Meet Our Employees: Maddy Settle

Monday, December 19, 2016 -- Carly Bursik

Meet Maddy Settle! User Experience Designer located at our Minnesota office.

Tell us about yourself!

Hi there! My name is Maddy and I grew up in Apple Valley, Minnesota. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout and received a degree in Graphic Design with a concentration in Interactive Media. When I’m not at work, you can find me cuddling with my cat, out for a walk in the beautiful park by my house or working on a creative side-project (which could include anything from writing fiction to editing photography).

How did you hear about Edmentum and the position?

I started at Edmentum in summer of 2014, shortly after graduating college. I had another job opportunity fall through, but then stumbled across the listing for the job here. It turned out that this is exactly where I was meant to be! I have had so many opportunities for growth, and I love seeing the positive impacts our products can have on our customers’ lives. My dad has worked in the school district for a long time, so I’ve heard firsthand about a lot of the problems that teachers face on a daily basis. It’s very satisfying to work for a company that can help with that!

What are you and your department responsible for?

I am a part of the User Experience Design team. As a group, we are responsible for making sure Edmentum products not only look good, but also are intuitive and have the features that teachers and students need. We conduct research to ensure that we can truly understand the needs of our users, and create mockups and prototypes of our products that are handed off to our development team. We work very closely with product owners and developers and have many opportunities for collaboration.

What interests you about the field that you are in?

I love my field for many reasons, one of which is the incredible variety of tasks we get to perform. User Experience Design encompasses many different specialties, and with our small team here at Edmentum, we all get to experiment in a lot of them. I also enjoy that UX Design is very much a crossover of left- and right-brain thinking. There’s a lot of critical analysis and logical consideration, but also a lot of creativity and artistry.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?

My favorite day-to-day aspect of my job is definitely my coworkers. My team, as well as the other people in the office, make every day fun and interesting. However, I’d have to say the most enjoyable aspect of my job overall is performing user testing. We take our products (or prototypes of our products) out to users and ask them to perform tasks so that we can see where we may need to make improvements to our interface. I love facilitating these tests because we get a huge variety of people and it’s always full of surprises!

What are your professional goals?

Since I started at Edmentum, I got to drop the “Junior” from my title, making me a full-fledged User Experience Designer. That was an incredibly exciting milestone for me! My more short-term goal now is to get a “Senior” added to my title (which will hopefully come after a few more years of experience). For a more long-term goal, I would like to get into managing a small User Experience team. I held many leadership positions during my years in school, and I really enjoyed the organization and planning work that came with that, as well as helping people to achieve their own personal goals.

Do you have any advice for someone trying to pursue a career in the field you are in?

I definitely recommend doing some kind of work experience before graduation, if possible. I completed an Apprenticeship program which was incredible and taught me a lot! I also attended many design conferences and did a lot of networking. In the design community, Twitter is a huge networking tool so use it if you can! If you’re still in school and would like advice, I’d be more than happy to help. You can tweet at me at @MaddySettle.