I make use of an iterative deign lifecycle. I am to involve real users at every part of the process to ensure that outcomes are as user-centred as possible.
I enjoy research, particularly researching how real users use products.
The methods I have used include:
- Diary Studies
- Establishing personas
- Interviews (one-on-one, semi-structured)
- Experience Sampling
Depending on the nature of the project, research has included:
- Usability Testing
- Heuristic Evaluation
As part of my role at Rated People I performed semi-structured interviews in order to establish requirements for upcoming versions of their online product.
Usability testing and establishing requirements
In one of the collaborative projects which I worked on, the objective was to user-test a major retailer’s website. My role included analysing research findings and presenting them to project stakeholders.
During my research at UCL I designed and facilitated participatory design workshops during which exercises were performed to understand users and their needs in relation to activity tracking (wearable and app-based).
Behaviours and context of use
The previously mentioned methods allow me to understand behaviours and context of use. I apply both an analytical and human factors approach to designing for correct use.
Part of my work at Microsoft involved understanding behaviours and context in relation to future products.
Industrial design or participatory design-led workshops commonly incorporate collage making activities as a research method. While in the field of HCI cultural probes may explore this method, I used it as a way to give users an opportunity to tell their own story about the research domain. However I carefully selected images which directed users towards a problem or experience with the product being researched - in this case wearable activity trackers.
I enjoy facilitating workshops and analysing the recordings to identify user needs; needs which are explicit, observable, tacit and latent.
This framework was created by Sanders et al. and is of particular interest as it engages users through participatory design, allowing the researcher to understand attitudes which users cannot express.
I employ creative thinking techniques, visual note-taking through sketches, sketchnotes, photos and low-fidelity prototyping.
I enjoy collaborating with others and brainstorming or exploring concepts, bouncing ideas off colleagues and gaining a different perspective on a problem or project which has been defined.
Sketching and sketchnote taking
I enjoy sketching. Depending on the project I use sketches to communicate ideas, thoughts, designs, product specifications, or as part of my process to tackle a problem users may face with a product. The examples are from projects involving both tangible and visual screen-based HCI.
In past projects I made use of various forms of prototypes. These included:
- Paper prototypes
- Axure clickable prototypes
- Functional physical prototypes
- Interaction prototypes with Facebook Origami and Quartz Composer
I am familiar with tools such as Axure which can be used to create functional prototypes. In my role at Rated People I worked with product owners and stakeholders to create prototypes in Axure.
Coding functional prototypes
I previously studied Interactive Multimedia. While I did not see myself going into front-end web development, I have used these skills for prototyping ideas, interfaces and proof of concepts. I am interested in coding, the possibilities APIs enable and being able to work better with developers.
Physical computing and prototyping
The testing of a product while researching wearables, involved making a functional prototype with Arduino. The proof of concept was created using RFDuino shields, an iOS app and a 3D printed model.
Low fidelity prototyping
While researching physical form and aesthetics of wearables I made 15 non-functional prototypes which were evaluated in-situ by the study participants.
I designed components in Adobe Illustrator or Rhino 3D which were laser cut or 3D-printed. Other prototypes were hand-made depending on the outcomes and requirements which users presented in participatory design workshops.
I have a passion for designing usable and aesthetically pleasing products. My previous research looked at how aesthetics impacts product. And so I understand the importance of good design.
- I am an expert user of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.
- I also use Omnigraffle, Axure and InVision for wireframing and prototyping
I usually sketch out designs on paper to test iteratively and gradually improve fidelity until it is time to design the interface with Illustrator or Sketch. They are then tested on actual devices.
In an iterative process, evaluation helps to make sense of the findings gathered throughout the project. My focus in predominantly in qualitative analysis.
For research-based projects I have used thematic analysis of interview transcripts in order to identify themes.
In design-based projects I have set out tasks for people to complete with the product, and analysed how they completed them.
In-situ product evaluation
During my research many prototypes were evaluated in situ. These included paper prototypes, physical prototypes and even low fidelity prototypes which were used during a research trial.
Usability Testing Analyses
I have experience in analysing usability test video recordings and voice recordings.
In order to understand the challenges users face, I like to understand their attitudes towards the research area though semi-structured interviews.
This helps to identify the challenges between the user’s and the system’s concepts which can cause either usability challenges or present opportunities for design.
Some findings are best described as sketches or new story flows which can express the problem more easily.
Using thematic analysis on transcriptions I was able to identify core themes which led to findings during the research project.
Presentation and Communication
Presentation and communication has been a major part of my previous job roles at American Express, and has been very important when engaging with stakeholders.
I have 4 years of professional experience on presenting ideas and concepts to leaders and managers, clients and stakeholders.
Understanding audience is key in designing and communicating effectively. As a manager for communications at American Express this was one of the key responsibilities of my job role.
Client Reports and Powerpoint Presentations
This report was the deliverable to the client after a usability evaluation of their mobile app.
I additionally made use of this form of presentation at my job role at Rated People.
I have presented concepts to clients in form of video and also poster presentations. The example below is taken from the BBC R&D project.