Meet the Aries Team: Matt Beevers, UI/UX Designer

Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you been working for Aries? What did you do before joining Aries?

Prior to joining Aries in December 2019, I worked in a number of User Experience and User Interface (UX/UI) design roles. Most recently, I was a UI/UX Designer for an engineering consulting company in Burlington, MA and before that I was a UI/UX Designer for a consulting company that worked on embedded touch screen devices. Additionally, I have done UI/UX work for touch screen kiosks that are used in sales and marketing for different industries, industrial welders, and medical devices. My role at Aries as UX/UI Designer for the EM/PM Redesign initiative includes conducting research, collecting user feedback, and harnessing that data to create designs that can help improve user workflows in EM/PM.

How have your previous roles helped you in your current position?

My previous roles have given me the experience and foundation to help redesign EM and PM at Aries. My background in visual design has helped when working on strictly UI projects and creating assets for our design system, and my UX experience has helped with planning research initiatives and working on workflow redesigns.

How do you stay up-to-date with customer needs?

At Aries, we have a lot of knowledgeable people and teams that can help whenever there are questions, but one of the best ways to understand our customers is through User Research. To date, the Aries UI/UX team has conducted extensive research and analysis on several areas of Editorial Manager and ProduXion Manager, including the main navigation bar, Reviewer Invitation workflow, the Decision and Final Disposition workflow, Editor Main Menu, and more. As part of this process, we directly interview and survey users about their likes and dislikes, general workflow steps, elements they’d like to see improved, and testing prototypes. It’s great to become an advocate for their needs!

How do you collaborate with other departments within Aries?

The UX team collaborates with everyone at Aries, which is exciting! We work closely with the Product Management team to ensure we are creating designs that work for EM/PM and adhere to accessibility and responsive standards, with our Developers to ensure the designs can technically be built, with Client Services to identify and coordinate collaborating with customers and end users to solicit feedback and participate in our user research sessions, and with Marketing to effectively communicate upcoming design updates.

Tell me about your department and the people you work most closely with.

Our UX team has doubled in size this past year! Together, our lean team have been working on some new designs that I am really excited about. I also work closely with the Product Owner for the UI/UX redesign project, who is a great source to address questions on EM/PM or to offer another perspective when looking at certain workflows.

Describe your typical workday.

This all depends on whatever phase of the design process we are in for the current project. After reviewing my emails and meeting schedule for the day, I either identify pain points referenced in recent research that we should address or I work on designs and try to brainstorm as many new ideas as possible. Along the way, I’ll reach out to other people or designers for feedback to see if there’s anything I might have missed.

What do you most enjoy about your job? What do you enjoy most about working for Aries?

I enjoy the research aspect of the UX process. Speaking directly with customers, determining their pain points, and then introducing new designs that can potentially improve their daily workflow or user experience is really satisfying. Especially those moments when we show a customer a design that solves a specific problem they had just raised, it’s great to see their reaction and the relief they feel knowing their job will be easier when the designs are released. One of the great aspects about working on redesigning a system like EM/PM is that there are many user types, so the work is always different depending on who we are designing for. Each role has different goals and it’s fun to create designs that can help users in achieving them.

What are you currently reading, listening to, or watching?

I am currently reading The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay which came out a few weeks ago. He is a great horror author and I have enjoyed all of his books! I also just finished the most recent season of Stranger Things and have had that Kate Bush song and Metallica’s Master of Puppets stuck in my head (like everyone else who has watched it!)

Tell me about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work.

On the weekends, I usually can be found on the beach reading or attempting to surf. If I’m not there, then I am probably hanging out with my French bulldog Harry, who loves to play for short bursts and then lay on the couch and watch TV. Other hobbies include playing guitar or drawing on my iPad. If you make it down Salisbury Beach in Massachusetts this summer, check out the banners that I designed the artwork for along boardwalk!