Interview with UX Designer, Liesl Steyn.

Meet Liesl Steyn. She is the newest team member and a great addition to our awesome uAfrica team.

She has a passion for user-centered design and is a happy-go-lucky person who loves a good laugh. Liesl loves travelling and you’ll often find her planning her next overseas trip. 

Liesl sat down with us to chat about how she got into UX design, why it’s so important and where she finds her inspiration.



How did you get into the field of UX?

I started my professional journey as a publishing student with a passion for language and design. While completing my degree, I worked part-time by writing, editing, proofreading and designing for the print industry. My interest soon expanded to the digital world where I gained experience in digital publishing by developing eBooks for the education industry.

… and where do eBooks get sold? At an online store of course.

I was lucky enough to work at a company that touched on every aspect from the creation, design, production, and selling of the eBooks. This, in turn, led to the wonderful discovery of User Experience and User Interface Design where I helped design and improve the flow and user experience of the online store (among others) to ensure that all our users had the best possible online shopping experience.

Why do you think UX design is so critical?

People have enough frustrations to deal with in their everyday lives. From sitting in traffic every morning to struggling to get the next full toilet paper roll out in public bathrooms… the last thing you want to do is provide them with a bad user experience when trying to navigate your website or buy something from your online store.

Not only will they likely never return to your site, but you’ll also lose out on future profits and returning clients.

You want your users to feel satisfied and accomplished after leaving your site. Buying that new wool coat should be easier than mindlessly stroking your puppy as it lovingly lies next to you.

Good UX is good for everyone!

What do you think will be the next big thing in UX design?

This is a tricky one! I think the “next big thing” often relates to the kind of business you’re in. From what I’m seeing, it looks like animations are making quite the comeback. From a UX perspective, animations are used to provide better visual cues and feedback to users while using a website or app. This could be something as simple as having a “BUY NOW” button float in from the side of the screen to grab the user’s attention, or having important notifications drop in from the top of the screen.

Where do you go for UX design inspiration?

For any inspiration, the internet is always your friend. If there’s something specific that I need inspiration for, I’ll often just Google it and see what pops up.

For everyday inspiration, my favourite source remains Instagram. I follow numerous UX pages and designers who often post bite-sized tips on various aspects of UX design. I’ve also subscribed to newsletters from UX Mastery and Inside Design by InVision, as well as subscribed to YouTube channels like DesignCourse (which provides amazing tips and tutorials on frontend development and user experience design), and Robert Bradford’s channel where he focuses more on the different phases of the UX design process.

If all else fails, I usually visit my favourite websites and play around in the apps on my phone to see how others have solved similar problems.

What drew you to uAfrica?

The good coffee 😉

Jokes aside, what drew me to uAfrica was the new challenges and possibilities in the e-commerce space.

I truly believe that we are revolutionising the way people are doing business online and providing users with a valuable product that simplifies their everyday lives. There’s always room for improvement, and at uAfrica, we’re not afraid of exploring those options and continually creating a better product for our users.

What has been the greatest challenge of UX design in the e-commerce space?

Definitely designing for different user types. We often only see one side of a system – usually the online store or the website – but we forget that all of those products and information have to be managed somewhere. So we’re not only creating interfaces for our end users (the client), but also the administrative staff who have to manage client accounts, take inventory, upload photos, etc.

Ensuring that all of these systems remain logical, and that the information displayed on each is relevant to the user in question, is often the biggest challenge of all.  

If you could give someone one tip on UX in the online store, what would it be?

Keep it simple!

You want users to be able to buy your product in as few steps as possible without confusing them or leaving them frustrated. Guide them through the buying process by leading them to the next step and ensuring that all the necessary information is captured during this process. Users shouldn’t have to jump to different pages on your site to complete their purchase.