Humans of Tech- Jesse Young
Meet Jesse Young! Product Designer at Versapay.
We talk all things design - with diversity and accessibility in mind - and the importance of mentorship and community involvement.
When you are going through the design process, how do you consider the diversity of customers that are going to use it?
At Versapay, we work with many different clients, from real estate to general small business owners. With so many diverse users, we need to contemplate how they’ll use and interact with it, so we can best mold the design. We consider a broad spectrum, ensuring it works effectively for all users.
Can you tell us about your experience taking accessibility into account when designing?
We recently finished an audit with an accessibility firm to assess our work and align with legislation like the AODA. Accessibility has been top of mind, especially with screen readers and on the technical end: Getting users tapping through and using the screens - can they do so? Does it work with screen reader technology?
Another important piece of user interface is colour contrast - our main colours at Versapay are orange. When I joined, it was grey as well. Orange wasn’t great because it was hard to see and didn’t contrast well so we switched our colour scheme.
Accessibility is my first focus on designs because I envision all possible users - which makes accessibility for all a huge priority for me.
If you had to give advice or any sort of words of wisdom to those starting out in this field, what would you say?
My biggest piece of advice is to work with a mentor in some capacity - experts in this field have a wealth of information to provide, especially if they’re senior. There’s so many things you don’t know not to do that can’t be learned through formal education.
Even if you don’t work at the same place as your mentor, get their feedback. Having someone in the community that you can communicate with and get ideas from is important. Also, get involved with community organizations! For example, I’ve been involved with the UX Waterloo Designer Organization. Their monthly talks bring tons of interesting topics to the forefront, and will expose you to other professionals in the field. You’ll grow your network, learn from great presentations, and bounce ideas off each other.
As well - reading in general. Learning is the biggest thing as a designer because design trends change frequently. You don’t need to abide by all trends but being knowledgeable and aware of them is important. For example, accessibility wasn’t the biggest focus 10 years ago, but now it’s critical.