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Interview with Miranda Rensch – Interaction Designer
Sep
9

Miranda is an experienced interaction designer with a passion for data driven design, user research, and social impact. Her work has spanned analytics-driven startups, consumer apps, B2B solutions, IoT, and more. She is a user research focused designer able to work end to end from customer research and concepting to wireframing and prototyping. Miranda has facilitated design thinking workshops and delivered interaction design for complex data-driven tools for companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Moz, Glowforge, Peerstreet, Women.com, and a variety of other early to mid-stage startups. Miranda received her bachelor’s degree in Data Visualization and Entrepreneurship from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and is currently a Senior Interaction Designer at Seattle-based design consultancy TEAGUE.

Q: TRUST in design is…

A: This is a fascinating question! My first response as a User Experience expert is that a user shouldn’t need to decide if they “trust” an experience with a tool. Everything about the product or service that they’re interacting with should be so simple, so straight-forward, and so self-explanatory that they should immediately (or quickly) understand exactly what it’s going to do for them and with their information. Needing to have trust implies uncertainty, and to me good design doesn’t require the user to experience uncertainty.

On a broader level, we live in a time where we trade our personal information for convenience. In that way, trust in design has to do with trust in the powers at hand. Do we trust the political systems and power structures providing the service/ product that we’re giving our money and data to? The question for us as a society is how do we hold companies accountable to not misuse our data and to provide full transparency on how they use it.

Q: Where have you found TRUST in design?

A: Hmm… To me trust means allowing myself to have faith that something is true or will be okay despite being unable to predict the outcome. I can’t say that design can solve for the constant presence of the unknown, but it can sometimes help a user know what to expect and guide them to a desired outcome with greater ease.

Q: Where do you see a need for TRUST in design?

A: I think a company can build a users’ trust through clarity. When you understand a user well enough, you can see where the elements of mistrust creep in, and it’s often due to lack of information. Mistrust amongst individuals is much the same as the mistrust a user of a product or service experiences in that it often involves a miscommunication. Design can help solve for this by being the advocate for transparency and clarity at all steps of the user journey. I think there’s a huge need for those with skills in understanding, distilling, and communicating the truth in today’s society. Designers, storytellers, and visual thinkers have so much to give right now. 

Q: Who inspires you?

A: I’m inspired by social entrepreneurs—people who understand that the most fascinating problems we face as society have less to do with buying and selling and more to do with creating a thriving global community where everyone has baseline equal access to education, health, and safety. If we grew up with the problem statement of “how might we create a society where everyone can thrive” instead of “how are you individually going to be successful” I think we’d live in a very different world. I see movement in this direction, and it excites me! To me, strategies for a world-wide system where all humans can thrive is the greatest innovation we could put our minds towards.

Q: My favorite thing about my city is…

A: Wine tasting in the sun with friends and floating the river in the summertime. 🙂

Q: What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work? What do you want to contribute?

A: I would love to make an impact in the social good space by partnering with or starting a non-profit or social enterprise in a way that leverages my UX skills. I think there are so many opportunities to bridge the gap between those who have an excess and are looking for a way to have more meaning and give more and communities and individuals who need support. I’d love to know that my work contributed to a more fair and better functioning society.

Q: If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

A: Definitely mind-reading. Think of how good I’d be at user research! Also I just find the way people experience things and how a person’s outlook affects their experience to be so fascinating and I’d love to listen in to different people’s brains experiencing the same interaction and see how differently they think!

 

Learn more about Miranda’s Work:
Website – mirandarensch.work
Instagram – @mirandarensch
Email – [email protected]

PLUS, don’t miss TEAGUE at the 2018 Seattle Design Festival! TEAGUE is hosting three programs this year including In Autonomy We (Don’t Quite Yet) Trust, September 13, and The Driverless Data Conundrum, September 20. RSVP today!