Zee Allison tells us about her role as Senior Toolkit Developer, as well as her love of art and gaming

Tell us about your role at the University.

I manage the Toolkit platform and content creation service, which is part of the Directorate of Digital and Information Services. We create engaging digital materials, usually in the form of animated or augmented video, to help support our staff and students.

Communication is a huge part of my role as I work with so many individuals across the University; one day I could be working with the Webteam to design the Toolkit platform, another could be spent creating a video that illustrates how to change a scalpel blade, and the next I might be explaining how the printers work! Understanding a wide variety of requirements and coming up with creative ways to explain ideas is key to my role.

How do you usually start your day?

At home I usually wake up to a decapitated “present” from the cats, have coffee with my lovely wife and then attempt to iron a shirt…

Once I get to work we start with a quick team scrum around 8.30am, so that we know our priorities and have a chance to plan our day while the caffeine kicks in.

What brought you to the University of Aberdeen?

I trained as a Digital Designer due to my love of art and animation, but also have a keen interest in education and online support. When the post for this job appeared, it looked like an ideal combination of all of my skills and interests – jobs like this don’t appear very often, especially in Aberdeen!

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I genuinely love my job! I relish the challenge of reimagining technical, procedural instructions into something engaging, beautiful and powerful. I truly believe in the power of education to transform people’s lives and I’m very grateful to be part of that at The University of Aberdeen.

And the people here are fantastic - from meeting students in focus groups, to working with some amazingly knowledgeable staff, I really couldn’t do my job without the support and expertise of the University community.

What are your work priorities at the moment?

We schedule our video work in advance, and are currently booked with interesting projects until the middle of next year, but we also try to continually develop our skills so that we can keep the Toolkit fresh and up to date. Right now we are experimenting with 3D animation, Augmented Reality and Interactive PDFs.

How do you like to relax outside work?

I have been a gamer ever since my dad gave me my first ZX Spectrum, so tend to be glued to Fallout/Skyrim/Assassin’s Creed etc. if I get the chance.

When I’m not gaming, I enjoy digital painting, walks on the beach with my wife, a good gig, and going to the gym (…although it’s mainly for the Jacuzzi!)