Human to Human: Perspectives from Our People Part 4

In our Human to Human blog series, we dive into the human side of Sparks Grove to learn more about our people behind the business. In part four of our series, we are speaking with Tricia Gillentine, Senior Manager on the Experience Design team. Tricia’s superpower is making the world better (and more meaningful) through design, one pixel at a time!


Q: What are the biggest challenge(s) of design in today’s world (internally or externally)?

The biggest challenge of design in today’s world is to, as a designer, keep up with the latest trends, thought leadership and versatility the industry demands. There are several different types of design, such as experience design, graphic design, user interface design, motion graphics, service design, etc. and designers need to be versatile enough to apply their skillset to each of them. Knowing how to tailor your skills to the business problem at hand is critical.


Q: What do you think is missing?

Designers tend to get brought in late in the game to make something look a certain way, or to apply a brand to a deliverable. In reality, we can add much more value for users and the business by being brought in very early on. We’ve been trained to think conceptually, and to brainstorm and create. This creation occurs long before we touch a single pixel, allowing us to mold and shape content and help define the most effective way to display information, what will give the greatest impact. In short, designers’ brains work in a way that enables us to solve business problems in non-traditional ways.


Q: Looking at the design process, how would you describe human experiences being delivered to customers, employees and communities?

Everything we, the design community, create needs to be thought of with the end user in mind. It’s something we already do, but we are now intently focused on thinking of that “end user” as a human instead. Someone with complex thoughts, feelings and needs they may not even be conscious of themselves as they move about the world and interact with brands. We’re doing our job right when we are not just imagining the person interacting with an app, but thinking about where they are while they’re doing so, what state of mind they are in and why they are using it, and how they will absorb the content and message.


Q: Designing for human experiences is about making an impact and changing lives, if you could change anything in the world what would you do? 

I would give the world more empathy. As designers we try to design with empathy because we have to be thinking about someone’s life and what’s going on it when creating something for them. I think in the world right now there isn’t a lot of empathy, everything is super black and white, there’s no middle ground. And without that middle ground, we are just getting further and further apart.


Q: What do you hope to see in the future for your area of practice overall?

I hope to see our design team continue to push our work and to take on increasingly complex projects that challenge our skillsets and thinking in new and unexpected ways. I would like to take an idea or a message and apply it across mediums, from end to end. Our team is filled with super talented people and I look forward to the moments and projects when they get to fully shine while delivering true business value.