Meet Rivet’s UX Designer, Jesse Bandfield

Jesse joined the Rivet team at just the right time. The development team had grown, requiring more and more design content to keep the product roadmap moving. We’d also hit a ceiling of design and user experience expertise and were ready for fresh perspective. Jesse’s impact to the Rivet platform was noticeable already in his first few days. He brings transformative attention to detail and customer usability, along with design refinement to the Rivet product and brand. Thank you, Jesse!

 – The Rivet Team

Tell us a little about yourself, Jesse!

My name is Jesse, I live in the Pingree part of Detroit with my partner, Emily. I grew up in Iowa and went to Calvin University where I studied studio art. After school, I decided to follow an early passion of my mine, which is music, and started teaching guitar and piano lessons at a start-up music shop. While there, I helped the owner with taking product photos, building the website and designing t-shirts. The shop was in a disadvantaged neighborhood, and the owner was trying to bring affordable lessons to kids in the community. That was my foray into the world of community development. In 2014, I moved to Detroit. A short time later I got connected with a local non-profit, MACC Development, who was wanting to create a cafe-laundromat. I helped obtain the business license and business vendors, designed the menu and hired/trained staff. It was a great opportunity to learn about running a business. For instance, I knew I wanted the business to be warm and welcoming and so I thought about how all the details would come together to achieve that, from playing great music to having comfortable furniture.

Jesse Bandfield

How did you get into UX Design?

The experience with starting the cafe-laundromat was my gateway into design. I was drawn to the initial design phase of that project and I wanted to find a way to continue doing that work. At the time I didn’t know much about UX design; my wife worked with a UX designer at an e-comm company and thought the work would interest me, and the executive director at the non-profit knew some designers in the civic space. All this opened my eyes to the breadth of what UX design could be.

I took an online, six-month full-time course through Designlab, where I was able to work with a cohort of other designers and a mentor to really learn the process. We started with an idea, conducted research and interviews to  get to understand what we’re trying to design, followed by testing for customer feedback. After this I continued my education through online learning and worked for a couple of startups pro bono. Then I started working alongside a developer in Canada who had smaller clients that were in the marketing and e-commerce space, and I got my feet wet in an agency setting directly with clients.

UX Design is taking a customer-centric approach, building things for them in a way they will understand and find valuable. UX Design is larger than just the visual — it’s the whole end-to-end process, and that’s a matter of being able to understand problems, ideate solutions, work with people and have strong interpersonal communication. I even took a personality test that revealed this role aligns with my core strengths – empathy, seeing the big picture and being creative.

What is the importance of UX Design?

UX design is all about bringing the perspective of the customer into a product and ensuring that the end result is something they can use and want to use. It’s cool because it doesn’t always have to be done by a UX Designer. For instance at Rivet, the company culture is very close to the customer, focused on knowing what they want and what the customer workflow looks like. We’re understanding our customers and building something that’s useful to them and that they enjoy using while remaining close to them throughout the process. Beyond customer perspective, UX design is a blend of human psychology, design principles, and collaborating with a variety of teams. Plenty to keep me busy!

Why did you join Rivet, and what are you most excited about?

Rivet checked a lot of my boxes. The company is Detroit based, has a hybrid schedule, and is filled with passionate people building a practical product. It’s been so great to see how aligned we are with our customers. From a design perspective, I can see where we’re headed and how our customers will benefit. As the first full time designer, there is so much that needs to be touched and tweaked and I can bring in a fresh perspective. I’m able to make an impact in a way that I couldn’t have done at a larger company. It’s really cool to own the visual design. I’m also really excited to learn from the incredible team around me.

What do you love most about Detroit?

I would consider myself a passionate Detroiter. I’ve been here since 2014. In recent Detroit history, that’s a long time. There has been so much change around me. What’s really cool is that Detroit is both going through a lot of change right now but also has a really long history of being a cultural and industrial force in this country. As it changes, I really appreciate the conversations going on about building the city inclusively for everyone… Elevating the neighborhoods around us and at the same time investing in the people that are living here.

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