By GrowthX Academy UX Design student Landy Hao

Lisa Ratner is a UX Designer who applies user experience strategies to the civic tech and the public transportation fields. As a GrowthX Academy mentor, she came to speak to our class about finding your UX passion. She currently works at Greenfield Labs based in Palo Alto, California. The company brings together transportation and design experts from Ford Smart Mobility, Chariot, and IDEO to solve mobility issues through user centered design.

After hearing Lisa speak to the UX Design class, there we a few key takeaways:

  1. I see the importance of research in a user centered design process. Working in the public transportation industry requires a lot of research to collect the majority of users’ pain points. By “holding that pain”, UX designers can take accessibility into account when building a better transportation platform for the public. Greater empathy allows the UX Researcher to think about the old lady with a cane, or the mom with 2 kids, or the disabled man in a wheelchair.
  2. Collaboration among the designers and transportation experts improves the ideation portion of the user-center design process. Therefore, being involved in a collaborative and design-focused working environment is important.  
  3. Lisa suggests to those of us who have just started our UX careers take any opportunities to apply our skills. Either passion projects or contractor jobs during our job-hunting period would enhance our skills and portfolio, and also help us figure out the ideal industry that we are enthusiastic about before we land on our first job.

Overall, Lisa exhibited a passion for UX Research and civic tech. Her explanation of how she got to the job she has now and the varying jobs she took to get there give me hope that I will land on a career path that I’m passionate about.