As the month goes by, we continue with our celebrations in preparation for International Design Day! In anticipation of the BIG day that’s coming next April 27th, we talked to some of the amazing Klarnauts working within the different design sub-pipelines at Klarna to learn more about their experiences and their thoughts on this year’s International Design Day 2022 theme, “Suspended in Transition.”
Meet Nick Birkby. He’s an accomplished UX researcher passionate about cross-cultural collaboration. Keep reading to learn more about his journey at Klarna and the specifics of his role as a UX researcher.
I joined Klarna’s UX Research Team in June of 2021, and I’ve had an awesome experience so far. One of my favorite parts of being a Klarnaut is working with colleagues from different cultures. Whether it’s collaborating on a new offering with product managers in Australia, catching up about our weekends with teammates in Germany or saying hi to a new Klarnut in Japan, I always find myself grateful for working at a company that allows me to broaden my understanding of global business.
“International Design Day 2022: “Suspended in Transition” asks designers to step out of their comfort zone, to accept moments of not knowing and not designing-yet, to reflect from a place of discomfort and change at the same time.” Tell us about a moment where you have felt this way in Klarna?
How do you feel when you are at the very top of a ferris wheel? My hands usually start to become shaky (as I’m afraid of heights). I know I am not going backwards, as the ferris wheel only goes one way, but I am not returning to the ground just yet, and don’t know how long it will be until I do.
How do we design for moments like this? Ones that are not permanent, but nevertheless exist and are real experiences that can’t simply be brushed aside.
Designing during the pandemic was a similar experience. We knew that life would (mostly) return to how it was, but that certain experiences from this time would shape the new “normal”, which was a distant dream at the time.
By focusing on how “suspended transition” affected our customers, Klarnauts on the design team were able to innovate with tools like virtual shopping to put consumers and sales associates face to face, and budgeting tools and interest free options to help customers manage their finances during a particularly difficult time. It made us imagine ways of solving new realities.
Tell us what made you interested in becoming a UX Researcher?
My passion for creating exciting, enjoyable and stress-free experiences started when I worked as a sales associate for a department store in my hometown. I loved creating a friendly environment for customers, understanding their needs and building relationships with them while helping them shop. As a user experience (UX) team member, I get to continue to do that on a macro level.
What has been the most interesting project you have worked on since joining the Design team at Klarna?
One of the most interesting projects I’ve worked on at Klarna was discovery research for the CO2 Emissions Tracking team. I conducted research to better understand what incentivises our Klarna consumers to shop more sustainably. This was done in order to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions their purchases create. I loved getting to hear directly from our consumers about their desire to reduce their carbon footprint, and know our product designers are doing a great job at building technology that will help them to do so.
How do you generate impact with your work?
As a user experience researcher, it is my job to empathize and be customer-obsessed. I do this by listening to our consumers through surveys, interviews, app reviews and analytics. My hope is that my findings about our consumers inspire our design teams to create human-centered products that help consumers have a smoooth experience.