This blog post was originally published on RedEye's career blog here.
Tell us a bit about you:
I am Elizabeth Chesters, a UX Consultant for RedEye in London. I joined at the start of May and already I’m working with big clients, in retail and ecommerce. I will be responsible for things like conducting user research, interviews and expert reviews.
What do you love about the industry and role you work in?
Moving from development into UX, means I am able to get away from my desk and talk to people, which I love. I also enjoy cross cultural research, so I make the most of opportunities to practice any language. I can also use these opportunities to really challenge my assumptions and beliefs. At university I studied human computer interaction, which gave me the confidence to continue it.
In addition to my daily responsibilities at RedEye I also volunteer as a UX designer and researcher. For the past year I have volunteered with Women Hack for Non-Profits and more recently with EmpowerHack. The biggest challenge I have faced so far is researching how to design for refugees. Not so long ago I went to volunteer with refugees in Calais and Dunkirk. I was also invited to speak at EmpowerHack’s panel, for their health hackathon specifically for refugee health.
What is Code First: Girls?
I have been a volunteer with them for almost 2 years now and I am also a buddy volunteer. I teach the students and I also help new volunteers with any questions about teaching or the courses. I have also taught their Ruby course at Manchester University and have since continued in London. To date, I have taught all their courses, including the summer intensive, boot camp and ran a UX master class.
This June I will be re-running the UX master class, in collaboration with Women Hack for Non-Profits.
Explain to us what being named a ‘One to Watch’ really means:
This year I was lucky enough to be added to Code First: Girls ‘Ones to Watch’ list. The award is a list of 25 women in the technology industry who are ambitious, under 25 and active in the community. With women from all aspects of tech, it aims to encourage more women to take the plunge. From tech journalist Georgie Barrat, to the founder of security start-up SE3 Solutions Ltd, it highlights options other than programming.
As well as the list, there is an achiever’s breakfast, allowing us to come together to celebrate what we’ve done. We also get priority for all Code First: Girls events, like their annual conference. Lastly, continuing the inspiration theme, we were each interviewed sharing our technology journey and adventures so far. Unfortunately, Eddie Jaoude, the interviewer edited it so I look like I was talking to myself! If you fancy a giggle, you can watch mine here.
I was chosen because of the impact I’m having on people around tech, whether they’re directly involved in the industry, aspiring to be or just fancy having a dabble. From primary school children in Code Clubs, to university students with Code First: Girls and adults through CodingLondon I’ve taught most ages. Every person on the list had an edge to them, which meant they went above and beyond their day jobs.
Why did you choose to join RedEye?
I knew of RedEye through an online UX Slack community. A RedEye employee posted the job opening online and I applied, despite there being no junior positions.
I chose to join RedEye because I love consultancy. I love jumping onto different projects, facing new challenges and different industries. RedEye also have a selection of well-established clients. The user testing labs were also a huge factor. I was looking forward to actually talking to users, obtaining first-hand experience of what they’re thinking and using eye tracking. I’m also really excited to be working within Conversion Rate Optimisation, a completely different area for me. Not only do I get to do the research but I’m going to learn how to back up my points with concrete numbers.
Charlotte Fereday from Code First :Girls adds:
“We chose Elizabeth Chesters as one of the twenty five Code First: Girls Ones to Watch 2016 list because Elizabeth is an excellent example of a woman making a real impact in technology. In the rigorous selection process for the list, what stood out for us was her impressive career trajectory combined with her dedication to pro-bono and volunteering work with multiple organisations including Code First: Girls, Code Club, Women Who Hack for Non-Profits and many more.
Elizabeth’s passion for improving diversity in the technology sector and encouraging people of all ages, ranging from school children to adults, means that she is single handedly driving impactful and positive change in the sector. Elizabeth is a real asset to Code First: Girls, over the last two years she been lead instructor on many courses and Masterclasses and is an inspiring mentor for hundreds of young women across the UK. Elizabeth is a true mover and shaker in technology and we are proud to feature her as a role model to encourage other women to follow in her footstep and consider careers in technology and entrepreneurship.”
Code First: Girls