Spotlight: Ellis Gregory

Jul 10, 2024

Q: Tell us about yourself!
A: I am a Arkansas native living and working from Springdale. My family is made up of my wife Rachael, my 22 year old son, Zane who lives and works in Fayetteville, my 23 year old step-daughter, Saoirse who is studying at UC Berkeley. I started working for Kitestring in 2017 and rejoined in 2022. I am the Principal UX Architect on the Strategic Team. I guide my team and our clients through user-centered approaches to inform business decisions focused on improvements across hardware, software and workflow processes.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
A: Outside of work I like to play in the outdoors. This typically looks like rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking and mountain biking. I have photography and art projects that I work on as well.

Q: What led you to this career? Were you influenced by anyone or anything?
A: I am genuinely curious to learn about different groups of people and what problems they are facing. My background is in visual design. I was led to UX Research and Design by Tom Hapgood who was my professor and advisor at the University of Arkansas. I am able to use my skills in visual design combined with my curiosity to learn about others to help solve user and business problems. This powerful combination is what feeds me every day.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing since joining Kitestring?
A: Since joining Kitestring I have been able to develop the skills necessary to effectively work with and lead people from diverse backgrounds and functions. This includes being able to code switch on a particular topic with technical, operations and business leadership individuals.

Q: What’s one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?
Like everyone else, I am learning how UX professionals are leveraging AI in their work. I’ve recently learned how I can leverage AI as a research and design assistant, In some cases it helps me save time for more challenging problems to solve.

Q: What keeps you motivated?
Constant learning. I was taught a day without learning is a day of decline.

Q: Where is your favorite destination to travel to, and why?
A: The Sierra in California. The scenery along the John Muir Trail is like nowhere else in the world.

Q: What do you do to unwind after a busy day?
I unwind by riding my bike around Lake Fayetteville. It takes me about 40 minutes to do the loop.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
While in the United States Marines, I was advised to develop and nurture my sense of humor. I was told that I would find myself in dire and desperate situations where resources might be severely limited. When faced with these situations, we can choose how to react. Everything in life is either a tragedy or comedy. So, laugh at the seemingly impossible and shift your thinking to something more positive and open to possibilities.

Q: What, if anything, are you currently binge-watching? Or reading?
A: I am currently reading Organizing Your Creative Career along with anything Mad Max.

Q: What do you like most about working at Kitestring?
Kitestring provides me with diverse client projects with unique user and business problems to help solve.

Q: Who inspires you and why?
Nature inspires me. I’m inspired by natures tendency to achieve the seemingly impossible or to show us how constraints and barriers can be overcome in the most elegant ways.

Q: What’s a fun fact about you that most people don’t know?
I’m naturally left handed, but trained to write right handed.