For most of his life, John Landon has lived in Coronado, California. Growing up, John moved frequently because his father was in the Navy; he has lived in Virginia Beach, VA and Japan. During his time in Japan, he was a child model and was featured in magazines. He attended Platt College where his passion for coding led him to receive his B.S. in Web Design. In 2017, John joined the MK Decision team as a Time For Experience (TFE) intern and later was hired as the 12th employee. In this month’s People Spotlight, John discusses San Diego living, the challenges he faces in his current role, and the advice he has for future UX Engineers.
How would you describe your job to a child?
Imagine you’re making a scrapbook and you want the pages to look the same. You want the titles in the same place and the photos to be the same size. What I do is design a lot of different pages that have specific details and put them in one big book. Then, I can make a photocopy of it and use it whenever I need a certain page for my scrapbook.
How do you get to work every day?
I walk about a mile and a half to and from work. I love it because it’s a great way to clear my head in the morning and unwind after work.
What do you like to do on the weekends?
I like keeping it local and go to places that are walkable, such as art galleries and art shows. I also like watching movies with live symphonies. However, the majority of the weekend is spent with my family. My brother lives nearby and his 2 kids are awesome to hang out with.
You started at MK when we were still a fairly young company. Has anything changed since then?
I started as a TFE a little over 2 years ago. Back then, we had just gotten our foot in the door of the FinTech industry. We got a lot of feedback, which inspired us to develop the platform we have now. It’s still being used for what it was originally meant for, but in a completely different way.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I love my job. I honestly love what I do because I can make people’s lives easier.
What are some challenges you face in your current position and how do you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges is handing off projects to developers because we have so many different configurations for implementations. It’s definitely a challenge trying to explain a configuration to someone else. I’ve gone through different ways of communicating it and every time it gets a little bit easier, but it’s still not perfect.
Why did you decide to join the MK Decision team?
I decided to join MK Decision because they took a chance on me. I saw myself in MK because we were both so new to the industry. We both needed to be given the chance to show our skills, and I haven’t regretted it since.
If you could describe MK in one word, what would it be and why?
Organized-chaos because we’re in such a dichotomous industry. We’re working in Financial Technology; on one side, the financial industry moves slowly, and on the other side is the technology industry, which moves quickly. They’re at odds with each other. In order to satisfy both, you have to be adaptable and alternate between old and new techniques.
Do you have any advice for people who want to be a UX Engineer?
UX Engineers always think they’re right, but they want to be proven wrong. They have to have the confidence to know what to do, be humble enough to admit that they don’t know everything, and understand that they’re only one perspective out of many.