by Vika van Tuyl
18 January 2021
2 mins read
User Research | UX | Human-centered | Inclusive
What’s your background?
Diverse! I headed into the big wide world with a degree in Russian, and my first job was in marketing consultancy, with a sideline in freelance writing that has followed me ever since. I felt the need to move abroad and hone my language chops, and my first port of call was Prague where I started off waitressing, then quickly moved into management consulting. As you do.
I then moved to Croatia and my career went to hell in a handcart. I scraped my way through teaching English, learned to be a translator, got an MBA, then worked in real estate development, a couple of marketing jobs, and finally UX. And that’s where I felt I had arrived home.
I worked in an agency for 2 years as an information architect, then spent 3 years as UX lead at T-Mobile in Croatia. I returned to the UK and started freelancing on UX projects for government and private clients.
Describe your role at Difrent.
My starting position is Senior User Researcher but there are evil plans for me to quickly slide into Service Design. It seems the time has come when I can finally fully make use of my combination of a business and UX skills and experience. I love the whole spectrum of UX design skills, including content, so am happy mucking in anywhere in the process.
Who are you outside of Difrent?
The same person I am inside of Difrent, which is what attracted me to Difrent. I am a single mum with seven-year-old twin boys. Being the mother of twins teaches you to be fearless and inexhaustible. I love my allotment, and my children and I are happiest surrounded by animals.
I enjoy martial arts, the sea, electronic and classical music and reading inspiring things. Environmental issues and equality of all kinds are very close to my heart.
Who would you invite to dinner, dead or alive?
I would spend the whole time laughing and being in awe of the compassion, wisdom and beauty of Mama Ru. Perhaps we could vogue after dessert. I recently broke my bed because I thought it would be a good idea to practice shablams on it. My children told their teacher.
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