Interview: Elsa Plumley, Principal Consultant

by Foolproof

Q: So, you recently celebrated your fifth anniversary here at Foolproof, what was your career path leading up to joining the company?

A: Before Foolproof I worked for a usability agency as a usability consultant. On the side, I completed a Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma to expand my commercial knowledge and to complement my existing psychology degree and Masters in HCI with Ergonomics.

Foolproof’s design philosophy really appealed to me as they balance the needs of both customers and businesses in a way which the agency I worked for didn’t.

Q: Could you describe your main responsibilities?

A: Around 60% of my role is working on project work. This will typically be the more strategic or complex work. I’ve carried out research in Paris, New York and Columbus Ohio (my favourite).

Almost 20% of my role is about developing long-term relationships with our clients and working alongside the client services team to find the best solutions for our client’s needs.

The remaining 20% involves working with my team to help them achieve their ambitions and to make sure we have a cohesive team which meets its performance measures.

I also participate in our marketing activities including writing blogs and presenting at events which have included MediaPro, Internet World and to students at UCL.

Q: Which, in your opinion, are the three top skills a PC needs to do their job effectively?


  • Good practitioner skills.
  • Commercial awareness of how a business works, from our client’s point of view but also from an internal perspective.
  • Leadership, you need to be good at motivating people.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

A: Unlike many other agencies, as a consultant I have the opportunity to work on most projects from the beginning to the end because I work with client services to help build long-term relationships with clients.

I also have an awesome team and I find it incredibly rewarding to watch them grow and develop.

Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

A: It’s the most challenging aspect but also one of the most exciting, and that’s working with other client account teams to make sure that we all have the best people for the job on our projects. It often involves some heavy negotiation and excellent communication skills.

Q: Which is the most exciting project that you have worked on (which we can mention of course)?

A:Multi-channel booking process for Belron® (Autoglass®); we worked with Belron® to develop a best-in-class multi-channel booking process. I worked on this project from requirements gathering, through ideas and initial designs, through to implementation and validation and the client has had great results. In fact, this project was shortlisted in this year’s Econsultancy innovation rewards.

Q: So, what’s it really like working at Foolproof?

A: I can honestly say that I love it; great culture, great people with a solid vision for the future.

What do you think?