Bethany’s journey from Nike to Government UX Designer

Bethany Moran, is an SAE design graduate and a Senior UX Designer at the NSW Government Department of Planning and Environment. Bethany shared her transformative journey from Albury-Wodonga, to work with Nike employees at their Portland headquarters, and collaborating with the likes of Coca Cola, Amazon, Tesla, Walmart, and Nestle.
Portrait image of woman in glasses and denim jacket smiling. SAE graduate, Bethany Moran
Studying at SAE

Bethany’s early passion for technology and web development led her on a remarkable path. Growing up in Albury-Wodonga, she recalls exploring website coding, and recognised the importance of formal learning. With a lack of options locally, she decided to pursue design in Sydney, ultimately choosing SAE.

“I absolutely loved my time at SAE; it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Bethany said. “At the time a lot of university courses were focussed on print design, however SAE’s design course structure was targeted towards web design and digital experience, which is where I wanted to expand my skill set.”

Bethany’s time at SAE and the diverse expertise of the lecturers empowered her with the necessary skills and mindset to excel in her career. “All the teachers I had were very different in terms of their skills – some were knowledgeable in graphic design while others had a business mindset,” she added. “I felt my tutors really knew me and cared about my career and where I was wanting to go.”

Enhancing experiences

Upon joining the NSW Government, Bethany’s role as a Senior UX Designer primarily focuses on website design and user experience enhancement. Through user interviews and in-depth research, she strives to understand the needs of stakeholders, ultimately driving improvements in digital systems.

“There’s a lot of workshops as well with stakeholders internally and externally to get everyone’s input into what’s the best user experience,” Bethany explained.

Bethany’s expertise extends beyond government work. Previously she was the Head of Product Design at Liftango, a startup focused on shared transport, and she had the opportunity to collaborate closely with Nike and its employees to develop an internal app for carpooling and navigation within Nike’s vast headquarters in Portland.

“I really enjoyed working on that and running workshops with Nike employees, and the success of that project has meant that the app is still being widely used by Nike’s staff today.”

Reflecting on the integration of AI in her work, Bethany highlights its supportive role. “There’s certain parts of creativity that can never be replaced by a robot,” she emphasised. “I don’t think it’s replacing our skills, it’s supporting us to streamline tasks and be more efficient, so in my case, I can focus on the core aspects of design and user experience.”

For those students who aspire to have a career as a UX designer, Bethany expressed the importance of showcasing their enthusiasm for projects. “The people that stand out in the industry are the ones where you can really see that passion and drive behind what they’re trying to accomplish with their work,” she revealed. “I would recommend people focus on the ‘why’ behind their design – why they’re doing what they’re doing, and that will lead to impactful and meaningful solutions.”

Online study

With SAE’s design courses moving online, Bethany explained what this might mean for the next generation of designers who aren’t able to live in metro areas.

“Unfortunately, there were no opportunities available in my hometown, and I was lucky enough to be in a position to make the move to Sydney, however, not everyone has that privilege” she said. “By making the course available online, SAE can support aspiring designers who wouldn’t have had the chance otherwise.

“It just makes sense, given a digital job is accessible from anywhere. By doing this, you allow so many more people to study and achieve their dream jobs.”

Girl sitting at desk in front pf desktop computer in study lab

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