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Drapers 30 Under 30 2018: Kate Rylance, senior user experience researcher, Shop Direct

Age: 26

Kate rylance

What she’s learnt: “Be proactive and create your own opportunities.”

Not content with developing Shop Direct’s innovative user experience lab, Kate Rylance has also been busy inspiring future generations. Over the past couple of months, she has been running classes and talks for students aged 12 to 22 in a bid to bridge the gap between the skills they learn at school and roles in the retail and tech spheres. A personal high came when a young audience member told Rylance how inspired she felt after one such class.

“If I can inspire even one young female to have the confidence to chase her dream, then I’m happy,” Rylance tells Drapers.

At Shop Direct, she is known for her high level of expertise and for using her background in psychology, which she studied at Liverpool Hope University, to drive her research and understanding of consumer behaviour.

The etailer’s head of user experience, Sam Barton, highlights her work around persuasive messaging on Very as a particular achievement, adding: “Kate’s ability to truly understand the customer and translate that insight into on-site experiences makes her stand out.”

Career path

2014 Senior user experience researcher, Shop Direct

2013 Public safety accounts consultant, Northgate Public Services

2012 Project-based intern, Havas Worldwide

2012 Leadership research consultant, Arup

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