Labs Life: Introducing Julie Yessin

We like to give our readers an insight into the inner workings of Sutherland Labs. Julie Yessin joined the San Francisco office in January this year, but she didn’t waste any time getting settled in, leading the Global Service Jam in prototyping methods in February and bringing her own fresh perspective to all the work that we do.

What does an average day in the life of a Senior Design Researcher look like?

Julie: Depending on the stage of the project, I might observe people to understand their behavior and the meaning behind those behaviors. I could also be combing through all the data we have collected to uncover insights and looking for opportunities to make the subjects’ lives better, through products, services or experiences. I’ve been working with a range of clients across different industries, including healthcare and technology, and it is fascinating to see the creative cultures that are developing in many companies and how they looking to us to bring new perspectives to old problems.

I understand that you used to work on the design side of things?

Julie: I worked as an industrial designer for many years which consisted of design thinking and design doing. The thinking part involved a lot of research – a necessary component in identifying and understanding problems. The longer I worked in design, the more time I spent studying users’ reactions until I decided it would be interesting to focus on the discovery phase of the design process.

Julie travelling

Do you prefer working in research?

Julie: I will always be a designer; it’s in my blood. I’m just applying the same methodologies I developed as a designer to a broader range of challenges. Across different industries you can find researchers and designers working together in tandem, and I can speak the language of both which is helpful. Technology is advancing rapidly, giving us more tools to collect data and produce relevant results at a much faster rate. The demand for design is exponentially growing, so new and unique opportunities are constantly arising.

Why am I being told to ask you about chia pudding?

Julie: When I was young I wanted to be a French pastry chef because of the intricacy of its aesthetics. Over time, I became interested in learning about preparing healthy foods in interesting way and am amazed by the possibilities of my high spend blender. I am known for making the best chia pudding in town using my homemade almond milk.

Julie's Chia Pudding

What else do you do for fun?

Julie: I like travelling and learning about different cultures. I fell in love with hiking when I lived in Colorado but I have just started to get to grips with all of the trails around the Bay Area. San Francisco is like an outdoor gym, just walking along the sloped streets is enough to keep any of us locals active.

How has it been settling into Sutherland?

Julie: I am really enjoying it. Sutherland brings together people from different backgrounds so every time you encounter a problem, there are all these fresh eyes and new perspectives to help approach it. I really enjoy the moment when all the fuzzy pieces of data that you have collected start to pull together into something tangible, when you can visualize your findings and use that as the seed to create something new and meaningful.

Will anyone else ever come close to taking Julie’s crown as the chia pudding queen? Can anybody walk through San Francisco without passing out from exhaustion with all those hills? Come back for another instalment of ‘Labs Life’ to find out all these answers and more!

Communications Director

Sutherland Labs
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