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Ben Melbourne

User Experience Designer

Ben is a Digital Strategist who helps organisations create products and services that make their customers lives better. His background in user-experience design provides a passion for a customer-centric approach, along with the research skills required to drive outside-in thinking. When combined with his depth of delivery experience he knows how to take an idea and turn it in to a product that customers love.

Now that he has gone Agile, he can never go back. Producing pretty design deliverables just doesn’t give the same thrill it used to now that he has experienced the joy of working in lean, multidisciplinary teams focused on delivering business value rather than documents.

The Interview

My geeky passion is

Actually, I’m kind of a luddite wanna be. I’ve come to dislike new technology most of the time. I hate having to upgrade because it usually means I have to put effort in to learning how it works. Over the years the novelty of new devices/tools has worn off and now I just get tired of the effort it takes. I recently upgraded my DSLR camera, which was painful. I could operate my old one with my eyes closed, but now I have to re-learn where all the functions and buttons are. I’d kind of be happy to live a life where I don’t have to setup a new phone every two years. Having said that, I can be easily persuaded by a well-designed product, which makes my life better.

The best advice I can give a current or future ThoughtWorker is

Make sure you don’t let ThoughtWorks take over your life. It can happen very easily. Not because you’re forced to work long hours, but because people get so passionate about what we do that they chose to completely embrace and immerse yourself in the ThoughtWorks world. It’s great to be passionate about trying to make a difference, but it’s also important to have outside interests and maintain some perspective.

The thing I'm most proud of from my time here is

Seeing Design become an embedded part of our DNA. When I first started our Experience Design capability was still a relatively new part of the organization. Design thinking has now become a standard part of how we work. As a Technology company we’re great at building things right, but it’s more important to build the right thing. This shift in thinking has meant we’re becoming more business relevant and delivering value in far more ways than just great pieces of technology. It excites me what we’re capable of achieving with this combination of design and technology skills.

I also have to mention the Brisbane office. Over the last couple of years we’ve grown from being a small ‘satellite office’ to being stable and established with our own unique identity. There were some concerning times along the journey but we’re now at a really exciting point. It’s been great to be part of the Brisvegas team.

The thing I love most about my work is

Our willingness to embrace failure and the learning it brings. If you don’t fail every now and then you’re not pushing yourself. There is a skill to failing in a safe and non-critical way. Once you understand how to do that failure becomes a positive experience. If anything you start to look forward to it.

The most interesting thing I've learned on the job is

How to be lean and focus relentlessly on delivering value. As a designer I’ve done my fair share of Big Upfront Design over the years. It’s quite painful to think back to some of the ways I used to work and just how ineffectual it was. I definitely started by learning how to do things the wrong way so that I could fully appreciate better ways of working.