Speaker Spotlight: Emily Austin

To get ready for #SNS15, we’re highlighting some of our great speakers! Today, we’re featuring a speaker from our UX track. Meet Emily Austin, Research Analyst for Mailchimp!

ela_headshot1. What’s the biggest thing attendees will learn from your session, “Putting Data to Work in a UX-Driven Organization?”

I hope folks walk away from my session with an understanding of how well quantitative and qualitative data complement each other, and how both are equally important in the product development cycle.

2. How did you get into your field?

I loved puzzles as a kid. When my parents purchased a computer, I thought of it as the ultimate puzzle—I learned as much as I could about networking, HTML, and CSS. As I got older I grew interested in human behavior, so I studied psychology and neuroscience in college. I really fell in love with research while working in a lab at my university, and I’ve never looked back. My role now is an ideal combination of technology, behavioral science, and problem solving.

3. What advice do you have for people trying to break into your field?

As a researcher, a large part of the job is distilling abstract, high-level questions into solvable problems. Learning to spot subtle differences between what people ask for and what people actually want to know is critical; understanding how to communicate your findings in a concise, clear manner is equally important. Being comfortable with math and knowing a little programming is also very helpful.

4. Which SNS session (besides your own!) are you most excited about seeing and why?

I think Michel Guillet’s session, “Communicating Data – Unveiled,” looks especially interesting. Conducting solid research is a challenge, but sharing findings in a way that’s most compelling to the intended audience is an art. I’m looking forward to hearing his thoughts on how to do it well.

5. What’s your favorite thing about the South?

The (relatively) mild winters! I’m a runner, so I think I’d be lost if I lived somewhere with a lot of snow on the ground during the winter months.

You won’t want to miss Emily’s session, Putting Data to Work in a UX-Driven Organization. Add it to your schedule now! Don’t have tickets yet? Make sure you grab them today.

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