Lizette Spangenberg, Practice Lead for UX and UI Design at DVT, is indeed a woman for all seasons, and she appears to have found her natural home at DVT – where the philosophy of ‘Make an Impact’ permeates the corporate culture at all levels, and resonates with Lizette’s personal and professional commitments.
Lizette has about 40 designers in her team, involved with UX and UI design, as well as some product design. Lizette is responsible for developing the designers in her team. “If issues arise, I help the team to sort them out, and to get more training in the areas they are interested in.”
Currently, the design training is done at weekly UX design forum meetings where a variety of topics are dealt with. The weekly forum meetings also facilitate design exercises “to give people the opportunity to engage and learn from each other. We all work on such different projects and gain various different skills, so it is valuable to learn from each other.”
‘”I think that technology has enormous potential to influence people and society in so many ways,” says Lizette. Two aspects she is involved with, is the application of technology to provide access to essential services for low-income communities; and the application of technology in science, such as in medicine.
Currently her team is working on a pro bono project to create a digital platform for low-income families to gain access to legal services. A similar project, on making services accessible, is underway as part of DVT’s graduate programme. This project involves the creation of a platform on mobile devices to assist people in accessing the job market.
“Whereas certain platforms like OfficeIn and LinkedIn, for instance, focus on niche areas and quite educated individuals, the platform we are creating is for individuals who might have more informal skills.”
The platform that the graduates are creating has a web interface for recruiters, companies or individuals to post jobs and to monitor progress on their posts. “So many people have been so adversely affected by Covid-19 that the more opportunity they have, the better.”
Recently, Lizette has become involved with research related to human-centered design, i.e., design that puts people first when trying to find solutions; and she is undertaking a PhD study on how human-centered design can be used to improve radiology workspaces in public hospitals in South Africa.
Her study aims to use design to improve Doctors’ experiences. “Some research has been done on how to improve patient experiences, which is also very important, but doctors often get forgotten because they are the service providers,” adds Lizette who comes from a family of medical professionals.
Human-centered design is very much an integral part of the UX work carried out at DVT. So Lizette’s special interest and her academic work in this area are congruent with the DVT philosophy of ‘Make an Impact’ through technology; and she is able to apply her skills and passion to guide her team of developers.