Daniel Reed Daniel Reed

How a background in magic is helping to transform user experience

We’re investing in and growing our talented product team at Checkatrade, so took the opportunity to speak one of our newest recruits, Daniel, about how he’s settling into his role as Associate Product Designer. 

Welcome to Checkatrade Daniel! How’s it all going? 
I’ve been here for about two-and-a-half months now, and it’s gone really quickly! 

Can you briefly describe what your role entails? 
As an Associate Product Designer, I work alongside the other designers in crafting and refining the user experience and interface over many different areas within Checkatrade. I collaborate closely with cross-functional teams, including UX researchers, product managers, and developers, to ensure the product aligns with user needs and business goals. I need to be able to understand research and data, build prototypes, and use feedback to enhance product features and user experience. 

It sounds really interesting. How did you get into UX? 
My journey into UX was quite unique and untraditional. For more than two decades, I worked as a professional magician, which taught me a lot about creating engaging and memorable experiences for diverse audiences. The skills I developed in empathy, storytelling, and problem-solving were incredibly valuable and surprisingly relevant to UX design and I wanted to find a career that allowed me to use these skills in a new way.  

A friend in recruitment suggested UX design, and it piqued my interest, so I dedicated my time to self-study. My first significant project in UX was with Bezzle, an app aimed at automating administrative tasks for entertainers and events companies. This project came through my network and allowed me to leverage my industry knowledge while learning UX on the job. 

So, you can literally create magic! What is that you’re working on right now? 
Currently, I'm focused on redesigning the onboarding process for the Quotes and Invoices tool within the Checkatrade trade app. Our goal is to enhance the user experience to drive higher adoption rates of the tool, which should, in turn, reduce churn by encouraging tradespeople to continue using the app. 

I'm also just beginning work on the larger project of helping to redesign the entire trade app. This is an exciting challenge, as it presents a variety of interesting problems for us to tackle. There are significant changes in the direction of what the app will do and be capable of. It's crucial to ensure these changes meet the needs and wants of our tradespeople and are easily understood. Ultimately, we aim to help them impact their businesses in meaningful ways. 

And what are you looking forward to? 
As everyone here knows, it’s a time of significant change. The direction Checkatrade is heading is truly exciting and it's incredible to be part of a company with a great reputation that’s growing rapidly. It almost feels like we're working within a startup environment. 

As a designer, this means I get to work on new projects from their inception, figuring out what will work and what won’t. I couldn’t have joined at a better time, and I'm thrilled to be part of a team of incredible people where ideas flow freely, and I can continuously learn. I'm particularly excited about contributing to projects that will shape the future of the company and positively impact our tradespeople. 

We’re thrilled to have you on board too. What would you say to anyone else considering joining the team? 
I’d say go for it! The people here at Checkatrade are incredibly smart and friendly. We have an open and honest environment where everyone feels safe sharing their ideas and concerns. The team thrives on different perspectives, which keeps things creative and innovative. 

Teamwork is huge here – everyone’s ready to help each other out. Plus, we’re working towards big goals, which makes things exciting. It’s a really supportive place that encourages taking risks and trying new things; perfect for growth. It’s genuinely a pleasure to be part of such a welcoming and collaborative environment. 

Thanks Daniel, and best of luck with your exciting career at Checkatrade!