Posted on: 2 Mar 2019
Written by: Ngaire Ackerley
In my most recent role I’ve had a strong focus on user experience design. The term ‘UX’ has been around for a while and I think it’s been a part of my career for as long as I can remember in some shape or form without using the actual term.
When I was learning C programming at high school one of my first projects I came up with was creating a learning game for a fellow student and friend with down syndrome. While my skills and the program back then were pretty basic, I still ended up giving the program to the IHC once complete in the hope that it could help more students.
From there I was always aware of ways websites, apps and programs could be made more accessible. I always tried to test the websites I created across as many browsers as possible with the theory that you can never be sure who is viewing your website on what device/browser.
Then came responsive design. From mobile and tablets, to apps, watches and tvs! Now people could view digital products in all sorts of shapes, sizes and platforms!
When I was working in the UK one of my good friends that I met through the WordPress London Meetup group was a developer focused on accessibility. Listening to his talks and our chats were a constant reminder of how important it is to make websites accessible for everyone. I worked with charities and small businesses too which were a good reminder to keep my design skills grounded to always serve a purpose.
Since then my roles have transformed into being even more user focused. I do user journey planning, persona planning, research and user testing. Analytics also have a strong place in website and app design, so that we can always be thinking about how to make our products better, easier and more enjoyable to use by the people that use them. I believe the more informed designs can be, the more successful they will be for both users and clients.
Over the next few days and weeks I’ll be sharing a few posts around user experience design and the importance of it. Hopefully this will give people an insight into making websites more accessible and user friendly and inspire more people to get involved in the design processes in their own companies.
In the meantime, if you want to get a jump start on designing for users, check out a presentation I gave a few years ago on Designing for Users here »« Back to Blog