Name: Ramsay Devereux
Return Path position: User Experience Intern on User Experience team in Broomfield, CO
Education: General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersion (UXDI) (San Francisco, CA). Masters in Counseling, Depth Psychology emphasis, Pacifica Graduate Institute (Santa Barbara, CA). Bachelor of Fine Arts in Therapeutic Uses of the Wilderness, Ecopsychology emphasis (Prescott, AZ).
Walk me through your typical day at Return Path.
For me, every day is different as my internship allows me to shadow almost every designer on the User Experience Design team. Through this process, I have found that there are some consistencies throughout each designers day and some variance. From a general view, the user experience process itself covers a wide continuum of skills and specialties ranging from stakeholder interviews, competitive, and market analysis and research, iterating with product team members, synthesizing research into both a systems and interface design, as well as possibly contributing to some more formal visual design processes. Therefore, each day can vary fairly significantly and as a UX designer, and I need to be nimble, flexible, and prudent in my application of the user experience skill sets.
The first thing I do when I arrive in the morning is check my schedule and any new emails. As most Return Pathers know, one’s day here can vary greatly. Making sure I have a handle on the day’s outlying meetings and responsibilities as well as being able to ascertain possible times to do some generative work is key. It has been great to be part of the daily standup process. It gives me an excellent opportunity to see where everyone is within the product development process as well as take stock in what is left to be done relative to quarterly goals. From there it is generally a smattering of meetings with all the requisite product developers and stakeholders.
Although meetings can be onerous at times, I have developed a deeper appreciation of all the processes and oversight that it takes in managing both products and teams of this size. Return Path has developed a robust suite of software solutions and it is great to see how a fairly large and diversified company can create a systematic checks and balance system from what could be a very chaotic process and program.
As I mentioned, a UX designer’s job duties vary greatly, which for me is one of the draws of the job. Each day is a different mix of interviews with the product re-naming committee, research synthesis, exploratory discussion of potential products with the data science team, style guide requirements and codification, miscellaneous visual design assignments, and so much more. All of which make the job eternally engaging and exciting.
What is your favorite aspect about being an intern at Return Path?
I love how Return Pathers are serious about their job and lighthearted about their day. I really enjoy the sense of challenging yourself within a supportive environment. I think a company this size can get a sense of predictability, complacency, and staleness within the work environment but I feel that Return Path as a company, and its individual employees, strive to keep the fresh, new, and innovative aspects of a startup mentality while maintaining the stability and support of a reputable and established service.
What type of advice would you give to future interns looking to work at Return Path?
Take advantage of every opportunity you have. Aside from the most obvious extraneous perks that are offered, the best perks will be the experience. Learn how to apply the skills of your position, but also learn how the larger company works. Return Path displays a significant amount of integrity and stealth in managing such a large and layered system.
What is one item on your bucket list?
I have hit almost all of mine. I am just hoping that at least one of my contributions gets the opportunity to go live with in the Return Path product and platform!