Hi, I am Lauren Evans and I am a UX Research Manager at GitLab. I joined the team in November 2021.
I am a mom and an animal lover (especially horses). I currently live in Helena, MT on a small farm with horses, dogs, cats, and humans! I have been in Montana the last 8 years. Prior, I lived in Western Washington where I was born and raised.
I have spent my whole career in software development, specifically UX. I love all things UX research and love to help individuals and teams be data informed throughout the product development lifecycle.
One quote I live by: "There is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone."
My role as a UX Research Manager
I am super excited to be managing this team of amazing UX researchers.
From the Manager, UX Research job description: Managers in the UX Research department at GitLab see the team as their product. While they are credible as researchers and know the details of what UX Researchers work on, their time is spent hiring a world-class team and putting them in the best position to succeed. They own the delivery of UX Research commitments and are always looking to improve productivity. They must also coordinate across departments to accomplish collaborative goals.
My leadership style
I am an advocate INFJ-T and this description matches well with how I tend to lead: As managers, Advocates may dislike wielding their power. These personalities prefer to see those who work under them as equals. Rather than micromanage their subordinates, Advocates often prefer to empower them to think and act independently. They work hard to encourage others, not to crack the whip.
People first! I am here for the team I lead and I am highly invested in their success.
Trust is huge! I aim to establish trust with my team and others who I work with. I default to trusting others.
I try to be as transparent as possible. Even when it’s hard.
I will tell you if I don’t know something but I will do my best to get you answers. This often comes off like I don’t know what I am doing… which at times I don’t! But I will hunt deeply for answers.
I really don’t like micromanaging… so I tend to default to the other end of the spectrum. I work to be aware of and use situational leadership to recognize individual's specific needs.
I am EAGER for feedback. Whether it be general or specific to a project or idea I have. I strive to get continual feedback.
I am extremely flexible.
What I value
Punctuality and always try to be on time. It makes me feel bad if I am not on time. However, I don’t criticize or judge those that are late.
Taking initiative! Further, when it comes to problems. I tend to want to take action towards a solution vs dwelling too long on the problem.
I like to have FUN! I like to joke, goof off, or just share a good laugh. Work doesn’t have to be boring.
Work life balance is very important to me. I will set boundaries and working hours. I try to be respectful of others who have done the same.
What motivates me
Seeing individuals develop in their roles!
My team or individuals getting recognition!
Seeing the impact of UX research on the business and ultimately for the user
Developing a high functioning team
Known failure modes
Sometimes I leap too quickly on half baked ideas. Call me out on this.
I can not go too deep into explanations or expectations. A good way to ground me is to ask “what does done look like?”
I need to be firmer. I tend to be too nice and tolerate things that I shouldn’t.
My working hours are 8-4 MST, give or take an hour.
I am always down to chat whether it be asynchronous or synchronous. Just Slack me or send an invite!