With a focus on human-centered design, user research, and experience strategy, Jo began her design career at IBM, where she designed Watson products to enable clients to better serve their customers. She then spent time at an education non-profit where she began to understand the background of school boards helping facilitate service process strategy and design thinking.

At Gensler, her work has ranged from experience strategy for physical digital experiences, to creating strategic, user-centered experiences for clients using architecture and interior design services. She uses service design methodologies to inform internal, customer-facing design solutions and define what it means to design experiences at the intersection of digital and physical space.

Jo's favorite part about bringing Service Design to her everyday is the process and engagement with all users. Being able to bring Service Design methodologies to stakeholders and end users and help kick-start new concepts or improved service experiences, and reimagine how they experienced by their audiences.

UX tools: There are many tools/methods I use as a user researcher. There are different sets of tools to use in different stages of the design process and various research methods. Usually, when you are beginning a new product design cycle or re-design process you use foundational research methods. Methods in this phase include interviews, participatory design, field visits, contextual inquiry, etc. As you progress on the design process, you turn to more tactical research methods/tools, such as usability testing, concept evaluations, A/B testing, etc.

As a researcher, I also use my user experience and visual design skills. Both when I work hand in hand with designers on my team to synthesize user insights on design iterations, along with creating deliverables of research findings such as summary reports, data visualizations, all types of maps, etc.

Ideal work setting: My ideal work setting is an open space where I can be creative with my peers. One of the best things about my job is that is very vibrant and self-motivating and I’m never doing the same thing from day to another. I also work in an assortment of places: sometimes from my desk, in the office kitchen, from a coffee shop and traveling to visit clients and working in their space or just another city to get inspiration.

Inspiration: It comes from all the people, places, and things, but I would say as a UX researcher, the main source of inspiration for your work is: people. Observing people can be so interesting and hard to understand so you can design the best products and user experiences for them. For instance, my work at IBM allowed me to meet all sorts of people with different roles and positions, industry backgrounds, and domain knowledge. They all have many inspiring stories and come from all different paths that are very different from my own. This gives me a different viewpoint on things and holds the inspiration flowing in my day-to-day work.

A little more about what my perspective of a service designer is:

As service designers, we conduct research to identify existing problems in a service. Through collaboration with the service providers and their customers, we develop innovative solutions to these problems. Finally after careful analysis, we validate each solution to gauge its effectiveness to ensure our solutions are feasible.