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Meet the team - Fiona Tout, Product

Meet the team - Fiona Tout, Product

Fiona has had a non-traditional route into design, and the variety of her experience means she brings original and fresh perspective to her work.

Read on to find out about how she supports clients through the challenges of the work, her passion for bringing life-centred thinking to her projects and how her artistic talents bring her magic both in and outside work.

What’s your work background?

It’s been an interesting mix with making at the heart.  At uni I studied music and cultural studies. After stints of performing, working in live events, venues and a healthy dose of traveling I explored several other avenues including roles in educational support, creative workshop facilitation, finance, textile design, and a couple years as a legal assistant (I did say it was a mix…)

A few years ago I retrained in UX/UI and have been working in product design, research and innovation ever since. I love having found the sweet spot where creativity, technicality, collaboration and process meet and each day is different..

Why did you choose to come and work at &us?

I saw the job posted on LinkedIn by our hiring manager Alex and got the best vibes when we spoke.  I was looking for a place where I could accelerate my learning and work across multiple clients and projects alongside a supportive team. The role didn’t disappoint!

What does an average working day have in store for you?

I start my day with a walk and a coffee, spend the first 30 minutes reviewing my calendar and picking up any new messages before connecting with my project team in a standup.

Following this there's usually a mix of activities including anything from workshop prep, research planning, execution and synthesis, to preparing design deliverables such as wireframes, high fidelity prototypes or graphic assets.  Alongside project work, we have 1-2-1s within our team and are always pushing forwards on internal initiatives. 

What’s the best thing about your job? 

I love the team at &us. Being able to spend the day working on super interesting challenges with such a wonderful group of smart people is a joy.

What excites you about a challenge/brief?

Learning more about our clients' interesting areas of expertise, fully immersing into their challenges and helping them come out the other side. 

What’s the challenge you see clients come up against time and again? Where do you see them most stuck?

For many of our clients finding the time, space and permission to try new things can be a battle. It’s a privilege to be able to be part of holding that space for them and helping them build their creative confidence.

What’s the thing that’s most often the lightbulb moment?

When research becomes actionable and you can see the direct insights and impact of speaking to customers.

What’s the one thing organisations need to  start doing now to be ready for the future?

Introducing Life Centered Design into their thinking. This is a set of tools and techniques that we’re currently embedding into our practice that encourage us to innovate beyond single users to also consider our impacts on society and the planet.  This is more important than ever and creates wonderful opportunities to create positive actionable change.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Be kind.

What’s the advice you’d give?

Make things you’re proud of, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?

An all-singing all-dancing west end actress or a traveling painter (...still want to do this one when I grow up).

How do you relax outside of work?

Life drawing, painting, getting out in nature and playing music.

What would be your super power if you had one?

Instant teleportation to balmy beaches.