Team Member Spotlight: Emily Gaston

Last Updated on January 28, 2021

From ballroom dancing to competitive dock jumping, interactive designer Emily Gaston is always on the move. Learn more about this #USDPeep in our latest Employee Spotlight. Anyone who is considering interactive design jobs in Cincinnati will benefit from her insights.

What’s your role at USDP?
I am an Interactive Designer, which means that I design fantastic user-oriented digital products (websites, apps, banner ads, etc.), while also keeping in mind the client’s business needs and budget.

What’s your background?
I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life, and in the Cincinnati area for most of it. I worked at my dad’s veterinary clinic as a receptionist and veterinary assistant for eight years. I graduated this past May with two A.A.S. from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College: one in Graphic Design and the other in Web & Multimedia Design. My first job was at Kroger. I started by interning on the Graphic Design team and the User Experience Team before being hired full-time after graduation as a UX Designer on the Platform and Health & Wellness pods.

Why did you want to work with USDP?
The USDP team and company culture are what really attracted me. The honesty/integrity of the company as a whole and the positive atmosphere here is amazing! Everyone respects each other, it’s easy to ask questions, the teams are not siloed, and there is definitely a family-like atmosphere. I had three interviews, plus a “meet some of the team” lunch, so it felt like USDP was really investing time to get to know me and make sure that it was a good fit for them and me. I was also drawn to working for a smaller company with closer contact with the end user, where there are a variety of clients and challenging projects. I want to help small businesses with their branding, website design, and marketing. USDP does just that, so it’s a perfect fit.

What are your interests/activities outside of work?
Traditional and Latin ballroom dancing, volleyball, competing in dock jumping competitions and hiking with my dog Molly, mud runs, cooking/baking/feeding people, and reading (diet & nutrition, genetics, leadership, fiction, etc.). I also tutor design students at Cincinnati State, and eventually I want to teach there as an adjunct.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was very little, I wanted to be a dancer or an artist. Since my dad is a veterinarian and I love science and math, as I got older I thought I would become a veterinarian. During high school, my plans changed again, but the idea of being an artist prevailed! Graphic and Web Design was perfect for me as the intersection of science (psychology, consumer behavior, etc.) and art with a purpose.

What’s your work philosophy?
I believe design should always have a purpose: satisfy a need, influence someone, change the culture, etc. I believe that a good work ethic is one of the greatest keys to professional success.  I want my peers, leaders, and our clients to respect me and my work, so I put my all into everything I do, both personally and professionally.

What are you known for at work? What’s your MO?
Smiling and being happy! At least, that’s what my instructors at school always mentioned. I try to constantly give off a positive vibe when I’m around people. I never want to be the negative person in the room. Someone else could be having a much worse day than me.

Check out these blog posts Emily has contributed to.

10 Best Practices for Nonprofit Websites
Designing Websites For Different Generations
Should Your Website Have a Privacy Policy?
How to Write a Privacy Policy