Welcome to part 3 of our series Meet the Kognicians, where you can get to know more about people working at Kognic. This time, you will meet Sara Lindgren, one of our UX/UI designers 🦸♀️. As part of the Engineering department, she is responsible for the UX in Insightful Deliveries, the team that ensures effortless and transparent project deliveries. What is exactly UX, you might ask? UX stands for User experience (UX) design and, according to the Interaction Design Foundation, it is the process that design professionals use to create products that provide relevant, and useful experiences to users.
What does she like the most about her job? What is being a designer like at Kognic? In the following paragraphs, you will find out 👀. To begin with, we’re proud to say she only has kind words. “My favorite part of being a designer at Kognic is that it is a very varying and challenging role. Some weeks you spend most days sketching and preparing components. Other weeks you are gathering and analyzing research insights trying to define what problem your team should focus next on. You are working across the full product development process and never just as a researcher or UI designer. Something that lets you grow greatly as a professional”.
Sara comes originally from Roslagen, the North countryside of Norrtälje, and moved to Uppsala (which by the way is one the most beautiful cities in Sweden) when she was 16. She lived there until she got an unexpected call when she was 19. "In January of 2011 I got a call from Sahlgrenska Akademin informing me that I got accepted late to the Medicine programme. So, from one day to another I was suddenly living in Gothenburg!"
However, after 3,5 years studying Medicine she realized that, even though the programme was very interesting, she didn’t like the job as a doctor that much. That’s how and why she decided to follow her passion 💘, design, and started studying the Industrial Design Engineering program at Chalmers.
In 2019, she found out about Kognic (back then called Annotell). It was after graduation, when she was looking for jobs. She had previously worked briefly at a startup, was bitten by the startup bug and was therefore looking into what other startups in Gothenburg had to offer. Among the Gothenburg ecosystem she found Kognic, and even though she didn’t know much about the field of ML, autonomous and automated driving that well, the company intrigued her - so when she saw we were looking for a UX-designer she applied at once!
What was the recruitment process like? “If I remember correctly, it was very smooth and quick. I applied and within days I was invited for an interview with Daniel Langkilde, the CEO. He introduced me to the startup and what then was their pride and glory - the Annotation platform. That sparked my interest even more, since the product I would work on if I got the job was very similar to the drawing tools I use daily as a designer”.
“After that, I got invited back to meet the Frontend team, which at that time was only three people. We spent some time getting to know each other and I got the chance to ask questions about their experience working there. It was my first glimpse into the fun and inviting environment of Kognic, and when Daniel called me a couple of days later to let me know I got the job I didn’t hesitate to say yes. So within 1-2 weeks, I was a UX designer at Kognic!”
Life at a startup happens fast. Continuous changes are part of our DNA, and we Kognicians enjoy them! How has this journey been for Sara so far?
“Since starting 3+ years ago both me and Kognic have changed a lot. When I started we were around 15 people and now we are nearing 100. When I started, we worked in functional teams and my main interactions happened with designers and frontend developers. Today (and for 2 years now), we work cross functionally, and the whole team is knowledgeable and aware of our users’ challenges, and we work together to tackle them everyday”.
As a designer, she explains that being in a versatile team has helped her grow and learn a lot. She adds, “today, I have found allies in system design (backend developers) and in design system development (frontend developers) that have a different perspective than the designer perspective. Something that I truly believe helps us all to learn from each other, and to lead to better solutions. At the same time, I can always reach out to my fellow designers and exchange ideas and experiences”.
What does she say when we ask her about Kognic’s company culture? “Kognic’s culture is fun, inviting and very driven. It is a fast paced environment where you grow alongside a fast growing company. Since I started I have had many roles and been in many teams - and I feel that is an opportunity that very few companies can give you”.
And what about her free time? “I am a notorious multi-tasker and like having things to do. Even though it can be useful, I am working on slowing down a bit. I also really enjoy “learning by doing” and appreciate when my work challenges me a bit”.
Outside work (and on lunch breaks) she is an avid reality show fan - her all time favorite is Vanderpump Rules. She also sews and knits clothes, which was something she did already when she was younger but took up again during 2020. In addition to that, she grows flowers and vegetables on an allotment in Hisingsparken - Gothenburg’s biggest park. We wonder: is there something she can’t do 🤩? Obviously not. That’s one of the reasons why she is a star. The other obvious reasons: her warm heart and kind personality. 🥰
And you, would you like to become a Kognician one day? Visit our Careers page to learn more about our vacancies. Can’t find any job openings in your field? Send us in an open application. 🤗