Stephanie Troeth on trusting gut instincts

Stephanie Troeth’s main job title is subtly different from the terms we usually hear within the field of user experience. She’s a user experience strategist, a discipline that “has yet to hit mainstream”, she tells me, which involves working in the place where user experience and business objectives meet.

I ask her how she describes her work, and she laughs: “With difficulty!” Over her 15-year career, Troeth has tried out almost every aspect of web building, from backend development to user research and product strategy. “I usually try to avoid the question, but if I have to answer, I will quite often use a metaphor. So if I’m talking to someone who doesn’t understand the web at all, I will try to relate it to a bad experience they’ve had online, say, how difficult it is to book a holiday. My job is to fix that. I don’t think my dad really knows what I do!”

Troeth’s entry into the technology industry happened almost by accident. “I wanted to get into music therapy, but my parents said I wouldn’t get a job. I chose computer science because it allowed me to do a unit of arts, so I could do a music minor. I like figuring out how things work, so I was going to study electronic engineering, but it didn’t allow the unit in the arts. Computer science was the next best thing.”

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Tanya Combrinck

Tanya is a writer covering art, design, and visual effects. She has 16 years of experience as a magazine journalist and has written for numerous publications including 3D World, 3D Artist, ImagineFX, Computer Arts, net magazine, and Creative Bloq. For Creative Bloq, she mostly writes about web design, including the hottest new tools, as well as 3D artwork and VFX.