Cheryl Platz

Senior Designer

Microsoft

Find me online:

“I reduce complex problems into simple solutions that make people more efficient at work.”

MY ROUTE:

The Curved Road

MY WORK LIFE:

Senior Designer

foundation interest 1 interest 2

My work allows me to combine the foundation of ACCOMPLISHING GOALS and the interests of TECHNOLOGY and DESIGN.


DAY IN AND DAY OUT

When things are going well, my day is a balance:
- Meeting with partner teams and deconstructing their needs into problems my team can solve
- Providing guidance and inspiration to other teams who need our design patterns to solve a problem
- Working hands-on with designs, experimenting with alternate information architectures and visual treatments
- Participating in or reviewing the results of research with our customers.

SKILLS, TRAINING, OR EXPERIENCE NEEDED

To be a successful senior-level designer, you must be capable of dealing with uncertainty. Many of the big problems that need solving are not well-defined, and rarely do people approach you with a clear plan for how to solve them.

In particular, background in improvisational theater has given me an edge in dealing with uncertainty, with yes-anding problems, in empathizing with difficult colleagues, and with changing my perspective to find new solutions to particularly difficult challenges.

EDUCATION TO GET HERE:

Senior Designer

I RECOMMEND COMPLETING:

  • High School
  • Undergraduate - Computer Science
  • Undergraduate - Human Computer Interaction

What I studied VERY STRONGLY RELATES to my work...

MY EDUCATION

  • High School -
  • Undergraduate - Carnegie Mellon University, Computer Science
  • Undergraduate - Carnegie Mellon University, Human Computer Interaction

SOME HELPFUL FIRST STEPS FOR SOMEONE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

Exercise your brain by looking around you for technology that doesn't work well or frustrates you. How might you change it to improve your own experience or the experience of others? Try starting with your microwave or an email account. What would you make better?

HURDLES I OVERCAME

THE “NOISE” FROM PEOPLE

“You can't switch careers, people won't appreciate your diverse experience.”

HOW I OVERCAME THE “NOISE”

I've switched industries and careers multiple times. You can separate your inherent skills and value from the industry in which you delivered them. It's not only possible, it makes you more awesome when you can prove you learn quickly and adapt to new situations.

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