About Sophie

Hi, I am Sophie and I am a product and service designer.

I have been a web designer, a UI designer, an information architect and a user experience architect. These are historical titles (with UX Architect being the most accurate) for roughly the same job, as it has morphed over time since 1997.

In short, I am the person you send to survey the field (made up of humans, objects, environments and IT systems) to find the source of a problem and design you a solution (or five) that will solve it for those same humans. I will know that my solution works because I will test it and iterate on it until it does.

Every time I try to write an explanation of what I do and how I do it, I bore myself to tears. It’s a very interesting job, and is best summarised as ask, listen, illustrate, and experiment. But listing the activities is a lot less interesting than doing them.

If you really want to know how I do this, the best perspective is through working with me. As a freelancer, I am easy to hire by the day or half day. I can also give you a quote for a specific activity like a workshop or short project (2 to 5 weeks) such as creating a blueprint / journey map of your products and services as experienced by your many customer personas, in which we will identify opportunities.

I can promise you…

we’ll have some good laughs, discover things neither of us expected, and make your product or service better for the people buying into it.

What to hire me as

My usual place is leading the design and UX team. I’m usually the Head of UX in a company or the Lead UX on a big client project. I make sure that products and services meet the needs of profitability for the business, feasibility for the Dev team, and good user experience for the end user.

I specialise in UX

This means I obsess about how and why people do / use / understand things; from mobile applications to doorknobs. I design and help build a user-centric world.

I love…

the projects I can foster from an idea to a finished product, and watch someone using it in real life. I recently watched my partner’s father use a part of the passport application service that I designed. It felt amazing! (Why did I say nothing about my role in that…?)

I am told that I don’t look like…

a geek. I have a technical background, with a B. Eng. in Computer Engineering. I’ve forgotten more maths than the average person ever learns, and I used to love designing digital and analog circuits. I will always love STEM fields. If you’re working with our next generation and want a friendly human techie for them to meet, please get in touch.

I cannot stop…

Designing handbags and dresses, categorising and restructuring information, and writing. Oh. And talking to strangers on twitter. I do a lot of that.

why “UX Architect”?

My choice of UX “Architect” is deliberate, and based on how a website or application is a bit like a house.

The Engineer is an expert at how best to build a house so it will stand, the Architect understands how it will be used, and by whom, so they can create all the necessary spaces and they’ll make a prototype so everyone can see what they’re working towards and agree it, and the Designer gives it personality and refines certain presentational and interactive details.

Obviously, the best real estate – digital or physical – is built by teams of all three disciplines who start working together with the people who will use the space as early as possible in the project.

what I believe in

In no particular order: Being on time; Equal opportunity; Pay parity; Doing things right and doing the right thing (not always the same); Using fountain pens; Learning new things; Doodling; Reading; Looking out the window; Not wearing headphones so you can hear the waves lapping at the beach; Making things with one’s hands; Sticking by your decisions (unless you come to realise they were stupid); Researching anything well before committing to it (from a book to a job); Being proud of the work I do; Sharing the knowledge I have collected; Loving like you’ve never been hurt; Being silly; Leading by example; Laughing; Getting up to dance even if the song is crap; Letting go of the things you no longer need; Being prepared for the future, even if that is just by carrying an umbrella for the afternoon’s rain; Sitting in the sun; Smelling the roses; Giving of yourself generously; Writing; Actively making the world a better place, one smile at a time; Drawing by hand; Conversations; Art as healing; Art as inspiration; Fashion as Art; Technology being simple.

Contact me / CV / portfolio

If you want a copy of my CV, portfolio, or have a question about life the universe and everything, this is where you can ask. If you’re an amateur linguist like me, feel free to write in English, French, Greek, or Italian.

Alternatively, you can also read about my work experience on Linked in: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/eurydice13