Pepper Talk with Krista Cochran

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re getting up-close and personal with Krista! Just a little background before we get started, Krista works on a wide range of applications for the government in cyber knowledge. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for 4.5 years.

1. Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
I love to fish. The calming sounds of the water mixed with the thrill of the catch create a very peaceful yet exciting experience. It brings me back fond memories of fishing at my aunt’s pond and local rivers.

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Well for years, I slowly stumbled to the shower to wake up. Now that I have a new puppy, I always have to stop and give her lots of belly rubs and love.

3. How do you balance being a mom while working?
I do my best to keep work and home life separate. I feel blessed to be a mom to two amazing girls and work. Having two teenage girls requires a lot of attention, listening and patience. So while I’m with my family, I try and give them my full attention, just like I do at work.

4. How did you get started in UX?
I was sort of forced into it. As most government contractors are aware of, contracts end and you must move to other jobs or opportunities. My company at the time lost the contract I was supporting so I found a position as a graphic designer on another contract to support Usability Engineers. I was NOT happy to take this position as I loved my old work and team. After a few weeks working with my new team, I came too really like working with users and truly understanding what they need. Over the next year, I became certified in Human Factors and my passion for UX kept growing and growing.

5. What does your day-to-day look like as a UX designer?
I currently spend the majority of my time understanding the pain points of various types of users across a multitude of applications while also understanding the complexities of the systems that support them. Once that is understood, then I work with everyone involved to come up with solutions that the user can understand and the applications can deliver.

6. Do you have a UX design philosophy or guidelines that you live by?
Truly listen to your users and work with your team. Sure, I have some core guidelines that are my foundation, but if I don’t understand the true needs of the users and technical restrictions from my team, then I can’t deliver work that is useful and useable.

7. Where do you find inspiration for your work in user experience design?
I have a couple mentors that I follow that give great advice and inspiration. They have worked in this field for over 20 years. Not only do they stay on top of how UX and Human Factors is changing, but they also stay rooted in core values.

8. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Yesssss….everyday

Sweet or savory: Savory. I’ll take chips and dip over cake any day!

Favorite movie: Any Jurassic Park

Favorite place to travel: No favorites. I enjoy any adventure whether it’s cave tubing in Belize or chilling on a beach.

Hobbies: Baking, working out and spending time with family!

Thanks for meeting Krista. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!