BSc (Hons) Human Psychology : Aston Uni.
PhD HCI : Imperial College
- Requirements gathering (Interviews)
- Use Cases/User Journeys/Site Maps
- Ideation (Balsamiq)
- Expert UX and Visual Design Reviews
- User Testing (Lab/Remote)
Corporate : Nortel, Oracle
Research: Imperial College, MRC APU
Consulting: 6 years remote consulting (Silicon Valley startups)
The Musings of a UX Mentor
Technology is my passion. I have been thinking, experimenting and learning about how to make tools fit for purpose for over 20 years. I usually work alongside developers. I see my role as UX mentor because I tend to pass on skills such as Balsamiq and user testing to my co-workers. I am a pragmatic, thoughtful designer who loves to explore problem spaces with others. Three themes seem to capture what I do at the moment:
- Learning by doing
- Distributed Work
Learning by doing
I love to apply my knowledge to new concepts e.g. mobile surveys.With each new round of technology comes new challenges but also many familiar patterns. The great thing about having worked with so many different companies (approx 50 in the past 6 years) and projects is that I find that ideas from one often cross fertilize to others.
We can’t understand the tools we build unless we see them in action. I have been doing guerilla user testing since I started. It is incredible how often I have learnt totally unexpected things when seeing products in action. The advent of remote user testing and easy proto-typing tools means there simply is no reason why we can’t get up to date feedback as we develop our products on a sprint by sprint basis.
UX is rapidly changing. The best way to learn and keep up to date is by thinking deeply around lots of real problems. To do this I actively participate in open UX communities like UXStackexchange, ConceptFeedback and Quora.
Teaching others through doing
I am also fascinated in how we learn in the wider context. Through active “doing” workshops I have learnt that in the space of about five hours you can teach a six year old to touch type, a nine year old to write a game and a small business to get a wordpress site up.
Technology has freed people to collaborate in a myriad of ways . Hundreds of projects are carried out each day this way using tools like basecamp, skype and mybalsamiq to facilitate communication. This means we can re-engineer the way we do work. Many companies are now actively choosing to work this way. I am working to encourage this trend through by researching and writing about companies that promote this. I also run my own “UX remote work” group on Linkedin.
I love tools that help me do a great job. I firmly believe in evangelizing the products I love. I actively promote good products in many forums across the web. I blog about them and try and teach people how to others to use them effectively.
Technology I currently evangelize are: Balsamiq, WordPress, CSSEdit, Dabblet, JSFiddle, Opensource, Brushes and UX StackExchange.