UX in the physical world: 6 tips for conducting research beyond the screen

Over the past few months, I’ve been conducting research for Bristol City Council (BCC), but rather than a solely digital endeavour, this research has been carried out in physical spaces. It took place in the various BCC customer service points throughout Bristol. The aim was to discover users’ needs, how they use the service points, and their opinions on how the council could improve other areas such as online, phones and letters (to reduce the need for them to visit the service points). Our findings will inform the design of a new service point that will open towards the end of the year. During the process, I learnt 6 key things: 1. Visit on different days and at different times. This way you’ll get a more comprehensive picture. For our first visit, we arrived at the service point before it opened on a Monday morning,  and the queue outside told a story of its own. However, when we paid our second visit on a Wednesday afternoon, the service point was quiet and fairly orderly. 2. Play dumb. People will open up to you more if you give the impression that you’re not a ‘specialist’ or particularly knowledgeable about the area you’re researching. We referred to ourselves simply as ‘researchers’ and didn’t mention UX, and, as a result, the people we spoke to didn’t ask many questions about what we were doing. This allowed us to focus on them and hear their stories, which after all, was what we were there to do. 3. Bring a clipboard to write on. It may sound obvious, but it’s easily overlooked. When talking...

Trainee UX Consultant (Bristol or London)

Position summary Our Trainee UX Consultants help us deliver great work by injecting energy and fresh ideas into our business. We want our Trainees to learn the fundamentals of UX consultancy and progress beyond their 6 month contracts to join us permanently as UX Consultants.   Why it’s important to the business We know that by investing in our Trainees, training them in our way of working, and educating them in the practicalities of user-centred design, we can grow our own fantastic UX consultants.   Hiring notes Collaboration and team working and will be key in this role, but we’ll also want to know you can work independently. We value people who show a passion for good design, strong attention to detail, and great written and spoken communication skills. We look for these qualities in their portfolios and in how they present their work. You’ll probably have a university degree in one of the following areas: Design, Interactive Media, Psychology, Computer Science or HCI. We’ll also consider graduates from any discipline who can demonstrate the relevant skills, or other candidates who can demonstrate academic knowledge and some practical experience of user experience methodologies and practices, including user-centred design. We’ll need you to have the right to live and work in UK.   Performance objectives Our aim for your 6 month traineeship is for you to get involved in all of the core activities of the UX team at cxpartners. Although we’ll get you working on client projects from your first day, we don’t expect to be able to charge your time to our clients until you’ve been here for...

NUX Manchester – 4th August – UX is everyone’s responsibility

The next NUX Manchester event is taking place on Monday 4th August and will be in the usual place at the Code Computerlove office in City Centre Manchester. Start time is 7pm. UX IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY with Tom Bradley (BBC Future Media) Tom is interested in helping teams solve problems or try new things using design thinking, creative facilitation and user research. He has been working with people from across the BBC to develop a ‘design sprints’ process that provides a framework to collaboratively explore and test ideas in a cost-effective way. Tom will share this process, demo the tools and explain how to overcome some of the challenges that crop up along the way. About Tom Bradley Tom is Executive Product Manager at, BBC Future Media (Knowledge & Learning). He’s worked at the BBC for 3 years, first as a Creative Director in Children’s, then later in Knowledge and Learning. He has recently moved to the role of Executive Product Manager, shaping the strategic direction for the department, and then creating an environment that brings people from all disciplines together to explore and define how this vision is delivered to the audience. Follow Tom: @TomBradley Tickets Get free tickets here: Event Registration Online for NUX Manchester – 4th August – UX is everyone's responsibility powered by Eventbrite How to find us View Larger...

Job vacancy: Junior UX Consultant

We have a new, full-time position for a Junior UX Consultant in our London office Our UX Consultants work in small teams with visual designers, front-end developers and our clients to come up with designs that make a difference. Like us, you’ll love that collaboration, and have a passion for great, user-centred design. We’ll ask you to help deliver a wide range of user experience (UX) projects with existing clients, including: Working with teams to design innovative digital products, using methods that include wireframing and collaborative design. Participating in both internal and client workshops. Playing an active role in those workshops, sketching, and sharing ideas early in the design process. Using research to help gather insights about the users of the products we’re designing. Bringing fresh ideas to the cxpartners studio. We’ve offices in London and Bristol, and are looking for consultants in London Your experience A university degree, probably in one of the following areas: Design, Interactive Media, Psychology, Computer Science or HCI. We’ll also consider graduates from any discipline who can demonstrate the relevant skills. Academic knowledge and some practical experience of user experience methodologies and practices, including user-centred design. This might include wireframing or other prototyping methods, usability testing, expert reviews or design workshop skills. A least one year’s work experience, in a UX or related role. The ability to explain your ideas clearly, referring to general or project-specific design principles. Evidence of client relationship and/or consulting skills. Great organisational skills and attention to detail. The right to live and work in the UK.   In return, we’ll offer you a great package with a bonus...

Job Vacancy: IT Manager (Bristol)

 Position summary The IT Manager helps cxpartners deliver great work by understanding staff’s goals and behaviour and by identifying and deploying tools that facilitate more effective and efficient ways of working and collaborating within cxpartners and with our clients and business partners. The IT Manager also oversees data security, backups and disaster recovery at cxpartners.   Hiring notes We value the ability to measure outcomes (to demonstrate work is more effective or efficient) and deliver return on investment. We want evidence of the ability to listen and focus on human needs rather than gizmos: to begin by listening and understanding the needs of staff within cxpartners, to communicate clearly and get buy-in from staff. The solutions this person favours should be simple, flexible and future oriented. Coaching and supporting staff will be key in this role. cxpartners’ staff should feel the IT Manager helps them get more out of technology and improves their working environment by making it easier to do the work they’re asked to do.   Performance objectives 1. Simplify file sharing and project management. The primary objective during the first year is to establish a standard set of processes for sharing files and managing projects and thereby save time and improve access to documents. In the first month, talk to staff in all functions within the company to understand their needs, constraints and behaviours and to establish a framework for measuring the benefits of a new system. In the first three months, to make baseline measurements, to identify and pilot the tools, and to select a solution that gains enthusiastic buy-in from staff. In the first...