Tell me a bit about your background
Since I was 14 I’ve always worked in hospitality in waitressing and doing PR work for restaurants and bars. Then once I graduated I actually started working in the games industry focusing on motion gaming before moving into web development and design. I then worked inhouse for G1, a Scottish Hospitality group and started developing their websites for their range of venues from cinemas, to restaurants and hotels.
What attracted you to working at Flow?
After G1 I worked for another agency, but I really missed the whole inhouse vibe as well as the hospitality industry. Flow was quite interesting for the e-learning aspect which has become so important in recent times and it’s good to be back inhouse, so I can get committed to brand. Agency was fun, but I look forward to the levels of detail you can get into with one brand.
Do you think there is something different to hospitality brands?
I think the main thing is that with Flow you have many different users that you have to cater to, L&D professionals, compliance managers, ops managers, bartenders, even marketing when it comes to internal communications and design. With these different levels of access, you don’t want it to be too overwhelming for those that don’t need to use everything but you need to make it comprehensive enough and easy enough for people to find the right tools and reports they need. So, you’re creating something for many different hats which is a really interesting challenge.
How did you get into UX design?
The web design went hand in hand naturally with UX, but for me I find it so much more satisfying to dig into users’ needs and understanding the user a lot more. I get great job satisfaction from getting to know their pain points and create something that helps them, and helps them meet their targets whether that be increasing restaurant revenues or developing a waiter into an assistant manager.
How is UX design for e-learning different than for a website or e-commerce app?
The biggest difference I’ve noticed so far is when I was designing for websites and apps there is a need to push lots of information to the forefront, you really only have seconds to catch someone’s attention before they go back and look at the next result on Google. With Flow the users have bought into the package already, so you can afford to make the experience more immersive without everything in their face on day one. On the other hand, if it’s not working for them they’re not going to be as patient as you might think, Flow isn’t the only tool they use, and hospitality workers are busy people. We have to make the experience slick, easy and relevant to their roles.
What are the learning digital trends that your excited about?
I’m really excited about integrating more AI into Flow for a tailored experience for our users. There will be less work for the user to get to where they want. When you feel like the system is working for you, you can start to create a more tailored experience, like you have a personal shopper rather than having to find everything yourself. This Netflix style of learning is a huge game changer.
Additionally, I know it is predominantly a workplace system, but I would like to incorporate more gamification into it. I’d like to incorporate more Buzzfeed style quizzes to select their preferences to get to know them better, pick their career path, and explore different jobs within their company. There are so many different jobs in hospitality that people might be less aware of such as head office roles, or even in design like me!
What projects are you most excited about?
I’m very excited about improving the optional learning functionality where AI will come into play. We want to create a space where people want to come on and it’s not just a fixed training path. Managers will be able to upload things like articles, ted talks and a range of content that people can get their teeth into.