Get to know Zoë Kaler, senior UX designer

Zoe Kaler

Zoë Kaler (MS/IM '18) serves as a senior user experience (UX) designer for the national digital services firm West Monroe. She credits the iSchool with preparing her for a rapidly changing technology landscape.

Where do you work and what is your role?

I am a senior user experience (UX) designer for West Monroe in Chicago. My job duties include working with stakeholders to understand the project and the problem at hand and then working with my team to brainstorm solutions. We use tools like Miro, Adobe CC, and Figma to help with ideation and implementation. Research is a big part of this process as well. We use research tools to talk with users and understand if what we’re proposing works for them.

What do you like best about your job?

There's no feeling like seeing your work implemented! The first time I saw one of my designs on a live website, I could hardly contain my excitement. It was a Smart Meter Rollout Map of Missouri for I was like, "Hey, I made that!" It was so cool and made me feel important.

What do you see as the most important impact of your work?

UX adds the most value to product development by advocating for the user and including them in the design process. The earlier we get feedback, the earlier we can make changes, and the less likely we are to launch a product that doesn’t work for users. This saves the business both time and money later.

How did the iSchool at Illinois help you get to where you are today?

Technology is constantly changing. The next big software/tool/process is imminent. The iSchool is aware of this and prepares students accordingly. I was exposed to so many technologies as an MS/IM student, and once I entered the tech world, I was ready to adapt when necessary.

What advice would you like to share with iSchool students?

While you're an iSchool student, take advantage of the University's Research Park. Go to the Research Park's networking events/career fairs and meet with the site managers. They are passionate about students and want to help. Working at the Ameren iCenter was a dream and one of my favorite parts of grad school.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I enjoy practicing yoga, throwing pottery, and hanging out with my tabby cat, Huck.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

ISAA seeks nominations for annual awards

The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) is seeking nominations for three distinguished awards. The awards are given annually at the iSchool alumni reception held at the American Library Association conference. The deadline for nomination is April 1, 2023.

Alma Mater

Berger authors second edition of The Dictionary of the Book

Adjunct Professor Sidney Berger (MSLIS '87) has authored a new book that will provide readers with a definitive glossary of book-related terminology. In The Dictionary of the Book: A Glossary for Book Collectors, Booksellers, Librarians, and Others (2nd Edition), which was recently published by Rowman & Littlefield, he brings “the vocabulary and theory of bookselling and collecting into the modern commercial and academic world” through the addition of more than 700 new entries. 

Sidney Berger

PhD at 75: Noah Lenstra

The PhD degree program at the iSchool celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2023. This profile is part of a special series featuring PhD alumni. Noah Lenstra (MSLIS '09, CAS '11, PhD '16) is associate professor of library and information science at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Noah Lenstra

Get to know Daniel Evans, PhD student

As the Pathways Intern with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Preservation and Access, Daniel Evans published two Jupyter notebooks for researching U.S. print culture. The notebooks, located on the Library of Congress's GitHub repository, will provide researchers with a downloadable data set of newspaper title essays and starter code so that they can create queries specific to their own research needs and interests.

Daniel Evans

School librarianship a “dream job” for Bruce

Emily Bruce (MSLIS '17) has found school librarianship to be challenging but rewarding in the six years she has worked in the field. Bruce has experience working in elementary, junior high, and high school libraries, and she currently serves as the librarian at Lincoln High School in Vincennes, Indiana. Her favorite part of being a school librarian is restoring libraries to their full potential.

Emily Bruce