband find balancing your work and being parents?
This is so tough. Our wee man doesn’t feel like sleeping through the night which makes everything else so much harder, especially with us both back in work. So, we are just getting on with it and are slowly getting used to sleep deprivation with all its fun knock-on effects. We are splitting everything though which is great, from nursery drop-offs and pickups to night feeds and nappies. The novelty hasn’t worn off yet (I’d say it never does) so even the messiest, manky bits are wonderful.
Sarah will be part of our panel, hosted at the Trainline “Top of her game — Career advice from seriously impressive professionals.”