Kat Hardisty

Kat Hardisty

Optimal Workshop

Discovery Lead

Kat started out as a developer and quickly became extremely frustrated with her team’s unwillingness to talk to users to find out what they needed and what was important. Soon after, she stumbled upon UX – this was back in the day when it was still going by the name of ‘usability’ and hardly anyone in New Zealand had heard about it. She’s been living and breathing UX ever since.

Since switching to the UX side, Kat’s helped a lot of organisations and businesses see the light. She’s done a whole heap of hands-on UX research and evaluation to help teams understand who their customers really are (or could be) and the impact their experiences have on a company (whether good or bad); trained others in how to effectively research and apply UX methods; helped teams recognise the importance of aligning internal culture strategy with customer experience; and generally talked passionately about UX to a whole range of people in a variety of places.

These days Kat is the Discovery Lead at Optimal Workshop, where she leads the user research, data insights, and design areas, does hands-on deep-dive qualitative research, gets involved in the UXNZ conference organising, and drinks too many hot chocolates from the cafe downstairs. In her spare time she reads far too many books, runs around after two small children, dyes her hair bright colours, and designs sewing patterns.

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