Career: After completing my Art degree in 1986 at Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology where I specialised in Sculpture. I worked as a Window Display Assistant in Top Shop in Oxford Circus and then as a Tax Officer in Kensington and Chelsea Inland Revenue Offices.
Yellow Pages: I joined Yellow Pages as a Senior Clerk in the Art Studio with the aim of joining their design team, which I soon achieved as a Junior Artist and began my career path with Yellow Pages. I was quickly promoted to a General Artist where I produced advertisements for Yellow Pages Directories using paste-up, line illustration and typography to produce camera ready artwork. I trained on a apple mac as computers replaced drawing boards and loved the speed and flexibility the mac offered. I was promoted to Teamleader where I ran a team of 10 designers who created visuals to support the sales teams. I gave presentations to Sales, Training Departments and created supporting presentation materials.
Yell.com: In 1996 Yellow Pages launched it's internet site 'Yell' and I was taken on as a Web Designer in the inhouse Internet team. This proved to be a wise career move as internet usage exploded globally. I worked on designing the Yell.com site, developing new areas such as an online guide to London, Property and Shopping channels and produced the first websites for 'Yell' customers. As the design team grew I moved into a Senior Designer role and then the Design and Online Brand Manager for the Yell Design team. I managed a team of 10 Designers and 2 e-commerce programmers. One of my last projects was to work on the rebrand of Yellow Pages to ‘Yell’ with the Brand Manager and external agencies, including user testing analysis. As the Online Brand Manager I was responsible for the online execution of the brand and I produced guidelines and styleguides for the usage of Yell.
Amazon.com: In 2000 I joined Amazon.com as the UK Design Manager, I managed the design and UI for the amazon.co.uk website, launching new product lines such as Electronics and improving the online customer experience. I was promoted to European Design Manager two years later and over four years I have built a strong European design team of six designers. I am responsible for managing the consistency of design, UI and brand development of the amazon European websites amazon.uk, amazon.de and amazon.fr. I manage the design team workload, recruitment, training, budget and development. Work with the Global Design team on interface development and future site design initiatives. Use site metrics, web labs, market research and user testing results to drive and constantly improve the customer experience. Manage the online and offline development of the Amazon brand in Europe working with the Global Communications and EU Marketing teams. Ensure good web design practices, brand usage and compliancy is implemented across sites. My last major project at Amazon was to lead the design and UI for new product lines for Sport and Leisure on the UK site, Watches on the German site and Toys on the French site. I redefined the navigation across the European web sites, which involved restructuring the IA, creating prototype designs and extensive user testing.
Hutchinson 3G: In August 2007 I joined Hutchinson 3G as User Experience and Design Manager. I saw this as an opportunity to learn about the mobile world and work on improving the mobile interface experience across 3 UKs range of handsets, mobile devices and websites such as three.co.uk and 3store.co.uk . Here I lead 3’s UE and Design team to research, develop and build innovative solutions for user experience and the creative look and feel of 3UK’s mobile portal, content products and applications.
I am currently working on redesigning the IA of the My3 account management section of the portal and three.co.uk website and updating the design. This involves building wireframes for extensive user testing and managing an external agency for the visual design.
©Julie Kennedy 2008