It’s really quite simple…

… and yet it seems to me that many frequently over complicate it. I often wonder if this is in an attempt to appear more intelligent, or to create the perception that only the ‘chosen’ can understand the design process.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of incredibly complex systems, organisations and challenges. Not to mention the weird and wonderful ways each individual person perceives and behaves in the world.

But despite this, successful design, be it for a product or service, really boils down to three key things:

  1. A thorough understanding of your users’ needs;
  2. Recognition of your business’ strategy;
  3. The ability to identify, select and exploit opportunities.

To me, design first and foremost therefore means listening. The ability to listen, watch and methodically build a picture of how others perceive and interact with a service is critical to understanding the status quo, and seeing things that could come to be. This is a fascinating, if not slightly ‘messy’, process and one of the reasons I find my work so rewarding.

When coupled with the pervasive and rapidly evolving nature of digital, we have the ability to make a measurable and marked improvement to the lives of many.

 

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It isn’t a stretch to suggest that the design of services will determine how our society looks and works in the future. We all know how pervasive the digital world has become, how easy it is to reach millions through simple compositions of code, and how it can empower people of all ages from any background. Digital therefore presents us with the ability to make a meaningful difference. It is these possibilities that fuel my enthusiasm and drive as a UX consultant and researcher. The wider industry within which I work has a thing for fancy titles and unnecessarily complex terms. My current title for example, Senior UX Consultant, doesn’t really mean a great deal (especially to those outside the ‘bubble’). Instead, I prefer to think of myself as someone intrigued with how the world works. Listening, watching and methodically building a picture of how others perceive and interact with a service is a fascinating process.

Apparently I’m an INFJ (see this blog).  Music plays a huge part of my life, from playing cornet, piano and singing to listening – I try to keep an open mind when it comes to new acts/artists. I love reading in my spare time, especially when enjoying a mug of freshly brewed coffee (I usually get my beans from HasBean or Square Mile. If you too enjoy a good cuppa then I can’t recommend them highly enough!)