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Meet the women and men of Worldline - Aurora Font

Meet the women and men of Worldline
Aurora Font

Aurora Font

UX Consultant and Design Team Manager at Worldline Iberia

What is your line of work? Why did you join the technology business in the first place? What motivated you?

Located in Barcelona, I am working within the Mobile Competence Center of Worldline Iberia as a User eXperience (UX) Consultant and Design Team Manager. I am specialized in User-Centered Design process in mobility environments and I am focused on providing intuitive and easy-to-use products. My main fields of expertise are usability and inclusive User eXperience (iUX), information architecture and interaction design as well. I am taking care of digital products’ UX for any type of devices that the users access and interact with. During my professional career that started more than 18 years ago, I have always contributed in implementing successful digital strategy; identifying user needs and suggesting the most efficient solutions for customers. This allowed me to work in several sectors (public administration, tourism, e-commerce…) and on many different types of devices and products.

In parallel, I am also an active member of the Worldline Expert community on User Experience and Home-Machine Interface related topics.

I really love “translating” technological innovations to easy-to-use products for citizens!

I joined the technology business partly due to chance. I am a very curious and energized person and I have always been interested in any kind of innovation. I discovered the digital sector in the mid-90s by proofreading digital text for several publisher companies. This experience allowed me to be contracted by a provider of telematics services in 2000. It was the starting point of my career in the technology business! What is really motivating in my job is that there is still a lot to do to place UX at the very heart of the product design and especially to sensitize companies, developers, business lines... and even users so that they know their rights and do not feel frustrated facing a product.

 

What do you find more challenging in your profession?

I face three main challenges in my job. The first one is to understand people, their needs and their behaviors; this is a major priority in my job. The second one is to make sure that I am up-to-date with everything that technology can offer to society and "translate" it into a solution that matches people's needs. And last but not least, my third challenge is to train and motivate teams and colleagues to successfully meet the two previous challenges in order to bring technology and innovation in people's daily life!

For many years, my skills were considered marginal in the software industry. They were used by marketing agencies as a lever to sale more products but no real attention was paid to the users of these products. But things and mindsets have changed, and fortunately my role is now recognized as a critical one in the product design step. User experience related topics are now part of academic curriculums in IT universities and engineering schools and IT companies have included UX profiles in their delivery teams.

 

What are you most proud of in your work?

My deepest pride is to have been persistent and to have contributed to this shift in perceptions, enabling a better social recognition for UX as an emerging profession. Indeed, I have always believed that the future of technology would go through its social acceptance and the success of a product to offer a satisfactory user experience. And naturally, I also feel proud when customers demonstrate their satisfaction because I contributed in the success of their products!

 

Aurora Font

 

Being a woman in a technology company, which is a business sector where women are less represented in average than in banking or media and communication for example, what would you say to young women thinking about their future professional orientations?

I encourage young women to face the challenge. I believe that the historical vision that technology is a world of men is still influencing the young generations, especially when they are in school. This unfortunately does not encourage girls to choose technology careers when they choose specializations in high school. In my opinion, there is still a great ignorance of the range of opportunities that these careers can also offer to women. Some skills more associated to women like capacity for empathy, effective communication, organization, thoroughness, tolerance, search for consensus and negotiation, are fully applicable to the technological environment of market leading companies. Moreover, technology as the basis of our society needs the vision and skills of women to bring their full potential to citizenship. I take the opportunity, every time I can, to talk about my role and that of my female colleagues with teenagers, but also with their relatives who have a great influence on the career they will select. It is important that women feel technology as their own in the same way that they did in the past with medicine or other professions that traditionally had only been masculine.

 

What would you advise your female colleagues to do within Worldline to successfully develop their career path?

I encourage my female colleagues to empower themselves and to think about their professional career as a strategy in the medium and long term. There is a time that women often prioritize family responsibilities before any other aspect of their life. This means that day by day they do not find space to think about the challenges that the development of a professional career entails. I think this is a mistake that incapacitates us as long-term leaders. If we stop to think and plan, there are actions that do not involve a great additional effort and that will allow us to project our future step by step.

 

What would say to your male colleagues?

I would say that, as colleagues, they should continue doing the same they already do, treating everyone without differences regardless of whether we are male or female. As men I would ask them to take equality beyond, to the family, friends and the society in general in order to have a more egalitarian society.

 

What advices would you give to achieve Work-life balance?

This question is definitely a difficult one. I think society should progress on this topic and one's should change its mind regarding the assumption that "who works more hours is more competent".

I am also convinced that companies have a fundamental role to play in this question. What about penalizing those who work outside of their schedules? What would happen if in the objectives of our team we put something like "finish your tasks as per the established schedule". In my experience, this question often depends on the culture of the company; which, being mainly male, does not take enough care of family life.

Fortunately, Worldline provides its employees with good flexibility and favorable conditions to balance their work with their private life. This was quite different in the companies I worked for in the past, trying to do as best as I can, not without some discussions and tense moments.

Almost everything in life is a matter of organization. So my advice would be to prioritize and, why not say it, many times, giving up something.

 

How has Worldline helped you to advance in your career and reach your professional goals?

Worldline gave me the opportunity to build a solid team dedicated to User Experience within the Mobile Competence Center in Barcelona. It allowed me to consolidate and enrich my experience in the management of UX processes and tasks. The company also provided me with the appropriate assignments to participate in relevant projects at national and international level, included R&D projects.

My participation in its Expert Network also contributed to making me grow in my career and reach my professional goals.

As an expert, I have been able to participate as a speaker in the different editions of TechForum eXplore, our reference internal event dedicated to innovation, researching and learning continuously while promoting and disseminating the user experience in any technological field throughout the organization.