Headland Director Graeme Wilson gives his thoughts on UX.
What is your first thought when you receive a client UX brief?
"I want to listen. How have they got to this point, and what work have they done to identify the perceived issues. We will bring fresh eyes and process to their challenges. We may even have a lot of experience of their sector, but they work with it every day and know their audience better than anyone. Their experiences are the best start point."
So how do we get started?
"We enter our own voyage of discovery - sounds more ethereal than desktop research doesn’t it. It’s about gathering as much insight as possible to introduce to the workshop meetings we host with the client stakeholders."
How do you kick-off the workshop meetings?
"It’s about sharing all insight as a team, ours and the clients. Stakeholders and Headland as one team. It’s how we prefer to work. Sharing the output from our work on personas, benchmarking, user journeys, challenges and benefits flagged up in Google Analytics, client research and sector expertise. Get it all out on the table. Once all insight is shared we are all better informed and we can start to scope out a site structure."
Why are we always short of Post-its and what on earth do you do with them all?
"You can never have enough Post-its. Once we have shared all available insight we work as a group to scope out the site structure, and that’s where the Post-its go. We all get the same information and we all have valuable opinions, and as we are responsible for different aspects of the design, content and functionality this can split opinion. People are passionate about their opinions - it's good, it’s the quality of the debate that results in good UX."
As UX has become more and more important, what are the benefits?
"One of the obvious benefits is that for many sites the mobile UX is a more enjoyable experience than desktop. It’s to do with the device, the browsing occasion and having all content available in a format specific to the device. It’s not an add-on or after thought anymore."
Any great examples you care to mention?
"In this instance modesty doesn’t prevent me from picking one of our own. Our new website for Machine Mart takes great usability into a really challenging sector across all devices.
Last question, who would you like to chat to on the Headland sofa?
"Sir Richard Rogers the architect, buildings not systems. Seeing the Pompidou Centre, love it or hate it, as a young design student stopped me in my tracks. Virtually of course, as it was a picture in a design mag. It confirmed to me I was on the right course."