Hello, I’m Patrick Semple and I’ve been with AO for over four years. I started as a mid-level UX designer and progressed to my current UX manager role. I moved to the UK six years ago with my wife, and we settled in Chorlton, Manchester. We have two kids (Art & Conan).
Outside of work, one of my favourite hobbies is coffee; I drink way too much and I’m always tinkering with a different way to make a cuppa. I also love going on runs when I can. I especially love taking part in AO’s 12 Runs of Summer/Christmas.
Working in UX at AO
The UX team is a brilliant function of the Tech Department. Our focus is improving the customer experience at each interaction a shopper has with AO.com. The UX team work across many different business areas. Often helping bring a few different departments together to tackle a new project.
We love to be collaborative in the UX Team. First, we grab a whiteboard marker and get everyone around the board. We help facilitate engaging discussions about customer research and insight or collaboratively generate solutions to complex business problems.
Secondly, the team are fantastic at demoing their work. They do this in person or remotely at design reviews or to stakeholders directly. We also record video walk-throughs of our prototypes, which brings our work to life. We can easily share these videos to get feedback quickly.
Solving problems is our bread and butter
We develop customer-centric solutions that create a meaningful business outcome by working collaboratively with other AOers in the E-comm, Research & Insight, Projects, Developers and Product teams.
We use different design methods to help us do this, such as Design Thinking and Lean UX. As part of these we run design workshops to get everyone aligned and working together on the solution. Our UX Designers are genuinely brilliant at bring to life the customer problem with insight and data. We then look for unique and brilliant ways to create new and meaningful experiences that will help the customer.
Once we all have a design, we’re happy with; we test the design in our Customer Research Lab. Our designers get customer feedback within hours. We can adjust our designs to match our customer needs if we need to.
A culture for support, learning and growth
You’ll often hear the phase ‘Growth mindset’ in AO. It comes from the top down, and everyone embraces it. There are tonnes of opportunity to develop in areas that you may not have thought possible thanks to the Learning & Development team. The L&D team have courses on everything. There’s training on leadership, mentoring, and coaching to mindfulness, mental health and resilience.
The Tech community is no different either – we’ve got the Tech Culture Group that organises big community days where we have loads of talks from our peers about the fantastic innovation we are creating. If talks, writing articles or creating a podcast are your thing. There would be nothing stopping you from setting one up here. The support and encouragement to try new things are infectious.
I love the collaboration of working with a group around a whiteboard. But writing (and writing in front of others) doesn’t come naturally to me because I’m dyslexic. I wouldn’t say having dyslexia has disadvantaged me, but I’m certainly conscious of my spelling. Here at AO, I feel supported. Everyone is more interested in my ideas than if I’ve spelt wasshing machine right……oops!
Amazing people creating amazing experiences
The people are genuinely excellent at AO. If you’re lucky enough to work with this group of people or come in and visit the office, you’ll know what I mean.
My experience working with colleagues in Tech and Retail is that everyone here wants to create fantastic shopping experiences, better than the best bricks and mortar stores. We have a tonne of fun doing that. Moving from one project to the next is exciting and creates a buzz. That kind of culture is incredibly rare; you’ll want to be part of it and join in.