A day in the life of a Senior Product Designer at ENSEK
Mar 30, 2021
This week’s Day in the Life introduces us to Senior Product Designer, Rich Birley, who spends his time improving user experience across the ENSEK platform.
How has your time with ENSEK been so far?
My first task at ENSEK was to really get to know our customer-facing platform and how it behaves, in order to improve the customer journey and make it overall easier and smoother to use. I really enjoyed thinking about how we could rework the current User Interface to provide a more pleasant customer experience, whilst automating some of those time-consuming tasks.
More recently I’ve been working on the B2B side of things, creating prototypes for an improved client side of the platform, to be tested out before the development teams get to building it. Working with different product teams in this way has helped me to fast-track my learning and develop really deep knowledge of our systems.
Tell us about your career before ENSEK, what led you here?
After leaving school I worked with my Dad as a builder and juggled my time studying Multimedia which was a great course and played a pivotal role with my progression towards Digital Design.
I started my Web Design career working for a family-run business that sold wedding supplies via ecommerce shop fronts, where I got involved with everything from invoicing to sourcing products to customer service... which of course meant knowing how to handle a Bridezilla or two! It’s that customer service and experience aspect which is a really important part of my job now.
Fast forward a few years, I joined an industrial tool supplier, again as a Web Designer, then moved to their sister IT company where I made the shift into software, picking up programming languages to become a Frontend Developer & Designer. My later roles have included managing a design team in Belarus, building a bespoke IM/SMS chat solution, and working in a more hybrid design and development role.
Can you give us an idea what a typical day looks like in your role?
A typical day in Design can differ day to day to be honest, there are so many disciplines that fall under the UX/CX umbrella... One day I could be researching a competitor, interviewing an end user or drafting up some click-through prototypes of what our software could look like! No day is ever the same which keeps things exciting.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best thing about my job is that it’s very diverse and creative and I can express myself through my work. Since a very young age I have always wanted to somehow combine my love of computers and drawing into one form. So, I guess taking my childhood interests into the realities of adulthood is quite rewarding.
I feel rather fortunate that I can build a career around something I enjoy, it all comes naturally to me in some ways; having that innate curiosity into how humans behave or think. I like to believe it makes me more of a people person too!
What drew you to ENSEK?
After many years discovering where I fit and adding to my experiences, I wanted to find that next level and challenge myself further. I am firmly of the mindset that we never stop learning, no matter what age.
ENSEK is a well-known company and firmly established in the energy sector. For me it was key to find the right type of company that ticked these boxes: ‘Innovative’, ‘Adaptable’, ‘Dynamic’... A company that challenged me from the off and had some good foundations to build upon.
Something that stood out for me was the culture of our employees, their attitude towards that inevitable change that is coming due to the fast-paced environment that the energy and technology sectors provide. Also, for me the huge draw about ENSEK was the ‘not afraid to try things’ and ‘learn from our experiences’ approach.
What was it like starting a new role remotely?
This for me was interesting for many reasons! With the pandemic and lockdowns taking hold it meant it was the first time that I had started a new position fully remotely. However, my transition into ENSEK was probably the best I’ve experienced from any company – without a doubt down to good onboarding processes and my colleagues providing the support that I needed to get started.
We also had our second daughter born at the beginning of April, a homebirth! Remote working during this time meant that I could spend those first few months at home supporting my partner and not missing out on some of those precious moments.
ENSEK are always looking out for quality developers at all levels, whether based near HQ in Nottingham or slightly further afield. If you’re looking for a new challenge, head to our Careers page to apply.