Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Stephan Williams

  • Name: Stephan Williams

    Role: Senior UI/UX Designer at PEAK6 Investments (Belfast)

    What does your typical day look like? 

    My days at Evil Geniuses (the esports organization owned by PEAK6 Investments) come in a few flavours. 

    The first: product strategy and discovery. We discuss the roadmap and then connect with stakeholders and engineering to refine current and future features. Next is user research. I’ll spend time gathering user feedback from interviews, testing prototypes, and trawling Reddit for insights. Finally: visual design and interaction design sessions. I turn the planned features into user flows, wireframes, and a fleshed-out prototype. Then I feed that back to engineering at each stage of the design workflow. 

    What are you currently working on?  

    At Evil Geniuses, the product we’re currently focused on is Factor. It's a web-based platform that provides in-depth statistical analysis of esports matches, currently League of Legends, completely free of charge. Typically, esports has lagged behind traditional sports in the area of analytics. Our goal is to provide a fan-focused platform, driven by engaging stats and insights. 

    What inspired you to join this company in particular? 

    EG is a renowned brand in the space, and they've reinvented themselves in the past few years. There's a huge push for greater inclusivity throughout the esports and gaming industry. So, when the opportunity came, I had to jump at it. And who doesn’t want a business card that says, "Evil Genius?" 

    Did you always want to work in the tech industry?

    I used to want to be an architect. After my GCSEs, I learned that apparently you need to do art if you want to draw things, so my plans quickly changed. 

    What’s your favourite part about your work? 

    Interacting with users and doing user research, by far. It’s one thing to see the lines of code that go into a product, but it’s another to see how people use and enjoy a product you’ve worked on. 

    How do you see this technology impacting our lives?  

    As esports grows, analytics and data will only become more important to help professional players learn more about the ways they can improve. With time, I can see all esports needing entire data analytics packages, the way we see with STATsports in traditional sports. 

    What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry?

    The industry isn’t just programming. There are 1,001 different career paths—from product to design to engineering. They can be dramatically different from each other. You don’t have to be a highly technical person to find a role that suits you. 

    Who inspired you to work in this field? 

    Our CEO, Nicole LaPointe Jameson, who’s a voice for change in esports. 

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?  

    Intelligent Virtual Assistants. All interactions we’ve ever made with technology have been through screens. Now, we have a screen-less user experience that brings with it a thousand new challenges. 

    What tech gadget could you not live without?  

    Airpods. I used to think they were pointless, but now if I see wired headphones, my heart rate increases. I just imagine those old headphones getting caught on a door handle in the office. 

    Read more about our Tech Trailbazers on Sync NI here. Find out more about PEAK6's job opportunities on our Jobs page here.

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