Name: Lawrence Hall
Job Title: Product Manager
After completing a degree in English Literature I took the seemingly logical step to become a book editor. However, I soon realised that, while I loved reading literature, I was far more drawn to the products that were being created in the publisher’s digital department.
Eight years later and here I am! Most recently I worked as a Product Manager for a music publisher, where I lead a team to create a digital music learning platform – think Guitar Hero but for real instruments. In my spare time, I attempt to play guitar in a rock band and support Arsenal FC (and invariably feel disappointment with their current form/team selection).
When did you join Mendeley?
What do you love most about your job?
I love the varied nature of my job, from conducting user research and testing, to working with the design team on new features. It demands a wide range of knowledge but is never dull! It’s also fantastic to work day to day with a diverse and talented team.
What book did you recently read?
I just finished The Master and Margarita, it’s about the devil appearing in Russia in the 1930s – hilarity ensues. Work related, I just read Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy.
How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus?
It’s my job to understand the main issues that researchers and academics face, then work with a team to solve them. Making sure that we solve the right problems and unifying the team behind a clear vision are key aspects of my role. If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to simply build a product that you and your team feel is useful, but doesn’t really solve your users’ key problems.
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
When I hear from users that I have helped to solve a problem that they had. I have only recently started, but I can see the great challenge ahead with the product and I am excited to talk with users to really understand their issues. It’s great how connected we are with our users at Mendeley, be it the weekly user sessions held by our talented UX team, or the invaluable feedback we get from our Mendeley Advisors.
What keeps you awake at night?
My Nintendo Switch. Portable Zelda is a dangerous thing.
What’s the most interesting thing you learned this week?
That motion sickness may be your body’s automatic response to a perceived poisoning. I guess we haven’t evolved yet to deal with the disconnect of moving at 70mph while sitting still.