Bethany Fenton

VP, Experience

I started frustrating my parents and teachers with “why” and “how” questions about everything at a very early age. And the answers were frequently followed with more “why’s.” I may have discovered the “five why’s” by the age of 10. It wasn’t insolence — it was curiosity. I loved understanding why and how things work.

That curiosity combined with my experience working for one of the first interactive agencies in the world, Fry Inc., led me to an emerging discipline now known as user experience. While at Fry, I worked with premier retailers to establish some of the first ecommerce sites including Spiegel and Crate and Barrel.

When I joined Razorfish, I had a mentor who exposed me to “user research.” We went into peoples’ homes to observe how they put outfits together. While that seems like a menial task, the struggles, behaviors and emotional investment that went along with every outfit decision was striking and game-changing. Physical or digital, people’s needs were not being met.

So a fork-in-the-road moment for me was the realization that you can be in the business of best practices, live by analyst evaluations and one-up the competition, or you can make things better — in a way that’s meaningful for businesses and people. They’re not mutually exclusive.

As vice president of experience for Razorfish, I work with clients and teams to find meaningful solutions for businesses and people. It’s exciting, frustrating and heartbreaking — but at the end of the day, it’s rewarding.

Having been in the industry for 16 years, I’ve also realized the importance of down time. It’s all relative though — my vacation primarily consists of bi-annual fitness adventures in places like Brazil and/or Costa Rica where I get to challenge my fear of heights on a daily basis. Oddly relaxing in context.