I was connected to Vickie Culbertson, UX Designer at Fuzz Productions, through another friend who was recently hired at Fuzz after completing General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive. Vickie describes herself as “A Baltimore native living and working in New York City. I love seeing live music and going to art exhibits. You can also find me in the water with my longboard, Tomatillo. I guarantee I will laugh within the first 30 minutes of meeting you.” Vickie also completed a General Assembly course in UX Design (part-time) and has a visual design background. I asked her big picture about working at Fuzz and as a UX designer.
Fuzz Productions is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and specializes in mobile apps – mCommerce, publishing, and enterprise particularly. Notable clients include New York Post, Wegman’s, Capital One, Xbox, and L’Oreal.
Marlee: How did you become interested in UX?
Vickie: I was looking for a career change and re-discovered UX as a combination of art and science, which I was missing at my old job as an in-house print advertising art director at a luxury beauty company.
Do you have training in UX design?
I took the General Assembly part time UXD course and have a BFA in Graphic Design and Painting from MICA.
How long have you been working at Fuzz?
I have been at Fuzz since December…a little over 6 months.
What does your typical day look like at Fuzz?
In the morning, walk over the Williamsburg Bridge to work and think about my plan for the day, while listening to podcasts. When I get to the office, I drink some water, check emails and go to stand-ups. Then, I either start with research, user flows, and wireframes; or go to meetings to discuss project statuses and get together a game plan with my team. Some days we present to clients or run client meetings with features ratings, etc. We eat lunch together, as a company, so that mid day break is important for talking with people outside of your project teams. My afternoon mostly consists of wireframing and meetings. Thrown into the mix is talking with other UX Designers about a screen that might be troubling and how to approach it. We’re always bouncing ideas off of each other.
How do you define success on a project? When are you “finished” with a project?
Success is doing the best I could and coming up with innovative interactions. I am “finished” when I hand wires over to the developers. However, I am still involved with the project while the UI and Development continues and I start on a new project. At an agency, my role is considered complete when the wires are approved by the client. I personally like to continue being involved as long as I can. In general, success to me could mean that a project failed or was loved by the client. What matters most is doing the work and discovering the best solution for your end user.
What other types of positions do you work with? What does a project team look like?
I work with Producers (1-3 on a given project), UI Designers (1-2 at most), Developers (iOS, Web, and Android. #s vary per project). We all come together to create the best product for the client wants and user needs.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When I see delight on people’s faces as they interact with an app I have designed.
Are there problems or UX trends you see popping up in your day-to-day work?
As always, the great debate of a hamburger vs menu.
I’m also interested in creating interactions that aren’t super standard for each platform. Getting boxed in makes me want to explore how to break the rules within the system.
Another trend I see is hiring managers not really knowing what UX is and asking for a developer or visual designer and UX designer all in one. The unicorn can exist, but it’s a challenge for the designer. It’s something we should address as an industry to let smaller companies know that while there are overlaps, those overlaps don’t necessarily define the role of what a UX Designer does.