In Case You Missed It: Learn All About UX/UI Designer Hayley Lerg!

Did you get a chance to see Hayley Lerg last week? If not, don’t worry. We will be diving into everything Hayley spoke about last week!

Hayley is currently a UX/UI designer at Ralph Lauren. Before landing her dream role, she had to work at a few different places to find out what she liked. First, she went to Kendall College of Art & Design to get her Bachelor’s in Graphic Design. College wasn’t easy, but it gave her the skills and confidence necessary to get the type of job she wanted. 

After college, she started working for Uccello’s Hospitality Group. This job required her to design point-of-purchase (POP) and promotional materials for three restaurant concepts. By working here, Hayley learned that it’s okay to have fun. Bringing new ideas and a fun energy into your job can encourage others to do the same, leading to a more lively atmosphere. Next, she worked for Scott Allen Creative, where she worked on the branding, print, and web design for nonprofits. This job taught her how rewarding it is to find projects that inspire you and make you feel proud of what you’ve accomplished.

Hayley realized that she wanted to build upon her potential more, which led her to start a side-hustle freelance with her Uccello’s boss called “By: Her Creative.” This business was centered around creating brand materials for women-owned businesses. Running her own business taught Hayley a hard but valuable lesson. In order to be successful, you need to know your worth. On top of that, she learned how being your own boss isn’t as glamorous as it seems. If you want to sleep in instead of doing work, no one is going to hold you accountable except yourself. The weight of maintaining client relationships is entirely on you, which can also be stressful.

Even though Hayley liked working with her former boss, she discovered a new opportunity at “DIG – Digital Industry Group.” Working here showed her the importance of leaning into startup energy. Taking in all of the new information and being confident in a rough brief can be a challenge, but it truly pays off. Now, Hayley is a UX/UI designer at Ralph Lauren. (How cool is that?) She works with a wide variety of wholesalers, like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, to ensure the brand voice, tone, and messaging are consistent across every channel.

Once she was finished describing all of the jobs she’s had in the past, Hayley went on to explain the difference between UX, UI, and product designers. She explained how UX designers are required to form user flows and wireframes, strategize high-level solutions, understand user behavior, and conduct user tests. UI designers are responsible for strategizing digital solutions, creating final designs, understanding visual libraries, creating design systems, and creating the final design. Product designers do a mix of both jobs. They do both UX and UI and are well-rounded in the left and right parts of their brain. 

According to Hayley, there are five skills we should all work to master. 

  1. Take initiative. Before asking for help, try to do it on your own. Try your best even if you have no idea how to do something. As Hayley said, “Done is better than perfect.” 
  2. Have a sense of humor. Work isn’t always fun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to lighten up work calls or meetings. Making friends at work can be helpful because if you ever need something or do not know how to do something, they may provide some guidance. Making connections at work can be very rewarding.
  3. The 90-20 rule. Did you know there is a name for when we get into the “zone” and are able to truly focus? This is called the “flow zone.” While we would all love to stay in this zone for hours and hours, it is humanly impossible to do so. We are human. We can only do so much before our minds need a break. For every 90 minutes you spend focusing or working on something, take a mini break to eat a snack or walk around. This can give your mind time to recharge so that you can keep coming up with great ideas. 
  4. Lean into the uncomfortable. No one likes being uncomfortable, but if we stay in our comfort zone, we will never move forward or progress. Hayley suggests reading books about things you know nothing about. Allow yourself to be open to learning about things you never even thought of before.
  5. Be kind. Try to join meetings 2 minutes early. Go out of your way to make connections and be interested in the lives of your colleagues. Kindness will take you far.

Hayley gave some advice that I’ve been thinking about all week. Everyone always says, “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” However, Hayley said the complete opposite. She said that doing what you love can be difficult at times because you’re so passionate about the work you’re doing. When you love what you do, you want everything to be perfect. You care so much that you might spend each night thinking about better ways to do your job than getting enough sleep. 

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t do what you love. This means that when you love your job, you need to be extra careful and take preventive steps so you don’t get burnt out. The steps that need to be taken will be different for everyone, but one thing everyone should try to do is take breaks. If you’re going on vacation, give yourself time to relax and enjoy your time. Don’t email or text clients if you don’t have to. Make time in your schedule to do mindful activities and put work to the back of your mind, even for just a few hours. 

Hearing all the lessons Hayley has learned and how she got to be in the job she has now was very helpful. Things weren’t always easy for Hayley, but now she is a UX designer for Ralph Lauren. Seeing someone achieve such great things at such a young age is truly inspiring, and we can use her advice to propel ourselves toward our own dream jobs. If you want to hear more from speakers like this, check out Ad Club! Our next speaker is Jenna Young, a Senior Executive at Marketplace Development. She will be speaking with us next Thursday, February 2nd, at 6 pm in room LOH 174. We look forward to seeing you there!


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