8 Questions with Karen Uribe
In “8 Questions With…,” we share a brief Q&A with a staff member. In this edition, we hear from Karen Uribe, who joined Rosov Consulting in 2018, bringing experience in design and communications to her role as Communications Assistant.
1. What’s your area(s) of expertise and how has it been beneficial and led to success in your work?
My area of expertise is in visual communication, and this is the focus of my work at Rosov Consulting. My day-to-day work consists of making information—including quantitative and qualitative data—more visually appealing and easier to understand. I work on design projects for clients, marketing materials that show how Rosov’s work can help potential clients, and more. I use my design thinking skills regularly when creating deliverables such as presentation decks, reports, and infographics.
2. What experiences have led you into your current career path?
Rosov Consulting was my first real job coming out of college. I earned my bachelor’s in Media Studies and Spanish Literature with a minor in Journalism. During my time at UC Berkeley, I enjoyed designing for nonprofit organizations, but I never learned as much from those experiences as I have in my two and a half years at Rosov Consulting. Thanks to my very diverse role, I have been exposed to a variety of areas and techniques in design, marketing materials, video editing, data visualization, and much more. I am currently exploring focusing on user experience and interface design (UX/UI) outside of Rosov Consulting and hope to be able to apply it to my work.
3. What do you like learning about most through your work?
I like to learn about new ways of designing and presenting data—from our team members as well as from experts such as Storytelling with Data and Information is Beautiful. I also enjoy learning from our team’s own varied expertise through internal workshops and the process of analyzing and reporting on data with our team.
4. What do you like most about working at Rosov Consulting?
I like that there are many opportunities to learn and grow. Rosov Consulting encourages professional development in many different forms. Supervisors are like mentors, colleagues are your teachers, and we take at least one day every quarter to read articles or watch videos to enhance our skills for our work. But really, every day we are learning and improving so that we deliver the best quality of work to our clients.
5. What are some challenges of your work?
One of the biggest challenges for my work is gaining an understanding of the details of a project’s content and findings. This is critical for being able to create effective visuals for data. Since I am not directly a part of most projects, I often find myself having to piece together what I learn from individual “tastes” of a project—such as data gathering instruments, raw data tables, and memos—as it develops. Then, sometimes months later, all of those pieces are packaged into one whole report or presentation. It’s really interesting to see projects unfold through the deliverables, but it is definitely a challenge to understand all the content in such a short time.
Another challenge that all designers experience is managing the creative process and design criticism. People often do not know what they want in a design until they see a designed draft. It’s a back-and-forth process for sure, but by working collaboratively with the project’s stakeholders and team, I am able to get to a final product where everyone (especially the client) is happy.
6. What have been the biggest changes in the field and/or your work specifically since you started?
The technology at our disposal for visual communications is always advancing. Sometimes it can be tough to keep pace, but these advancements also create exciting new ways to present and share data—and to make them readily accessible. When I first started, graphics were used somewhat minimally in presentations and reports. In recent years, however, I have been able to apply more illustrations to our deliverables. And now I plan to build a library of graphics and diverse illustrations that can be modified and applied by the entire team on future projects, elevating our visual communication to a whole new level.
7. How do you think your job and/or the field might change in the next 10 years?
The world of design is evolving very rapidly in this digital age. There are always new design tools introduced that open exciting new possibilities. Presenting information and data will be much more visual moving forward, and user experiences and information systems will be at the forefront of how organizations create positive client experiences.
8. What do you think is essential reading to excel in your field?
If you want to learn about the creative process from a designer or client perspective: “Design Criticism and the Creative Process,” A List Apart, Cassie McDaniel
If you want to learn about how to create positive user experiences in anything: “What Is UX Design? [Comprehensive Guide for 2021],” Netguru
If you want to learn more about data visualization: Information is Beautiful and Market Cafe Mag