Interview With Rocio Werner
This interview features Rocio Werner, UX research manager at U.S. Bank. You can watch it on Rocio’s profile page.
– Well, hello again. I’m Joe Welinske, conference director for ConveyUX, which is coming up the last three days of February in Seattle and also online. Again, one of the fun things I get to do is to talk to our many speakers and today I am pleased to be speaking with Rocio Werner. Hello Rocio, how are you today?
– Hi Joe. I’m doing well. How are you?
– Yeah, really good. I am in my home work office in Bellingham, Washington, which is north of Blinks headquarters in Seattle. Where are you talking to us from?
– Yes, I’m speaking from Chicago, Illinois. I’m actually just a couple miles west of Wrigley Field and right now it’s a bit of a gloomy weather, so it’s a cozy day in working away and talking with you.
– Alright, well it’s the area I grew up around as well in that Lakeview area. So familiar with it and it’s great to have you part of the program. Probably the best place to start is if you could talk a little bit about your background and the nature of your work.
– Yeah, happy to. So currently I’m a UX research manager at US Bank and particularly I work in the business segment space, so that includes experiences such as browsing our website for small business owners to shop around for products and services, applying for a business checking account, for example, and then just using our digital products and services to operate their businesses. So I lead a team of four researchers and we just get to learn a lot of interesting insights on small business owners to make their, their work more efficient and opportunities to improve how they operate their businesses.
– Well it’s great to have you as part of the program and your session title is Ready, set, grow Coaching through Performance Challenges to Help your team Thrive. So tell us a little bit about how you came around to that topic and what we can expect to learn from it.
– Yeah, so transitioning from my work, right? It’s not only involving research strategy and learning about our segment, but it also involves the people leadership side that my team is, you know, responsible for in terms of the business. So in other words, it’s really about coaching my team, right? It’s, it’s human centered, human led. So essentially I’m a partner in their career growth. So I came up with this topic as I was reflecting last year with some of my manager peers on what worked well and what are some opportunities to bring up what I’ve learned as we were having these discussions with my manager peers. So then I was thinking about, you know, like aside from skilling up, it’s about effective coaching, right? It’s, it extends beyond just the operational and technical areas of a researcher role, you know, and, and what I mean by operational and technical, I mean methods, processes, platforms, right? It’s also about navigating people skills As researchers, we have to have them, whether we’re introverted or not, right? That includes stakeholder management, collaborative work, presenting, and just that overall prioritization in our day-to-Day work. And so I didn’t wanna recreate something that was already out there. I wanted to find a framework that exists that worked with some of the themes within that reflection. So there’s some themes that I came up with around engagement, goal setting, removing obstacles and that sense of action from those themes. And so long story short, I came across the Grow model, which I am very enthused to talk about. I think it’ll be applicable not only to people managers, but also senior leadership roles or folks who manage people leaders as well as engaging individual contributors who wanna have some idea of how to have these conversations about growing their career.
– Well, I think that’s gonna be a, a great session to have in the program and, and offer up a lot of discussion amongst our, our attendees. I I’m sure you’re involved in a, a lot of different aspects in your job and career. Is there anything going on right now that you’re particularly excited about or passionate about in the, the work that you’re involved in?
– Yeah, so at high level I’m very excited about some product releases that we’re working on. And without getting too much into detail, what excites me about that, it’s not just the innovation behind it, but the collaboration, especially collaborating with our customer experience partners at KRC CX partners and kind of triangulating the data, not just from user research perspective, but also from the customer experience perspective and really synthesizing that together and figuring out the, the direction from there.
– Well, customer experiences, one of the themes that we have for this year’s event. So, you know, again, your, your background and activities are gonna fit really well in the, in the discussions that participants have and, and their opportunity to meet with you. We have a lot of attendees from a variety of backgrounds. Probably most tend to be more experienced practitioners, but we do have a lot of people who are new to the profession every year that we have the event. Would you have a, a tip or a thought or something that you might want to recommend to emerging UX leaders, people who are more or less getting started in their career?
– Yeah, so this is applicable not just professionally but in personal life. And it comes down to a simple principle of seeking to understand, right? That could mean seeking to understand whether you’re a people leader, seeking to understand a need that your team member has, for example. Or seeking to understand exactly what your stakeholder is trying to learn from the research or seeking to understand what their business objectives are and how that relates to research in personal lives. Seeking to understand, you know, if you’re talking to someone and they have a different point of view, figuring that out. So it’s very relevant across different aspects of life, both professionally and personally.
– That’s very helpful to advice to share with us. And last thing I wanted to ask about was the area of books, because we do have a conference bookstore, which is put on by our local bookstore seller, adas, and, and that’s gonna be at the Seattle event in person and also online selections. Would you happen to have a book that you’d like to recommend?
– Yes. So this is the gem that I revisit from time to time with my team is the Jobs To Be Done Playbook by Jim Beck. I think it’s, it’s a great practical type of material to visit, how to implement this framework, especially if you’re wearing the strategist hat or even just day-to-Day research work.
– I think that’s will be a great addition to our conference bookstore. So I’ll definitely get that in the list. And Rocio, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me about your background and in your talk, and we’ll look forward to seeing you in Seattle in less than two months.
– Yeah, it was my pleasure. And see you next month.
– Great, thanks a lot. Bye-Bye.
– Thank you. Bye-Bye.