Headshot of a woman with brown hair in an office setting at Mastercard.
Aileen Crossley. Image: Mastercard

Find out what makes working as a designer at Mastercard ‘priceless’

17 Sep 2019

Interested in hearing what it’s like to be able to totally be yourself at work? Learn first-hand from Mastercard’s Aileen Crossley.

Future of Work Week

Siliconrepublic.com spoke to Aileen Crossley about the work she does and why she loves it.

A senior designer and animator for Mastercard, she demonstrates that as we move forward into the future of work, employees can happily merge their passions and their professional skills.

Company culture is becoming more welcoming to employees bringing their most authentic selves to their workplace and, for Crossley, this is what makes her feel right at home at Mastercard.

What is your role within Mastercard?

I am a senior designer and animator in our customer experience and design team at Mastercard in Dublin.

If there is such a thing, can you describe a typical day in your job?

In my first role with Mastercard Labs, I spent a year and 10 months travelling far and wide on design sprints. I made advertorial films for our prototypes and there was no typical day. Ever.

Recently, I joined our customer experience and design team which is a great way to bring together all I have learned from my travels and how to develop products in-house. I have a great team so a typical day for me sees me brainstorming and workshopping with my colleagues.

What types of project do you work on?

There is great variety in the work, from branding, UX interaction animation, UX/UI design and directing advertorial videos. I’m excited to be involved in an environmental awareness campaign and look forward to bringing this to life.

What skills do you use on a daily basis?

I use my design, illustration, animation and videography skills on a daily basis. My communication design degree specialised in illustration and I love to bring this practice into my work wherever possible. I was thrilled to be awarded two Irish Design Industry awards this year for Best Music Video and Emerging Designer for a stop-motion music video I made using sand. I always strive to bring original storytelling to my work to make it more impactful and meaningful. When my work connects people, I feel happy and fulfilled.

What is the hardest part of your working day?

For me, the hardest part is to sometimes understand the technology elements, especially as I do not come from a tech background at all. I’m a bit of a tech clutz, often to be found fumbling about in Skype. But I remember that the reason I’m here is because of the talent and passion I bring to the table. We are a diverse team and we all have skills that are valuable to our projects.

Do you have any productivity tips that help you through the working day?

If I feel I’m flagging creatively I look at things that excite me. I am writing and illustrating a picture book that I will make into an animated short, so I will look at illustration and animation to get my creative mojo going. I also love to check out recent ad campaigns and the amazing stories they tell so beautifully and well-crafted.

When you first started in Mastercard, what were you most surprised to learn was important in the role?

I love the passion for beautiful design that works within the customer experience and design team. The way we work and interact feels like a design agency. We have a great team of designers and researchers who are really experienced and knowledgeable, and I feel appreciated by the team.

The strong emphasis on a user-centred approach, and the team’s obsession with that journey is inspiring and gives me a great sense of purpose.

How has this role changed as this sector has grown and evolved?

Good design is increasingly the core of how tech products are built, and designers are valued much more within this sector. Dublin has a world-class creative community so, coupled with the amazing tech scene, we have a winning combination!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Mastercard is a great employer and the people who work here are class. I love the flexibility and how really looked after I feel. But most of all, I feel encouraged and supported to pursue my art practice while working. This, to me, is priceless.

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