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Sociomantic Women in Tech: Real Talk from Our Team Lead UX Designer

Danai Tsouni discusses her experience as a woman in tech

In this series, we hear from women in different departments at Sociomantic about their roles, their unique experiences and their recommendations for those interested in joining the industry. Our first interview featured two of our technical account managers; next up, for International Women’s Day, we hear from our team lead user experience (UX) design Danai Tsouni on the importance of UX, and what it takes to be successful in this role.

What does a user experience designer do at a programmatic advertising company?

As a UX designer, I am responsible for the usability and general look and feel of Sociomantic’s client service platform — which showcases our clients’ ad campaigns — both on desktop and mobile. Typically, I receive requests from our solutions department on features that need to be incorporated in the platform. My job is to then translate those requirements into interactive elements, making sure that it fits to the existing style.

At the same time, I work on internal improvements on the way the UX team works together and collaborates with other teams.

Which path did you take to get to Sociomantic into the UX team and what kind of skills do you need?

After finishing my main studies on Product and System Design engineering and then completing a master on Interaction Design, I started searching for a job in Berlin. At that time, Sociomantic Labs had an open position for an Interaction Designer and I was very interested to start my professional career in the tech industry.

In order to be effective in this role you need to be able to deal with complexity, communicate effectively, ask a lot in order to understand the product, empathize with users and be creative.

What are the challenges you face when designing user experiences, and how do you overcome them?

When you are responsible for designing interfaces, it is essential to find a balance between business requirements and user needs. But the main challenge here is around process. Establishing a process that will improve collaboration and effectiveness among the team and within different departments is of high importance. For example, the team is now working on creating patterns for both web and mobile platforms to reduce the time that we need in order to implement something new. This will also allow us to spend our time more effectively.

What has your experience been like as a woman in tech? What recommendations do you have for women who want to enter this industry?

Although the tech industry is mostly male-dominated, we’re quite fortunate that our UX team at Sociomantic is made up of 75% females. Personally, Sociomantic is the first professional environment that I am exposed to the tech industry, and so far being a woman hasn’t caused any disadvantages. It’s more about the personality and having the right skills I would say. So, for any woman who wants to enter this industry, I would just tell them to be confident with themselves and go for it!

Why is the user experience important in tech?

UX is important wherever you find an intersection between people and product. People are busy and they are not going to spend a lot of time on a website if they can’t easily find what they need. UX makes sure that they achieve their goals through an intuitive path — if you want individuals to spend time on your website, make sure they have a smooth user experience. My job is to reduce the margin of error for our clients and colleagues to zero.