Ronnie Fenwick is CleanSlate’s Senior UI/UX Designer. His job consists of the planning, design, and execution of user interfaces and user experience designs. He can be found coordinating interface production with clients and other developers, working through UI/UX issues, developing features, and designing internal marketing executions. We asked him a few questions about his current work at CleanSlate, where he sees the future of UI/UX consulting, and advice he has for others in his field.
Q: What makes you excited about working for CleanSlate? Tell me something about a recent project you’ve been working on.
A: At CleanSlate, I appreciate the variety of different projects and technologies I get to use on any given day. We were recently engaged with a client to build out a medical sales app. It is a greenfield project with only a name. It has been very rewarding to see the excitement from that “First Look Feeling” as the brand took shape, and then the app come to life. I really get a sense of satisfaction helping others realize their software dreams.
Q: What advice do you have for someone entering your field right now? What are the most important hard and soft skills?
A: Be prepared to never stop learning. The whole industry changes technologies and tastes every few years. A good designer can work in their natural style; a great designer can work in any style. Learn a few extra skills such as front end development, motion graphics or copywriting. If you know how to build sites it will make you a better UI designer, and I would start there.
I would say the most important hard skills are being a master at design software, staying current on new and emerging UI/UX patterns and learning how to effectively communicate visually. One of the biggest soft skills I developed over time is helping your client solve business pain points with UI/UX executions. Often times they come to you with a redesign or even a greenfield project, but what you are really solving are operations issues, or customer experience issues more so than just making a great interface. You need to learn how to ask the right questions, follow your instincts and be able to communicate effectively with a diverse roster of internal and external stakeholders.
Q: What do you think the future of UI/UX consulting looks like?
A: I think the future of UI/UX looks really good. With the ubiquity of technology in our lives and the current climate of the pandemic, I think everyone realized just how important eCommerce is to the future of business. Additionally I think it has never been more clear how a good UX/UI strategy and execution is to users adopting your software into their daily lives or buying from a store online. For the last 15 years, often times your first impression to a customer has been via a digital medium. I have always believed this is one of the most important factors to finding success online, but it has not always had good representation in the project scope. However, I think the larger market in general has caught up to this thinking. I can see it in the emphasis put on UI/UX in the last 6-7 years, versus what it looked like in the earlier part of my career.
Q: What was/is your favorite quarantine activity?
A: I love to golf. I get to be outside enjoying nature, getting some exercise, and I can maintain a safe distance from others while doing it.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax in your downtime?
A: I enjoy hanging out with my family, playing golf and riding my motorcycle.