Meet Senior User Researcher, Elizabeth Tucker! Liz hails from Oklahoma, where she received a BA in Psychology and a MS in Cognitive Psychology. She has been a valuable member of the ChaiOne team since 2015, always available with a witty remark or a candy bar from her generously stocked candy drawer. Her main role as a Senior User Researcher is to lead the execution of research strategies through the entire User Centered Design lifecycle, from user needs identification to deployment.
Tell me a little bit about your professional background.
When I was a psychology student, I worked in IT and had to help other students and professors use the systems we had at the university. I would often note how the systems would have consistent issues and user complaints and would develop personal guides on how best to help other students. I continued into graduate school and had to abandon my IT roots. When I started my graduate studies, I thought that I would stay in education and only focus on teaching students. I quickly realized that I couldn't get away from my tech roots and started to casually look at psychology in technology. Where did it fit? What did it do? But, I mainly wanted to know where I could contribute. I saw an article that was discussing how technology was being used to help people with degenerative brain function and I thought that was amazing. I started reading more on how tech was being used to help people who were ‘cognitively atypical.’ There was a knowledge gap in how older adults utilized touch screens and I wanted to investigate it further. That gap turned into an obsession and I finished my M.S. with a thesis that investigated technological interactions across inputs and ages.
Why did you come to work at ChaiOne?
The culture and diversity. There are so many different types of people on the team and many different types of clients. I was just out of graduate school and was weighing what my new future outside of academia would look like. I moved from Norman, Oklahoma, to Houston, Texas, just to become a ChaiOneNaut.
Describe a typical workday.
Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Since my work changes from day-to-day, every day has to start with a plan. I check my emails to see if I have anything pending from the day before, anything new, or client communication I need to address. Then, I check project status for myself and other team members. At ChaiOne, working across functional teams is essential to the delivery of a successful project. I also tend to pepper my day with current trends and hot takes in our industry (and the occasional meme). In order to deliver the best solution, I have to know the best trends and science.
What makes you the most excited about your work?
I am helping people do their jobs in a way that is easier and more successful for them. I get to take my knowledge and inquisitive nature and apply it as a force for good. The work I do potentially touches thousands of people, so it is important to me that I get it right. I also get to meet tons of new people with specific sets of skills and expertise. Nothing broadens both your personal and professional horizons like meeting different people and learning about their lives and livelihoods.
What is your favorite ChaiOne memory?
My surprise baby shower. I had a meeting with my manager and she told me there were cupcakes in the kitchen. Being (extremely) pregnant, I waddled my way there (not even noticing that no one was at their desks) only to be surprised by all of my coworkers to celebrate and prepare for my son. I am reminded everyday that I work with friends... I don't know many employees that can say that.
What advice would you give to prospective ChaiOneNauts?
Be flexible. Be considerate. Laugh (and way too much). Don't be afraid to ask -- even the C-levels and directors. Our projects are always changing and we all care about what we deliver and how we do it. We are also extremely funny people and value the exchange of humor as well as ideas/expertise. Also, know your coffee order. Coffee runs are not unheard of so have your order ready to be placed on a post-it!
Want to work with Liz? Check out our careers page and apply today!