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13 April 2023

In the Spotlight | Will Turner


What led to you becoming a Hippo?

It all started with a chance encounter with one of the company’s founders, Rob Coop.

At the time, I was exploring different career paths, having worked in sales, journalism (you may have once heard me providing radio coverage of sports events for BBC Radio London and Teamtalk), and academia. While I had gained valuable experience in each of these fields, I felt like something was missing, and I was eager to find my true calling.

That’s when Rob reached out to me and encouraged me to consider joining Hippo as a User Researcher or Business Analyst. His straightforward approach was refreshing, and his confidence in me was just the push I needed to take the leap.

Looking back, I realise how lucky I am to have stumbled upon such an amazing opportunity. At Hippo, I have found a perfect match for my mixed skill set and collaborative disposition. I love working as a User Researcher, and I am grateful for the chance to contribute to an organisation that is making a real difference in the world.

What does your day-to-day involve?

Obviously, a good UR would phrase that as ‘what has your day involved today?’ because it’s much easier for people to think in practical rather than abstract terms 🙂

As a User Researcher, my job is all about gaining insights and understanding the needs and behaviours of our users.

Today has been a particularly productive day. I had the opportunity to take notes for one of my colleagues while she interviewed a senior stakeholder. It was a great chance for me to learn more about the project and gather insights that will help shape our research efforts.

In addition, I spent some time reviewing the notes from the interviews I conducted last week. I then edited the project log so everyone else could see how what we had learned fitted into the bigger picture. We have a weekly playback and review session where we share our findings and keep the team updated on the latest research.

Recruiting participants for our studies is also a big part of my day-to-day work. I corresponded with a few individuals to see if they were interested in participating in our upcoming research studies. Seeing people eager to share their experiences and opinions with us is always exciting.

Throughout the day, I had several meetings with other members of our design team to discuss content and design features that we are prototyping. We also had our daily stand-up meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that we are working towards our shared goals.

Overall, my day was filled with meaningful work that will ultimately improve the user experience of the digital products that Hippo designs and creates. It’s a privilege to be part of a team that is dedicated to making a positive impact on people’s lives, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I love every day.

What are you most proud of since working here?

I must confess recounting this story fills me with a sense of pride. There was a time when I found myself on a team working on a government project. While it initially seemed like a good idea, our user research quickly indicated that it was likely to be a colossal waste of resources. While it felt a little uncomfortable to go back to the stakeholders with this message, we knew we needed to do what was right.

Our users played a pivotal role in this success. Through their honesty and invaluable feedback, we were able to gain insights into the negative impact this ill-conceived project would have had. Equally important was the willingness of the stakeholders to lend us their ears and take our concerns seriously.

It is great to think that our collective efforts made a difference. We managed to avert a potential disaster and saved millions of pounds in the process. It was a moment that proved to us the power of collaboration and the importance of standing up for what we believe in.

Helping the folks who’ve gone into project life via the Hippo Academy is also a bit of a buzz too. Seeing them succeed in navigating the complex world of consultancy is simply indescribable. Knowing that we can make a positive impact on the lives of those who have come through the academy fills me with a deep sense of purpose. It is a reminder that our work can truly make a difference, and that is a privilege I do not take for granted.

What do you like best about Hippo?

It’s just working at a place that values innovation and fosters a culture of continuous improvement. It is truly a remarkable environment where creativity and experimentation are celebrated, and failures are not stigmatised but rather embraced as valuable opportunities for growth.

What I find particularly inspiring is the mindset that has been cultivated within this organisation. It is a mindset that places the work above individual egos and recognises that our collective goal is to push boundaries, challenge the status quo, and ultimately make a positive impact on the world.

In this culture of openness and curiosity, failure is not something to be ashamed of but rather a catalyst for learning and innovation. I believe that this approach sets the foundation for a workplace that is both productive and fulfilling, one where we are free to take risks, try new things, and learn from our mistakes without fear of judgement or retribution.

Working in such an environment is nothing short of liberating. It has allowed me to approach my work with a sense of purpose and passion and to push myself beyond my limits. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this inspiring community, and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow alongside my colleagues.

And finally, what’s your favourite way to eat a potato?

It’s not just about the food itself but also about the experience that comes with it. It’s about savouring the moment, enjoying the flavours, and sharing it with those who matter most. 

So, with spice, something nice to drink, and in the company of good friends

Are you interested in joining Will in the Hippo herd?


An image of a Hippo with the words Join the Hippo Herd