Vicky Teinaki writing on a wall

I am a designer currently working as a UX Lead at Student Loans Company. I previously worked at the the Government Digital Service (GDS), and have also done work for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Since September 2015 I’ve been embedded central government, first as a user researcher and then more recently as an interaction designer. Since January 2017 I’ve been helping assess services to the Digital Service Standard as a design assessor.

I have several years of experience as a writer and blogger. I began writing for the online interaction design magazine Johnny Holland in 2008, and was one of the chief editors (aka ‘kahunas’) from 2010 to late 2012. I’ve also been the official blogger for UX Scotland.

I did doctoral research from 2010-2015 at Northumbria University. My research investigated how designers could better communicate their work processes (and evolved out of research into an aesthetics of touch).

I’ve also got a background as a developer, having done Drupal and WordPress theming and module/plugin development. While I don’t do it as much these days, I do try and keep on my toes with trends and also put up a lot of side projects online.

Fun facts

  • I have a degree in product design, a Masters in interaction design, and even a ATCL in flute performance (I’m sure that will come in useful one day!).
  • My first so-called job as a primary school student was earning my pocket money winning colouring competitions. In the past I’ve worked as an interaction designer, design researcher, freelance flash designer and even jellybean packer (after an hour the novelty wears off, believe me).
  • In October 2010 I moved halfway across the world from my native New Zealand to the UK’s Newcastle upon Tyne. I’d never been anywhere near the UK at that point let alone know anything about Newcastle. I told myself that anywhere that was responsible for Neil Tennant and Sting couldn’t be that bad. (And was right).
  • In 2013, I ended up being featured on a French Canadian TV travel show based around social media. Thanks to twitter, I was a last minute replacement for someone else, and had about 20 minutes warning.
  • I’m a champion live-tweeter (I haven’t been given any awards as such, but have been doing it since 2009).
  • My last name is pronounced TAY-nuh-key (or, or European people, apparently, just pretend that it’s French!). Though even my extended family pronounce it different ways, so don’t worry about it too much.

For a more formal work history head over to LinkedIn or contact me.

Header image CC-by-2.0 by Government Digital Services.