Job Title: Interface Designer
Age: Late 20s
Works for: The Hiser Group
"I like the idea of designing technology that supports people in what they are doing. It's not just about creating something, but interacting with people."
What do you do Gabriel?
I work for The Hiser Group. I describe myself as an Interface Designer. I design the interfaces for websites and software - the bits people see on the screen when they’re using a computer. I work to ensure that the designs meet people’s needs and are easy to use.
It's really a combination of psychology, ergonomics, anthropology and design - understanding how people work with technology, so I can design something that helps them do their job.
One of the projects I've worked on was for a large communications company. They had about 1500 intranet sites and wanted to manage all those sites through a single application. That involved months of design. As part of a team I tried to understand what they really needed from their intranet before designing a system to suit those needs.
What’s an average day for you?
What I do varies from day to day. Projects can last from two weeks to a few months.
I don't spend a lot of time at my desk or on my computer. A lot of the work I do is on paper. It's only towards the end of the process that I'll actually start using the computer to document the system I’m designing. I spend a lot of time working collaboratively - whether it's with clients, colleagues or end-users.
What do you like about your job?
I get to do interesting stuff. I like the people I work with. I find it really interesting working with all kinds of people who are not ICT savvy...to try and understand what their needs are. Another thing I enjoy is project-based work. There are definite start and end dates. At the end I deliver something and hopefully I have a happy customer. I’m having a ball.
What skills are necessary in your job?
I've got a bit of a technical background, but that's just through tinkering with computers. Most of the people I work with have very few technical computer skills. They're just people with a deep appreciation of design and how people interact with technology.
ICT. Where did it all begin for you?
I did an Arts Degree because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I majored in History and Philosophy. I found Philosophy particularly interesting because of the problem solving involved.
During uni I did some part-time work building basic websites for people and running a computer network at RMIT. I guess that's where the technical skills came in. I've learned about ICT on the job. That experience gave me a good understanding of the opportunities that technology offers.
I like the idea of designing technology that supports people in what they are doing. It's not just about designing systems, but interacting with people.
Where do you see your career going next?
My goal is just to become really, really good at what I do. Right now I’m into usability and design. I'm not sure about the long term.
What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in ICT?
Find out what's out there. There are a huge variety of jobs available. They're not all just sitting behind a computer screen.
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (new window) (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).