Josh Webster, a UX Lead here at Echidna, was nice enough to take a few minutes out of his day to help us get to know him better. Learn more about Echidna’s UX culture and more in the video below.
Luke: To get started, introduce yourself.
Josh: My name’s Josh Webster. I started in college as an animator, and that wasn’t great, so I went onto graphic design, which then naturally led into user experience.
L: What’s your role at Echidna?
J: My role here at Echidna is UX Design Lead. I lead projects for our clients and make sure that wireframes are cohesive and can tell the story that we want to tell.
L: What are your favorite aspects of UX?
J: I really love the interaction with people. I think that’s the core of UX — making great experiences for people. And I really enjoy the research aspect. Research in itself can sound dry, but when you take that data and put it up against theories you’ve made or ideas you had for an interface, you can really see whether or not those ideas are valid. I think that’s a really exciting part of UX: you get to quantify decisions you make for entire user groups, and I think that’s a very interesting aspect. Lastly, I really like the wire framing process. It’s probably my favorite part of any project, and once the ball gets rolling I really enjoy creating the experience — the pages upon pages of gray little boxes to show where stuff lives and how stuff works. It’s an exciting thing for the client to see and it’s an exciting thing to make.
L: Is there anything you don’t like about UX?
J: I would say the revisions. You always try really hard not to take requests for changes personally, but after you’ve spent 10-15 hours creating the experience for a page or several pages, you get the client feedback and you end up having to change or fight for so many things. It’s maybe the most exhausting part of UX. There are always so many revisions.
L: What do you like to do outside of work?
J: Outside of work, I build a lot of models. I play video games with my roommates. I try to go to the gym three or four times a week. I’m a pretty simple guy when it comes to having fun; I can pretty much do anything anytime.
L: How would you describe your personal style?
J: That’s kind of a tough one. I wear whatever I find comfortable, but I’ve always been a big believer that it needs to fit right. There are a lot of guys that will just throw whatever on, but I like to look at least somewhat fit and clean. I get my haircut like every three weeks, and I let my beard grow pretty much all year long.
L: How long have you had a beard?
J: Since I could grow one. When I was 18, I had a ridiculous orange, shaggy goatee-looking thing. It was absolutely terrible, but I always feel like I look like a little kid when I shave, so I try to keep a beard pretty consistently.
L: What’s it like to work at Echidna?
J: It’s really great. I’ve worked in big stuffy corporate environments and I’ve worked in shops more like Echidna, and I love the culture here. Everyone’s super friendly; we’ve got just the right amount of jokester in all of us, so we’re usually cracking laughs at work. And then we have this awesome team in Bangalore that’s taught me so much about Indian culture, in the holidays they celebrate and things like that. It’s a really great experience to work here.
L: What does a typical day look like for you?
J: A typical day means I’m usually up before the sun to take calls with the team out in Bangalore. The majority of my morning — from about 6:30 to 10:00 — are calls with different team members on various projects. Then, I’ll head into the office and start working on whichever projects or materials I need to get done for that day. And then as we wind down, we’ll usually shoot the breeze a little bit and call it a day.
L: N64 or Playstation?
J: Right now, I’m a Playstation guy. But growing up, I was N64 all the way. I remember the day my dad brought home a Nintendo 64. I was 11 years old. We were living in a house in Texas, and my dad came in the door with a Walmart bag with an N64 with Wave Race 64 in it, and that was the biggest day of my 11-year-old life.
L: What’s Echidna’s UX culture like?
J: Echidna’s UX culture has been an eye-opener for me. When I first started in UX, it was in a very stuffy corporate environment, and while the work was interesting (because it was my first UX job), it wasn’t necessarily meaningful. And I’m not saying that every project I work on here at Echidna is my favorite project, but there have been a few projects where we solved problems for people that they’d been living with for years. So to give them an experience that made their work life easier was huge. It was easily one of the most satisfying experiences of my work career. I feel like Echidna embodies that mindset when it comes to UX work. We are very much about delighting the user and giving them something that will not only excite them but actually make their lives easier in terms of process or in terms of revenue. We do a very good job of capturing that lightning in a bottle and applying it to every project we have.