December 23, 2020

Five Questions with Renee Reid: Staff UX Design Researcher at LinkedIn

Renee Reid, who will be talking with us about “Diversity in Design” at INVT21, shares her thoughts about empathy, love, and the importance of planting herself in rich creative soil.

Now a Staff UX Design Researcher at LinkedIn, INVT21 speaker Renee Reid has over 20 years of professional experience in various roles including project management, customer experience, sales, and user experience. Committed to championing the next generation of tech professionals, she leads the Black Inclusion Group (BIG), one of LinkedIn’s Employee Resource Groups (ERG), at the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. Renee also serves as a voice and activist for Black and BIPOC women, and as a mentor to students and professionals who are in the early stages of their design and UX careers.

Renee is known for her signature headwraps. Recently she launched “Tech Wrap Queen”, a podcast in which she has “wrap sessions” with featured guests from the worlds of tech, design, and culture. She affectionately calls her listeners “The Royal Court”.

Renee volunteers as a board member for two nonprofit organizations, Opportunity Junction and Inneract Project, and on January 14, she will talk with us about “Diversity in Design: Cultivating Creativity and Redefining Education with Inneract Project”.

Here are some insights into her creative life.

What did 2020 bring into focus for you that you want to Re:Make, Re:Think, Re:Imagine, or Re:Design for 2021?

Re:Arranging and Re:Designing spaces held by the status quo are things that I have always been passionate about. Now 2020 has accelerated my energy to ensure that the voices and communities who have been systematically shut out of the creative spaces have the advocacy and agency to thrive.

What is your relationship to the creative process?

As a UX researcher, I work with and alongside designers to articulate and help create optimal experiences based on cognitive behavior.

How or where do you find inspiration?

In the resilience and fortitude of my Black community and in the beauty of Nature. They both give me inspiration and joy.

What was one of your biggest creative challenges?

Empathy. We talk about it so much in design, but there are groups of people that are still marginalized because of the lack of empathy throughout design.

When did you first realize you needed to be in a creative field?

All my life I have been a creative, but after college, my career paths took me further and further away from the creative spaces. I reached a point in my career where I was stuck. I realized I needed to reach back and plant myself in the rich creative soil that I always had in me so that I could really grow and flourish.

Bonus Round: What is your favorite color?