We regularly recognize a K2 consultant who has received outstanding client feedback on their recent project.
This month the K2 Consultant of the Month is Nils Levine, an Experience Architect. Read his interview below:
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been a Salesforce Implementation Consultant specializing in user interface and experience design for the past three years.
Prior to that, I led the in-house user-interface design and experience initiatives for a cloud-based solutions company. It specializes in supplier information management for large enterprises.
I then started my career as a Freelance Web Developer where I specialized in implementing pixel-perfect implementations of high-fidelity design mock-ups.
I am skilled at wireframing, prototyping, developing customer archetypes (personas), and creating interactive high-fidelity mock-ups. In a pinch, I can also fill in as a graphic designer.
I am based out of San Francisco, California.
2. Tell us a little about your most recent K2 project.
I served as a senior-level Experience Architect/Designer in my most recent K2 project. I was responsible for delivering experience briefs, annotated wireframes and communicating a human-centered approach. I also contributed to the overall process design as part of a Salesforce professional services team, delivering a Financial Services Cloud solution for a major US Bank.
The biggest challenge I initially faced was being parachuted into a project. I then found myself simultaneously getting up to speed, actively participating in intensive on-going project discovery, weighing in with my opinions as a UI/UX expert, and producing contractually obligated deliverables for the Salesforce customer. I achieved all of this under an aggressive deadline.
I found success in determining the project’s ‘negative space’. It related to my areas of expertise and deliverables. For example, the majority of the overall project scope centered around back-end data migration and integration.
After gaining a general overview of those issues and challenges, I had a quick discussion with the Project Manager and Project Architect to excuse me from the majority of those subsequent meetings, freeing up time for me to focus on my deliverables and other related tasks.
3. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy pairing my creative and artistic abilities with my areas of technical expertise to help ensure first-class user experiences. I’m happy being a part of the decision-making process and being relied on as a domain expert.
I like the constantly changing landscape of technical challenges, project requirements and personalities that are integral to implementing cloud-based software solutions.
4. Which technical development do you think will have the biggest impact on your field or the wider world of IT over the next couple of years?
Chatbots and voice assistants will rapidly replace, or at least augment, phone menu systems. They are quickly becoming a pillar of automated customer service.
On a larger scale, there will be a continued push for enterprises to connect existing siloed software implementations. Any skill related to platform integration will be in high demand.
5. What advice would you give to someone who is starting out as a freelance IT consultant?
- Make sure you have a solid general foundation within the IT field in which you are choosing to work. A combination of some academic and real-world experience is best.
- Have some idea of what are your most and least favorite aspects of that field.
- Find, and focus on, a specialty that will set you apart.
- Research technology offerings with large growth potential that leverage your specialty and that provide you with multiple options for your career path.