Sophie Bryson is perfectly described by her vibrant watermelon-colored themes and joyful designs. The same colorful palette dominates her personal website and is invariably reflected in works she offers to her clients in the media industry. Although she loves creating bright and bold website designs, Sophie will always analyze and consider the brand she is working for, and what will best suit it. Her UX and UI solutions are a perfect blend of creativity, flair and user centered designs!
‘I have always been drawing, ever since I was a toddler. As far back as I can remember, I was always bringing my creativity to every task, looking for new ways to express myself and bring concepts to life.’ Sophie starts her story.
Growing up in Melbourne, the city’s art and design culture proved a perfect background for Sophie to develop her passion for creativity. Majoring in multimedia systems design at RMIT university was a logical extension of her long-term association with pencil and computer graphics.
The next station was Tokyo, where Sophie spent five amazing years, immersed in the Japanese language and world of alternative fashion and independent design. That time left a strong mark on her design style, bringing along a set of distinctive themes easily recognized in her works.
After moving to Kuala Lumpur for a change of pace, Sophie continued developing her portfolio while working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer for venues at Malaysia’s largest entertainment and hospitality corporation.
Curiosity about human behaviour – the secret language of UX / UI
‘Working in Asia laid the foundation for my curiosity about human behaviour, and has changed me a lot as a designer,’ Sophie explains her UX/UI career pivot. ‘I remember struggling to navigate Japanese websites and thinking that the design should be such that a user can navigate a website even without understanding the language it’s written in’.
Through her life experiences Sophie discovered UX / UI as the design discipline, and started to understand and appreciate the UX design process and the importance of User centred design. User experience, known as UX, is the overall experience, good or bad, a user has when interacting with a company’s products or services.
User interface design, known as UI, is focused on the look and layout — how each element of the product will look, including buttons, placeholders, text, images, checkboxes and more.
UX is a science and UI is an art form. Though serving the same business goals, UX and UI require different thinking processes and strengths. UX design is based on an audience’s wants and needs, while UI design is based on the research, recommendations, and requirements of the UX designer. Moving to a new country definitely turns you into a creative problem solver, a skill so critical to UX design!
It is quite rare to come across designers, like Sophie, who have strengths in both areas. “I have been really into alternative fashion for about 10 years and I think if you just wear black, that’s super easy. When you start wearing colors, it’s harder to get them to go together. It’s the same in UI design,” Sophie explains her approach.
Once you start using colors, it’s more challenging, but it has more of an effect. It pays off to have a bold, vibrant brand. It is more memorable – you don’t forget it. It has an impact.
From passion to profession
‘I don’t remember how exactly I discovered UX/UI design. I had spent years critiquing websites and apps, envisioning how I could redesign them, so as soon as I found out you could do this as a career, I knew I was made for it’, Sophie explains. ‘I’ve always had a natural empathy for the customers who receive my final designs, which is why I felt that graphic design and illustration were too shallow for me. I don’t want to just consider one stakeholder, the client, when I create. I want to make an impact on the end user, as well as the business as a whole. So the transition to UX / UI happened really naturally.‘
Recently, Sophie joined our team at ZippyCrowd to help us improve our word of mouth platform in preparation for the launch. Sophie has been instrumental in identifying and resolving all critical UX / UI issues, bringing to the team a huge dose of creativity coupled with an incredible sense of commitment and a positive attitude. She is certainly one of a kind in the creative world.
Next stop… over to the Netherlands, through word of mouth..
All Sophie’s clients come through word of mouth. “As a freelancer, I have been fortunate enough that most of my clients have found me through word of mouth without much effort on my part. However there have also been times when I wished there was an easy way to get recommended or referred to work without having to trawl job listings or endlessly cold email.”
That is one of the main reasons why Sophie is so generous with her time supporting ZippyCrowd. “Everyone that I have worked with or for agrees that my skills and life experience are far more valuable than an arbitrary number of years’ office experience on a resume, which is why personal recommendations are so vital to my business and career. ZippyCrowd is a fantastic initiative that I’m sure can help many more sole traders and businesses boost their customer base through recommendations”.
Sophie is now planning her next move to the Netherlands, to regain her citizenship and give more momentum to her career. “I love the people, the culture, and the food in Asia, but the standard of design is sadly lacking. I’m really excited to take my career somewhere that will really challenge me, and push me to create even better designs”.
In the meantime, we at ZippyCrowd, are making the most out of having Sophie on the team.