Prairie Portrait: Kyle Murphy of Hudl
Name: Kyle Murphy
Bio: UNL computer engineering and Raikes School grad from Hutchinson, Kan. I’m a software tester turned designer and user experience manager. My mission is to make software work for people never the other way around.
Title: Hudl, VP – User Experience
Residence: Lincoln, Neb.
Intro music: "Set Me On Fire" by Pendulum
Silicon Prairie News: How do you, as someone so familiar with the finer points of Hudl, go about identifying potential UX issues that might arise for users who are far less tech- and Hudl-savvy?
Kyle Murphy: Our support team does a great job of bubbling-up trends of issues that coaches bump into on the site. The product team (design, dev, QA) also spends a couple weekends on the phones ourselves during the football season. The purpose is to never lose sight of the fact that real people use our software for mission-critical tasks. We’ve also become more regimented and regular with our usability process by bringing coaches into the office every few weeks.
SPN: To what or whom — thought leaders, publications, etc. — do you turn for inspiration and ideas in your work? What's your UX/design muse?
KM: In our job postings, we look for people familiar with “gurus” in the field —people like Alan Cooper (whose book is among the first I give to newcomers), Jared Spool (UI, usability expert slash comedian), and Luke Wroblewski (we’ve tried his “mobile first” approach on recent projects). I also really look up to product designers like Ryan Singer (37signals), Aarron Walter (MailChimp), Kevin Hale (Wufoo) and Jason Putorti (Votizen, Mint)
SPN: What's the highest praise you've heard a coach or athlete bestow on the Hudl team and your product?
KM: I feel proud when coaches tell us, “Hudl is so easy and saves me so much time. Now I have my weekends back to spend with my family.”
SPN: There seems to be a strong emphasis at Hudl on making sports a prominent part of overall company culture. Among all the various sports-related perks and events Hudl has sponsored for employees, what have been your three favorites, and why?
KM: 1. I took a trip to New York to watch the Jets play Green Bay. We were given VIP treatment with incredible free food, drinks, and seats on the 50.
2. This fall the crew played some pick-up flag football on UNL’s campus. It’s a chance for the coaches and former athletes among us to have some friendly competition.
3. We watched the Class A Nebraska high school football finals at Memorial Stadium. For some reason I remember the events where a ton of people from the office are all out doing stuff together.
SPN: On both Twitter and your personal website, you use the moniker "No Luck Murphy." I've gotta ask, what's the story behind the nickname? Are you cursed with some sort of anti-Luck of the Irish?
KM: I like to explain it that way now. But actually it’s from my days as a cocky FPS-player. I got tired of people telling me I was just lucky with the AWP playing competitive Counter-Strike back in high school. So, I became “no luck Murphy" — as in, I don’t need any luck to pwn you.
Classy, I know. I just like the ring of it.
Image credit: Photo courtesy of Kyle Murphy.
Prairie Portraits: To learn more about this series, see our introduction post, or visit our archives for past Prairie Portraits. To suggest an individual for a future Prairie Portrait, contact email@example.com.