Luke Dowding - UX/UI Designer
I am a UX/UI Designer from the south of England, in little town called Blandford Forum. It's about 30 minutes from some really lovely beaches in Bournemouth and about a 2 hour drive east of London. I'm from a county called Dorset, which is known for it's Jurassic coastline, rolling hills, beaches and countryside. I'm a country boy at heart, I have never lived in or near a big city until I moved to Montreal, Canada. It was quite a big culture shift. Since moving to Montreal a lot has changed in my life. I got fitter, I worked a lot harder and started to really focus on my career and learning new things. I became Vegan, something that was initially influenced by my partner. I learned about all the needless suffering animals endure, as well as the many health issues directly tied to the consumption of animals. I never thought I would go Vegan, but I have never looked back since and love it. I have always loved Cycling and have spent countless hours on my bike, racking up the miles and going for KOM (king of the mountain) on Strava (a fitness app) and trying to beat my friends.
Spare Time & Hobbies
You could find me spending my spare time working on a project, learning a new skill or out training. I always like to set myself some kind of design challenge. Recently, I have started to design and develop a 2d platform game with the help of some friends. This was all kickstarted last year when I designed a card game and met someone who helped me turn it into an actual playable mod. From that we decided we wanted to make a real game, so the last few months I have been really focused on learning the skills it takes to design a game. Everything from UX, UI, Interaction, Controls, Motive, Narrative, Environment design and more. So far it has been really exciting and I can't wait to share the game once it's ready. (watch this space)
Career & Experience
I started in the web design world sometime in 2010. I would make websites for myself, family and friends. Mainly just for fun, but it triggered my passion for design and the web was a great outlet for me. I learned Front-End Development by watching videos, following industry leaders and a lot of practice. After a little while, I started my own Freelance company called Pixellant, where I aimed to work with clients and proper projects. This taught me a lot of skills very fast and this is when I first started to learn about UX Design and a way of thinking about website design more in-depth. I landed my first professional role in Montreal in 2013, at a small ad agency where I did everything from UX/UI Design, Prototyping, Development, Client meetings to eventually leading a small team to meet our project deadlines. This is when I started to put my UX into practice, it was fast paced, lots of clients, lots of deadlines but it was a great start for me and a lot of fun.
It wasn't until I moved to a product based company called Playster, where I could start to stretch my UX Design legs. There was lots of opportunities and more time to implement UX Practices such as Personas, Storyboarding, User Maps, Scenarios, Wireframing, Prototyping, Designing, Testing and more. It was very exciting to be working on a big user-centric product and competing with companies such as Netflix, Spotify, Audible and Tidal. I was able to work on and improve the UX and Conversion rates on things like signup flow for web and app, cancellation flow, user onboarding, account management, search, marketing, email campaigns and landing pages. We also took a very analytical approach, every design or idea was backed up with data and tested. My approach to all these tasks or features was always making the best experience for the user, while meeting our product goals and requirements. Understanding the user's expectation and problems by understanding who they are, what services or apps they currently use and meeting them and asking questions.
Next is to master UX Design, become an industry mentor and to teach others. I have recently started writing articles about what I know and sharing my knowledge with other aspiring or experienced UX Designers. The next career step for me is in a Senior User Experience position. I love to teach and guide people as well as get in the dirt and do the work.