Resources

Interview: Andy Irvine, UX Designer FreeAgent

 

Can you tell us about yourself and your creative background?
I studied music in London and worked as a musician and music producer for a few years. I fell into digital around 15 years ago whilst composing music for websites, and I haven't looked back. I worked at an agency for a good number of years, creating marketing oriented work for accounts like IRN-BRU, Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Grolsch, which was great. But I fancied a creative challenge so switched to product design at FreeAgent.  

 

What gets your creative juices flowing?
Peace and quiet, walking, reading. Making stuff with other people is always a great way to get creative. Collaboration definitely brings out the best in me. 

 

Can you tell us about your role at FreeAgent and about the company?
FreeAgent makes thousands of small business owners lives a more pleasant by dealing with the unpleasantness of accounting. I'm a UX designer there, so I research our customer’s behaviours, motivations, environment, desires, and a myriad of other aspects to build an understanding of their requirements. We use this information to improve the experience of using our software and create new applications to help our customers more easily run their business.

 

What is the most interesting part of your day at FreeAgent?
We talk to each other a lot. We have stand up, design critique, sprint demos, and a ton of other things that make us work well as a team. So, speaking to my colleagues about stuff that's happening now is definitely my best bit. 

 

What makes Edinburgh a good city to be based?
I've lived here most of my life and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. It's a great size, not too big, not too small. There's enough going on culturally to keep one's brain occupied. You're near some great beaches, you're close to some wonderful countryside, great places to eat, The Edinburgh Festival. I could keep going.

 

What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing a career in UX design?
- Be curious about stuff. Everything. Always. Annoyingly so.
- Learn how to be a good listener.
- Always be open to new ways of thinking.
- Wear sunscreen.