Meet the Chronosphere Team: Audrey Bastian, UX Designer

on November 2nd 2021

What do you get when you cross a former science teacher with an eternally happy person who loves a hard technical challenge? Meet Audrey. In today’s Meet the Chronosphere Team profile, we get to know Audrey Bastian, a UX designer who is helping Chronosphere give our customers – huge and not-as-huge alike – an excellent observability-team experience. Audrey has been with Chronosphere since March this year. In her interview below with Chris Ward, she talks about why she joined Chronosphere, exciting things she’s working on, what it’s like to be 5’3” and win an all-city fitness challenge, and more.

What do you do at Chronosphere? 

I’m a UX designer – one of two currently, but our team is growing rapidly. That means I’m designing the product to make it as usable as possible for everyone, whether you are a team member, a manager, or an executive. 

What were some of the reasons you decided to come to Chronosphere? 

My past experience was mostly working on stuff that wasn’t as technically challenging. When I was looking for my next role, I was looking for something that was super technical and kind of hard. Stuff that’s challenging just makes the day go faster, and I’m constantly – like every day – learning something new here, and it’s really fun to make those connections. I get so much pride and joy when I realize, “This connects to this” and I’m able to piece it all together. That’s a lot of fun. And then also my sister works here! Elenore is the engineering manager, and I feel like we’ve both been in tech for so long, and always thought it would be cool if we worked at the same company. So this has been a really great opportunity and a lot of fun for us … the Chrono-sisters, that’s what we call ourselves. {We recently did a Meet the Team profile on Audrey’s sister, Elenore Bastian, which you can read here.}

What did you do before coming to Chronosphere? 

Audrey Bastian UX Designer Chronosphere

I’ve had a couple of different positions. The one most recently was working in media. I was designing how someone might program different TV shows to go on the air. It was cool. I worked in healthcare for a little bit, designing different products for health applications. I also worked at Microsoft. Prior to all of that, I taught eighth grade science on the South Side of Chicago. I made a big career switch.

What is the most interesting technical challenge Chronosphere is solving?

The most interesting technical challenge I face is: How do you scale a product to fit so many different companies? We have customers that are massive, and have thousands of employees, and some that are much smaller. How do you create a product that’s intuitive for all of these different users? And make sure everyone understands all the things that the product does? And make sure they are all able to turn on the features that they need, or ignore the features that they don’t? How do we make a product that works for all groups? That’s definitely been a big challenge.

What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?

I’m part of the new Info Model team. It’s very small right now – there are just a couple of us. The Info Model team is essentially restructuring the product to better match users’ environments. Our users tend to think of themselves as teams, so how do we make our product more team-friendly? When you log into the product, how do you only see the things that are pertinent to you? That’s the new challenge I’m tackling. It’s very much like architecture, where you’re figuring out where everything fits in and how permissions work. We’re still very much in the early stages, and narrowing down exactly how we want it to look and feel, and what pieces need to be included. 

Before the Info Model team, I was on the Foundations team and was working on a project that leads into this – users and teams, which is how users access the system, how do you set up a team, and now we’re getting into, what the team sees once it’s set up.

What’s a fun fact about you that nobody would guess? 

I think I’m oddly strong for how small I am. I’m not very tall, but I recently won an all-city fitness competition, which I’m very proud of. Another fun fact is I’ve gotten to wear the Clippy suit. It’s in the Microsoft archives and I got to wear it once.

What stickers are on your laptop?

I actually don’t have any. I used to when I was a teacher. I was obsessed with stickers, and I had them all over my water bottle. One time my student dropped my water bottle and it bent in a way that I couldn’t use it anymore. I was devastated because I had taken so much time to collect and stick each one in a nice way. So now I can’t do it again. I get too attached, so no more stickers.

If you were an animal, what would you be?

This seems so basic, but I feel like I’d be a dog. I’m easily excited about stuff. I’m pretty much always in a good mood and pretty happy. I like being around people, which I think is true for most dogs. So maybe a dog, or a puppy – something that likes to play.

Who is someone you have considered a role model and how have they helped guide you in your life or career? 

Definitely my parents. From an early age, they taught my sister and me about perseverance and how to be confident and work hard and grit. They also exposed us to so many opportunities at a young age that I’m really appreciative of. More recently, I also think of my sister as a role model. It’s been so interesting working with her, and seeing this new perspective where she’s not just my younger sister anymore. She has a career and is respected by her peers, and it’s fun to see her really own her job and do so well.

What’s a quote you reflect on, you mention to people a lot, or that motivates you?

It’s one that my mom said ever since my sister (Elenore) and I were so young and it’s from Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” As a young kid, it definitely was true. Like when you aren’t wearing the coolest clothes, or you just don’t feel as cool – as long as I’m confident in myself, nothing else matters. And now, as I’ve grown older, it’s also true. I did this big career change, and so sometimes I don’t necessarily feel like I’m the best UX designer, or that I know the most. But as long as I’m confident in myself, and as long as I put in my best effort, I can always do the best job.

Listen in to hear Audrey’s and Chris’ full conversation:

More blogs in the Meet the Team series

Meet the Team: Alec Holmes, Member of Technical Staff

Meet the Chronosphere team: Shreyas Srivatsan, Member of Technical Staff

Meet the Chronosphere team: Mary Fesenko, software engineer

Meet the Chronosphere Team: Elenore Bastian, Engineering Manager

Other resources you may be interested in

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