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From rocky outposts to smooth UX

Raised in Northern Ireland, both Liam’s career path and his personal journey have taken him to many challenging places – including arriving in Amsterdam with three suitcase and a job offer! It’s made him passionate about supporting anyone who feels like an outsider and helping them thrive.

That’s what makes Liam a brilliant UX designer. His keen awareness of people’s needs, and his ability to design solutions that meet them.

We’re privileged to have his energy, empathy, and drive for better on our design team. Liam helps us all grow and flourish, both personally and professionally.

It’s all about the journey

Liam Moore will be the first person to tell you that he wasn’t born to be a UX Designer. “I wasn’t destined to become a UX Designer, but all paths along my career journey have led to this point”, he says.

“I studied Interactive Multimedia Design at the University of Ulster in the early 2000s. The internet was a different place back then. Still, I learned a lot of UX principles and the UX mindset.” Ironically, the field of UX wasn’t even as established then as it is now. But learning front-end code early on was, looking back, invaluable to what he does today.

“In 2010 I started working in a digital agency in Dublin, where I learned how to be agile in a demanding environment. Something as little as this can go a long way, especially for what awaited me in 2012.”

2012 put Liam’s agility to the test. “I was offered a contract role in London on a Friday; I had to have a suit, a suitcase, and somewhere to live the following Monday.” With the smile of somebody who bypassed a difficult time in his life, he admits “I made it work.”

During his employment in the UK, even more UX and UI principles were revealed to him, as this domain always has the tendency of letting itself be discovered. “I had a manager who helped me refine my visual design skills – something I think today can compliment UX design. I also started to understand the business side of being a designer and how Christmas online retail actually starts in spring and not the day after Halloween!”

The ‘aha’ and ‘oh!’ moments

Liam joining Booking.com was just a matter of time. After all, when you are as passionate about travelling as he is, fate has a way of pushing you in the right direction.

“I think the Irish diaspora is very much alive in me – at one point or another, everyone leaves the island for a wee bit, or forever. When I was 15, my mum instilled my love of travel and adventure. She found a cross-community project where catholic and protestant children from Northern Ireland can go to the US and live with a family and see what a life without religious division is like. Ever since then, I’ve been a big believer in getting out in the world, learning from people not like me and just trying things out.”

“I joined Booking.com in 2016 – a job offer, three suitcases this time and figuring it all out as I went. I joined the Partner Marketing team as a digital designer. I knew I had ‘fringe experience’ of what a UX designer does.” But we recognised his potential and, when a UX designer position opened up, Liam applied – and the rest is history.

“I like the ‘aha’ and ‘oh!’ moments of UX design”, Liam says. Because you can never build something perfect from the start. Every new product has an ‘oh!’ moment, when the user doesn’t act the way you had hoped, but when the solution comes to mind the ‘aha’ is even sweeter. “We test, and oh, something unexpected happens. Let’s go back to understanding what’s really going on here – aha!”

“There’s a genuine culture of listening to people at Booking.com. Same with our customers. Really understanding where they’re coming from and what they want means we design better.”

Making the world a better place

Life throws a lot of curveballs your way, and Liam is no stranger to them. “As a gay man with a chronic mental illness (OCD), I’ve had times over the years where people around me assumed one was because of the other, or that it’s just ‘normal’ for gay men,” he says, determined as ever.

“People’s perception of mental health and mental illness is getting better, but there’s still some way to go. I feel I can really be myself at Booking.com because it’s a company that advocates for mental and emotional wellbeing in real tangible, practical ways, not just pizza-Fridays or something.”

Not only are the pizza-Fridays something we are all familiar with from previous work environments, but so are Liam’s feelings. “I’m open about my doubts, struggles, inferiority feelings, and imposter syndrome around UX design too. We all could be a bit more honest about how we really feel.”

Within Booking.com, however, he has the opportunity to make a difference for all our other colleagues who feel like this, as well. Through our employee resource groups (ERGs), Liam is lending his voice to help others to speak up.

“I try to lead by example, by participating in the B.able and B.proud working groups. This Pride Month I took part in a cross-ERG panel talk about intersectionality and discrimination. I’d like people to see that being gay doesn’t define me, nor does a mental illness. We’re all the sum of our parts.”

At Booking.com, inclusion is at the heart of everything we do. Learn more at careers.booking.com.

At Booking.com it’s more than a job, it’s a journey. #mybookingcomjourney

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