As Indiana’s tech community continues to grow and mature, it’s getting harder and harder to narrow down the winners for our annual Tech 25 Awards program. There is a wealth of tech talent in the Hoosier state, and they are making incredible moves. Join us in celebrating the Tech 25 class of 2021 through this profile series and learn a bit more about each winner.

Marie is a curious explorer, asking questions and doing whatever she needs to find the answers, whether in a book or deep conversation. As a lover of learning, collaboration, and sharing knowledge, Marie has had several career changes that led her to be a UX Designer at enVista.

Marie grew up in Sacramento, CA, and has moved all over Southern California. She and her family moved to Indiana eight years ago, and she is a big fan of science fiction, space exploration, and her husband and two beautiful children.

What led you to the tech industry and this occupation? What was your first job in tech?

My first career was in pension consulting, where I would take on the messy stuff and lead tech projects, including database design, software upgrades, and process improvement initiatives. When my husband and I decided to move to the Midwest, I found a position with OneAmerica as a pension consultant, and all that fun, challenging stuff went away. I knew my passion was in technology.

I was in the middle of finishing my degree, and I changed my major from Business Administration to Business Information Systems. I eventually earned a position as a Business Analyst in OneAmerica’s IT department, which opened my eyes to a whole new world I never knew existed. I started exploring, and that’s when I found UX Design.

When you think of a day in your life, what are the main work activities you do or responsibilities you have?

Every single day I collaborate with product managers, engineers, and internal stakeholders. We define problems, identify the riskiest questions to research, uncover opportunities, and brainstorm possible solutions.

I am often mapping out processes or sketching out visuals to align everyone. I act as a user advocate to ensure the user’s perspective is part of the conversations. I research the people who use our products to learn more about them and help the product team understand how we bring value to our users at different levels of interaction. For user research, I collaborate on objectives, defining the best approach, and facilitating research activities. I create prototypes of the solutions we land on for user research and create artifacts for Engineers.

What resources would you recommend to those who want to learn more or advance their skills in this occupation?

For those studying on their own, as I did, I would encourage you to reach out to like-minded people to discuss and learn with them. I would recommend finding these people at the local IxDA chapter that has regular meet-ups or the many Slacks dedicated to UX. Get feedback on your projects. You need to practice in order to synthesize and process the material you are soaking up. The more you practice, as well as study, the faster you will level up.

Marie Williams is a Tech 25 winner who is helping to grow and improve the tech landscape of Indiana. She was nominated by her UX Manager,  Chris Rozzi.

Visit the Indianapolis Business Journal website to see the full listing and celebration of the 2021 Tech 25 honorees in the joint CTO of the Year and Tech 25 Awards supplement. You can also watch a video of the livestream from the CTO of the Year and Tech 25 Awards virtual event.

Read more coverage of the Tech 25 in this Index Feature Story and view and tag the gallery of photos from the event on Facebook.