Elsa Plumley

Experience Design Director

As Experience Design Director, I oversee the quality of the Experience Design work we do for our clients here at Foolproof. My particular area of focus is ensuring the quality of the advice we provide to our clients, right from how best to organise themselves and approach tackling a business challenge, through to how best to solve specific design problems.

I work with my team to make sure we have a full understanding of the client’s business context and challenges, the market they are operating in and what their customers need and expect, so that we can do work that has a genuine and profound impact on our clients’ businesses.
My education and background is a combination of research, design and marketing disciplines: I have a degree in Psychology, a Masters in Interface Design and a diploma in Marketing. This mix has given me a laser-focus throughout my career on creating business value through simple, elegant and engaging design solutions.

As well as conceiving of and designing great experiences, I always push myself and others I work with to prove the measurable, positive impact of our work. I am part of the measurement special interest group at Foolproof and contribute to discussions about how we can gain more influence as a community by connecting to the higher strategic agenda in organisations.

I am happiest when I am doing research to explore real peoples' behaviours, needs and motivations, or when I am leading multi-disciplinary teams of colleagues, clients and other contributors, or when I am convening discussions between different perspectives to find creative solutions to problems. I do my best work when I am helping teams turn thinking into doing, challenging them to move from conceptual thinking into execution and solution design.

I have been at Foolproof since 2007, and during that time have progressed from being a  consultant to a member of the Leadership Team. I remain closely involved in delivering work for clients, but alongside that I also get involved in strategic and operational planning, line manage a team, contribute to evolving our Experience Design practices, deliver training programmes to develop research, design and consulting skills in others and provide career mentorship to researchers and designers within Foolproof and in the wider community.

When I’m not presenting to clients, I am often speaking at public events about the work I do at Foolproof and how we are evolving our thinking and practices, for example at UXPA or IXDA meet-ups.  I consider myself a life-long learner with a constant thirst for new knowledge and experience. I love to read, travel and take a new course each year. In a world that is constantly evolving and changing, it’s essential to be a life-long learner to stay on top of your game.

Skills and areas of expertise:

  • Formative design research
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Business needs exploration
  • Ideas generation workshops
  • Conceptual design and sketching
  • Information design