Kelly Schairer, Caucasian woman with brown hair in front on a white brick background.

Meet Kelly Schairer | UX Designer at RiseKit


Meet Kelly Schairer, the UX designer here at RiseKit. Kelly is a graduate of Fordham University who likes immersive and strategic RPG, contemporary cinema, and modern and contemporary art. She joined the RiseKit team in August of 2020 and we're lucky to have her. Get to know Kelly below!

What do you do at RiseKit?

As a user experience designer, I work with the product team and am specifically involved with creating the experience that RiseKit users have when using our digital product, from initial research to creating design prototypes to testing and iterating for usability improvements. I focus less on the visual look and style of the product (which is the job of my fellow product team member Njoki) and more on the content of each screen and how it is presented to users.

Describe how you have been able to rise in your career - to what can you attribute your success?

I enjoy learning independently and picking up new skills and knowledge, whether it’s for a specific task or just because I find it interesting and might use it in the future. I’m not afraid to ask questions, but I also try my best to answer them on my own through whatever resources are available to me.

I also value communication and have spent my life honing my communication skills, including writing, public speaking, and presenting, and just finding common ground with others during informal conversations.

What was your work experience before joining the RiseKit team?

I’m a graduate of Fordham University, where I earned my BA in Communication and Media Studies. I also minored in Women and Gender Studies after realizing I was 1 class away from completing the program (I’d taken all the other courses by accident due to personal interest). Immediately after college, I ran profiles, wrote copy, created graphics, and took photos for an antique furniture store in Manhattan and a women’s independent coworking space in Brooklyn. My first taste of UX came from an apprenticeship with the Florida-based adtech startup Admiral, where I got the opportunity to flex and further hone the skills I’d developed during my 6-month UX boot camp. Prior to my career pivot, I worked as a supervisor and operations coordinator at 2 art cinemas in Manhattan, doing everything from monitoring employee performance to wrangling crowds when an actor was on site for a q&a to shutting down projectors at the end of the night.

What time do you wake up in the morning?

Not quite as early as I’d like, particularly because my room doesn’t get the best natural light, though I recently got one of those smart lightbulbs you can program to turn on at a certain time, so flooding my room with blue light at a reasonable hour has helped me improve my habits.

Do you have any pets? If yes, please describe what kind, name.

Though he doesn’t belong to me, I’m a huge fan of my roommate’s cat Shade. He’s very docile and reserved, and still kind of looks like a kitten despite being 5 years old.

What’s your favorite vacation destination you’ve visited and why:

When I was growing up, my mother was very against the idea of going on “traditional” family vacations or staying at any sort of resort hotel. We took two particularly memorable trips to a campground in the Virgin Islands, where we slept in a (large) tent parked along an elaborate boardwalk system that led down to the beach.

Dream vacation location?

I’m looking forward to visiting Amsterdam at some point in the (hopefully near) future. Particularly interested in visiting the Van Gogh museum, as he joins Mark Rothko and Hilma Af Klint among my favorite modern painters.

Do you have any tips for standing out in an interview?

It always sounded so impossible and corny to me until I started doing it myself: SPEAK FROM THE HEART. Have faith in your interviewer’s intelligence and trust that they’ll be able to tell the difference between an earnest answer and an ingenuine one you’ve crafted because you think it will appease them. Figure out how your goals, priorities, and values align with the place you’re interviewing ahead of time and how to work it into the interview’s line of questioning.

Please share an inspirational quote that you believe will motivate others to help them RISE.

"Arrange whatever pieces come your way"

-Virginia Woolf