Ayana Sellassie

User Experience Researcher

thredUP

Find me online:

“I watch, listen, and learn from real people to help build better products and services.”

MY ROUTE:

The Curved Road

MY WORK LIFE:

User Experience Researcher

foundation interest 1 interest 2

My work allows me to combine the foundation of PROBLEM-SOLVING and the interests of DESIGN and BUSINESS.


DAY IN AND DAY OUT

A great day is one that is organized enough to manage the unexpected that comes up that requires my attention. The day starts with checking emails, monitoring my asana tasks, and reviewing my schedule to conduct research with customers (phone calls, office visits, etc.) After spending about 2 hours listening to and watching users, I spend time analyzing the information I received from them to identify problem points and delights (this is usually in discussion form with another team member).

SKILLS, TRAINING, OR EXPERIENCE NEEDED

The number one thing you need that are beyond what one can learn in school is confidence.

If you want others to believe in you, you have to believe in you first. UX Research involves alot of working with cross-functional teams that focus on business impact. Often times, they do not understand or take UX Research seriously because it has so much qualitative data. Your self confidence goes a long way in convincing others.

Other things needed are ambition, communication, and people management.

EDUCATION TO GET HERE:

User Experience Researcher

I RECOMMEND COMPLETING:

  • High School
  • Undergraduate - Psychology, General
  • Graduate - Human Computer Interaction

What I studied STRONGLY RELATES to my work...

MY EDUCATION

  • GED -
  • Undergraduate - National University, Psychology, General
  • Graduate - Bentley University, Human Computer Interaction

SOME HELPFUL FIRST STEPS FOR SOMEONE IN TRANSITION TO A NEW CAREER

Learn everything that you can about the field of study. Read books on the topic, study online. Go to seminars on the topic. Find your specific interest of specialty. Meet people who are practitioners in the field. If you have an educational background in social sciences already, research some of the certificate programs out there that will allow you to take professional training in UX (Tradecraft, Cooper U, Human Factors International, Bentley University, etc.)

HURDLES I OVERCAME

THE “NOISE” FROM MY PARENTS

“Studying psychology won't make you any money.”

HOW I OVERCAME THE “NOISE”

When I was told things about my choice of study, I overcame that noise very easily by knowing what I believed in. I am one of those heart, head, and gut people. I really take close notice to what I am feeling/thinking. I knew in my head that studying psychology may not be the most practical route, but my rationale was that my reason for studying it was to make a difference in people's lives. I felt 100% certain that psychology was the thing that was going to work for me, so I followed my heart.

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