As True North Custom’s Senior UX (User Experience) Designer, Eric Clarkson views the company’s digital products through two lenses: as creator and consumer.
When it comes to digital design, Eric is a largely self-taught expert. He spent his free time as a graphic design student at the University of Tennessee teaching himself the ins and outs of designing for the digital space. After college, he worked first for a New York City startup, then as a contract designer for an agency in San Francisco and as a freelancer.
In 2008, Eric returned to his home state of Tennessee after stints in Minnesota and Georgia. He joined True North Custom the following year and became Senior UX Designer in 2015. Once at True North Custom, Eric quickly realized the true value of design’s partner in storytelling: content.
“Although I’d always known content was important, I didn’t realize just how much compelling messaging and information affects a project until I came to work here,” Eric says.
Zooming In—and Out
The crux of Eric’s job is to be certain seamless, intuitive design and navigation complement the high-quality content users experience on True North Custom’s landing pages, microsites, and other digital products. He is involved with nearly every project stage, including workflow setup, wireframing, user testing, visual design, and front-end development. To ensure the best customer experience, Eric puts himself in the user’s shoes and examines all aspects of a product, both mega and minute.
“In the morning, I might create a workflow that can help pinpoint the missing piece of a campaign with many touch points,” Eric says. “I might spend time in the afternoon scrutinizing the color or wording of a button to increase the chances someone will click it.”
Eric knows the smallest details can help a product stand out in the crush of information consumers receive every day.
“Every interaction, no matter how small, is an opportunity for success,” he says. “Something as seemingly insignificant as the verbiage of a welcome email or success page could be the thing that catches a consumer’s attention and turns him or her into a long-term customer.”
The projects don’t stop when Eric leaves work. When he and his wife aren’t listening to music, traveling, or enjoying the outdoors, he’s honing his handyman skills working on their first house, which they bought last year. A drive to make things better is one of the traits that define Eric, particularly when it comes to his profession.
“I’m always working to find ways to remove friction in terms of how someone gets to and interacts with content,” Eric says. “In a way, the less someone is aware of the job I’m doing, the better I’m doing it.”
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