Q&A: Phil Young, TfL

We speak to TfL's head of online services - and a member of the IT Pro Leaderboard - about usability, people skills and more.

Describe your role in three words. 

Leading digital (sorry just two words!!)

Who is your tech hero? And why? 

Jakob Nielsen for championing the needs of the user and for offering practical solutions to usability needs.

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 What does your current role involve?

Leading online services for London transport.

I've always wanted to work with people and technology is a means to that end for me. I like the technology to be invisible and serve the needs of the people who use it.

How did you arrive at your current role?

I started as a software user, then went to work for a software vendor. After some years, I moved into product management, followed by online services, leading support, project and technical teams. I became head of online at TfL in 2012.

Did you always want to work in IT? 

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I've always wanted to work with people and technology is a means to that end for me. I like the technology to be invisible and serve the needs of the people who use it.

What do you enjoy most about your role/working in IT?

I get to work with fantastic teams, colleagues and suppliers to produce leading-edge products customers love. We get to do that for an audience of millions, which is very satisfying. 

And what is your least favourite aspect about your role/working in IT?

Bad processes which slows things down and generates poor outcomes. Not to be confused with good processes, which speeds things up and creates better results.

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