"I believe that the best solution is designed with people, not only for people."
We’re continuing on our Day in the Life series by shadowing Edoardo Fusaro, a UX Designer.
UX design is a career field that continues to grow and flourish. And for those who pursue this line of work, it’s also a career field that embraces human- and world-centric conversations in an attempt to create meaningful, efficient experiences.
That’s why we’re particularly excited about introducing you to Edoardo Fusaro, a Senior UX Designer for IKEA, who generously shared his experiences of what life as a UX Designer looks like when working for a massive global company.
Meet Edoardo: Sr. UX Designer for IKEA
Originally from Italy, Edoardo (or “Edo”), is currently living in Amsterdam. He’s spent the last 8 years working as a UX Designer.
“In the last 5 years, I’ve been focusing on e-commerce experiences,” Edoardo says.
“I like to define myself as a passionate UX Designer who aims to build meaningful, usable, and accessible products or services. I’m interested in the design process that forms the final result and in how things work. I believe that the best solution is designed with people, not only for people.”
In his free time, Edoardo loves writing questions and answers for theUXfaq and designing minimal graphics to embroidery on t-shirts and hoodies for weekendattitude (two side projects that he’s currently working on).
Working Within a Cross-Functional Design Team
During the day, Edoardo’s role is as a Sr. UX Designer on the Digital Experience Design team at IKEA Amsterdam, where he focuses on mobile and desktop portions of the e-commerce experience.
“It’s a very talented cross-functional team with members from UX, Research, Data, Engineering, Product and Content Strategy,” Edoardo says, “and we work closely together to create the best and most accessible experiences.”
The Typical Morning of a UX Designer
For Edoardo, the morning work routine is determined not only by the project he’s working on, but also what stage of the process his team is in.
“If we’re in the discovery part of the process, for example, we might work on planning and defining the research and insights needed to gather those. In the conceptualizing phase, we might ideate based on what was previously discovered, or run a co-creation session to discuss and gather inputs on initial designs from different stakeholders,” Edoardo explains. “If we are in the validation stage, we might be working on a prototype to test and evaluate with the end-users to learn and iterate on it.”
Because the morning tends to hold the weight of these projects, Edoardo makes a focused effort to keep his mornings dedicated to project work, moving emails and Slack messages to the afternoon hours.
After lunch, the focus shifts to collaboration and strategy.
“The afternoon is usually the part of the day where most of the team alignments happen,” Edoardo says. “We use these moments to discuss, share work, insights, what we are planning to do and, of course, have a lot of fun as well.”
The Challenges of Being a UX Designer
Edoardo has a passion for solving problems, collaborating, and helping others, and this enthusiasm brings its own set of challenges.
“It's important to be able to prioritize and push back at times to protect your time, guarantee the project delivery, and also ensure the quality of the work,” Edoardo notes. “For me, it’s also challenging to avoid getting lost in the details. At times, and especially at the beginning of a project, progress is better than perfection. UX is an iterative type of work, so you will have the opportunity to learn and make your designs better.”
Reflections on UX Design Work
“What I enjoy the most about my work as a UX Designer is having the opportunity to get close to the end-users to understand their needs and design experiences that are meaningful and accessible to them,” says Edoardo, “As well as working and collaborating with many different people across the organization.”
“If I were to pick what I enjoy the least, it's the amount of meetings needed to discuss, align, and coordinate.”
The Qualities Needed to be a UX Designer
There are fundamental skills that every UX Designer should master, whether starting fresh out of college or pivoting a career.
When we asked Edoardo what he found to be most helpful, he shared a short list of hard and soft skills:
Research: to be able to gain insights from the end-users and validate designs. Having some basic knowledge on how to plan, conduct, and analyze findings will definitely help with this.
Wireframing: to show ideas, communicate the rationale, and demonstrate how something works. Wireframes can be used to sketch out page layouts, possible interface interactions, or even for entire journeys and flows.
Prototyping: to quickly test designs and identify problems or areas of improvement early on in the design process.
Empathy: to connect with the end-users and better understand the problem you are trying to solve.
Collaboration: to work more efficiently and get the best out of each project.
Communication: to convey ideas, explain thinking behind designs and also present them.
Time management: to avoid getting overwhelmed and be able to better manage and prioritize your work.
Curiosity: to ask insightful questions and stay up-to-date with the constantly changing UX field.
Perspective Adds Depth to UX Design Work
One of the challenges in any role—UX/UI design or not—is finding the right balance between focusing on the project at hand and backing away from it to catch a glimpse of the wider scope.
“Be curious and don’t look only in your bubble. We all tend to do that when working on a project,” Edoardo notes. “But, at times, it’s good to take a step back and slow down, to see what else is happening around us and consider the bigger picture. UX doesn't work in silos.”
Another way to gain valuable perspective on design projects is by reaching out to teammates for feedback and insight.
“Don't be afraid to share your work early and often, involve and gather feedback from others (designers and non-designers) during the process is extremely valuable.”
Start Your Career in UX/UI Design
We hope you’ve enjoyed this mini-series, where we’ve shadowed the footsteps of professionals in the UX/UI design field.
If you would like to learn more about what UX/UI design work looks like, check out our suite of courses on topics ranging from UI Design to our intensive UX bootcamp, UX Academy.