Interview | Design

Employee Spotlight: Charlie Crook

Author: Unlimited Group
Date: 14/04/23

Employee Spotlight: Charlie Crook

At Splendid UNLIMITED, we’re continuing our employee spotlight series, which began last month with Jamie Miralles, our Junior Experience Designer who had plenty of insights to share about his time at the agency. Now, we’re casting the spotlight on Charlie Crook, our Senior UX Designer who is a recent hire but has been leading and supporting a project for one of Splendid’s key clients. Here’s what Charlie had to say: 

How long have you been with the agency? 

5 months

What is your role and what do you do specifically? 

I’m a senior UX designer. Specifically, I support the experience director, Alex Harrold with leading the design experience for our client Barilla. I work across the whole end-to-end process of delivering client work. This involves empathizing with clients, customers, and users to better understand their needs and requirements so that we can define the opportunities to improve the user experience for a client’s website, software, or application.

From that point on, we can then begin the design process where we create low-fidelity and high-fidelity wireframes to then be able to present back to customers, so we can gain valuable feedback. That allows us to ship it all over to the developers and UI designers who make it all look very beautiful. I’m there to moderate and make sure the experience of the user is always held at the forefront. 

How did you get started as a designer? 

Well, I originally wanted to be an architect when I was very young. I was always fascinated by buildings and architecture, but I quickly realised that I had a love for design and technology, so I then shaped my education and career to be more specific to design. I studied industrial design and user-centred design, so I’m happy to be doing something related to what I studied. 

What aspects of your role give you the most personal satisfaction? 

I think the trust from the team in terms of the role and I would say the authority that Splendid give me. They trust me to do a lot of client presentations and lead conversations, and sessions with potential users or clients. They empower me to do what I do, and it’s helped me grow a lot in the last four months. I’ve grown a lot because of that.  

Tell us about a significant project you’ve handled? 

Well, I’ve not been exposed to anything but Barilla just yet. However, where I worked previously, I led and worked on an end-to-end design process for an open banking software solution. It was a very technical and data-driven piece of work that required a lot of thought when understanding user goals, but leading the user experience from what were sketches on paper to a product that’s being sold and bought by customers to use makes me very proud.  

What are you most proud of in your career with UNLIMITED so far? 

Yes, the thing that I’m most proud of is the fact that I’m working with such a massive brand like Barilla. The fact that I’ve been allowed to help shape and lead the experience with Alex is something that makes me proud and I’mvery proud of the progress we’ve made and how it’s starting to look, so I’m looking forward to the final result.  

What keeps you motivated to keep producing great creative work? 

I would say the agile process that we follow at Splendid means that I get to see the fruits of my labour sooner rather than later. So, for instance, in an agile process, I do a lot of groundwork leading up to creative wireframes, and then it goes straight to design and development, and then I get to see final result soon after my own work. So, seeing my work come to life is what keeps me motivated. It’s nice that I get to see the results from beginning to end.  

What are some of your passions outside of work? 

I’m very fitness orientated. I like to play golf and generally keep as active as I can. I also like to stay up to date with the latest UX trends. I like to write UX blog posts and attend UX events and when I can turn my hand to anything creative outside of work, I will always do that. 

Finally, what’s the biggest career lesson you’ve learned so far? 

I would say there are two things that have really helped me. One of them is the sooner you put yourself out of your comfort zone, the sooner you will progress to the positions that you want to be in. So, staying in your comfort zone will only delay your ambitions and aspirations. The other lesson I learned from a previous boss is that by putting yourself out of your comfort zone, you learn some very valuable skills because skills and experience are two very different things. Those were my biggest lessons.