Angela Conway | Salesforce Trailhead | Trailblazers
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Angela Conway
Salesforce Design Strategist, PwC UK
Northumberland, UK
See my Trailhead Profile

When I was given the opportunity to start out on Trailhead as part of upskilling in my career, I leapt at the chance.
Why did you become a designer? What does that mean to you?
Straight from university, I started my career in digital technology, first working for the U.K.’s first online-only supermarket (Ocado) and then transferring to a digital agency back in my home of North East England called Orange Bus. In those early years, I got to see, try out, and be close to all sorts of digital roles and careers. But the ones that appealed to me the most were user research, user experience design, and design strategy — anything that uncovers human needs, shines a spotlight on them, and puts them at the heart of what we’re building. In more recent years, I’ve taken the leap and moved from agency account management to a design strategy role, choosing Salesforce as my platform of specialism.
What is one of your most memorable design moments?
Only today, I encountered a “design moment” that made an impact on me. I’ve started a temporary secondment into a new team at PwC, and a teammate sent me the welcome pack. When I opened it, I realized that before sending she had taken the time to update the team pages so that my face was there, in a collage with all of my new teammates. It was so welcoming; she had taken a moment in my onboarding journey that really mattered and thought about how to sprinkle some magic dust on it.
But as for my most memorable design moment, the one that started my Salesforce journey is up there. My Salesforce journey started in a somewhat unusual way, when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
My brain tumor has caused a couple of brain hemorrhages, which have taken part of my peripheral vision and left me with long-term fatigue issues. In 2015, that brain tumor began to grow and I needed open surgery. As I recovered from surgery and went through a brain injury rehab course to get back to work, a U.K.-based charity called The Brain Tumour Charity was always there for me. They served me relevant content and helped me with important questions as I got my life back on track. It was only later, when I began to fundraise and volunteer for them to thank them for being there for me, that I realized the extent to which Salesforce empowers them to do what they do. Salesforce helps them to identify who a web visitor is and what they’re interested in so that they can better support them on their care journey. Salesforce enabled them to give me the information that I needed in those moments, and that left a profound impact on me. When I was given the opportunity to start out on Trailhead as part of upskilling in my career, I leapt at the chance.
How do you keep your solutions human-focused?
Back in my account management days, I remember being so enamored with the way the user researchers I worked with chose to present their research back to clients. For example, they created small flashcards on a keyring, each displaying a different user need, that could be flipped through and referenced. Whenever a decision needed to be made about a product or service, those user needs were right there, in your hand or on your desk, not languishing in a drawer or desktop folder gathering dust once the research was over. Another client wanted to turn our customer journey map into their meeting room wallpaper. I try to maintain that mindset throughout my Salesforce projects — how do we keep the user research at the forefront of our minds when making decisions? That’s how I keep solutions human-focused.
How do you use design to create social and business value?
The practice of design is so powerful. When you design products, services, and experiences, you design not only how they work but also who is included or excluded, how sustainable they are for our planet and future generations, and the ethical values they will support. I love that Salesforce acknowledges this and drives a Relationship Design mindset, aiming to "build trust with every experience we cocreate with our community." It aligns really well with the purpose statement that compelled me to join PwC U.K., which is to build trust in society and solve important problems.
How has Trailhead helped you? What was one of the best things you've learned?
In line with that Relationship Design mindset, I recently took the time to skill up in running a Consequence Scanning workshop, by reviewing the materials on Trailhead , the Salesforce Design blog, and Doteveryone.org.uk. As a practical tool that I can use with clients to take a step back and assess the wider implications of the design of products, services, and experiences, I have a feeling that this is going to be one of the best things I’ve learned on Trailhead.
Resources:
What advice do you have for new Trailblazers?
There are so many badges and so much content on Trailhead that it’s easy to feel a tad overwhelmed at first. I’d encourage new Trailblazers to think about the goal of their learning, and shape their path in that direction. For example, is your first goal to pass your admin exam? Great! Then a good place to focus your initial energy on is selecting trails on related topics that help you to study and prepare. Of course, if you see a badge that catches your eye or looks super relevant to your current work, do give yourself permission to go off course and try it out (or at least Favorite it for later!).
Also, explore your local Trailblazer Community Groups — they’re a fantastic source of inspiration, motivation, and cheerleading when you need it. I really enjoy being part of the Women in Tech group and the Salesforce User Group in my local city, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (U.K.). https://trailblazercommunitygroups.com/#chapters-page

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