Meet User Experience Designer Alumni: Chelsea McKenzie
As part of our RED Academy Alumni series, we are featuring Chelsea McKenzie, who graduated from our User Experience Design program.
What were you doing as you entered the UX Design Program at RED?
I was in the middle of a career leap. I had been working as a freelancer for years and transitioning into a permanent role as the Senior Graphic Designer at Century Group.
What interested you in the UX Design program?
I attended several information sessions to learn about the various programs offered by RED. The Web Development program interested me initially because I was drawn to the hands-on aspect of deploying websites on my own. Ultimately, I switched gears, I felt that the UX Design program would give me a better grasp of strategy and user-centred design skills that are necessary for me to move forward in my role at Century Group based in Surrey.
What is your role at Century Group?
As the Senior Graphic Designer, I get the opportunity to work on dozens of projects, building brands from scratch, overseeing the rolling out of collateral, and enforcing visual and graphic integrity ranging from graphics displayed on vehicles to a mobile site on your phone. I have the opportunity to be part of a lot of exciting projects including Bria Communities where I am prototyping and testing ideas for print and digital with non-typical user groups. The priorities for a Senior or Millennial who are using a website are very different and assumptions are detrimental to our business–to any business.
How has RED helped you in your job?
It helped me build confidence to take on leadership roles within the real estate projects at Century Group. Now, I am able to work with the developers of our digital assets directly, use a different level of thinking when I am prioritizing new features on our sites, and can better appreciate the introduction to new tools and technology. I feel more more comfortable in my position and feel that RED has helped me understand the UX design role much better.
What did you love about RED?
I loved the pioneering culture. It was exciting to be part of one of the first cohorts. It was nice to have a hands-on team of instructors who were available, and the ability to discuss long-term personal development was a bonus. It was definitely an empowering experience that has benefited me greatly. Also the vibrant classroom dynamic was much more beneficial than my many attempts at online on-demand learning I’ve previously done.
What are you career goals?
I want to stay on the edge of collaborative teams. I want to be audience oriented, and continue with branding and design, print, web and even physical space by environments and presentation centres. I want to continue working in a thriving team environment where customers always come first.
Karina is an experienced UX and graphic designer with a primary focus on interaction design and product development. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Psychology, she originally started as a digital illustrator and gradually moved to web development and branding. Her biggest passion is working with startups and custom-built products, as it gives her a chance to work with different stages of the product, from visual identity, design, and branding to front-end development, market research and testing. She currently leads UX Professional and Foundation Programs.