Troi Ilsley could have never imagined the world of possibility that lay before her in User Experience Design (UX). Troi’s journey into UX all started with a relocation from Bendigo to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Criminology.

For Troi, deciding to study criminology was initially sparked by her interest to help others. However, the traditional university route seemed to be bogged down by old processes and outdated ways of thinking. Troi believed there was something missing and decided to look for other ways to help people beyond traditional pathways.

Troi’s passion for assisting others went beyond education and spilled out into her local Indigenous community. She spent her time volunteering at the Melbourne Aboriginal Youth and Sports Recreation Cooperative (MAYSAR) and Youth Leadership camps. It was through her work with MAYSAR, where Troi was exposed to a Talent Rise, a foundation that assists youth in realising their potential through skill-specific employment opportunities. 

Talent Rise facilitated an introduction to Academy Xi, where Troi received a scholarship in UX, an important partnership between Isobar and Academy Xi. Humorously, her colleague saw Troi’s sketches and thought she would be a good candidate for UX, mistaking Graphic Design for User Experience Design. However, Troi’s experience with community building and design were a perfect mix for UX.

“I’ve really enjoyed, as the name suggests, how user-focused UX is,” says Troi “Most people don’t realise that doing work to improve a user’s experience has flow-on effects to a company’s performance. When you’re trying to solve problems people generally see things through a company’s lens. By reverting back to the user’s needs, you’re addressing a bigger and more prominent problem.”

While helping others may come naturally to Troi, pitching her idea to investors lives way outside her comfort zone.

“Initially, I thought I’d only have to present a pitch every now and then. But, the fact is as a UX Designer, you’re constantly pitching your ideas and trying to get public or investor validation.”

“Expressing your idea is core to UX — you really have to go out there interact with your users.”

Pitching has also boosted Troi’s self-confidence and her ability to present a variety of ideas. “The more I’m presenting, the more confident I become in my abilities to discern and solve user problems.”

Troi believes there are no limitations in the world of UX and anyone has the ability to use design thinking principles in their daily lives.

“Who would I say is the ultimate UX Designer? They’re definitely someone who is curious. For anyone who wants a career in UX or just wants to learn more, I’d definitely recommend it. The skills acquired from UX are so universal that anyone can benefit from learning about UX and apply it, without having to necessarily be a designer.”

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