I’ve been doing this for 15 years
I designed my first commercial application way back in 2000 – MINDA Software by LIC. LIC still sells that version of the software and it’s an essential part of dairy farming for 80% of New Zealand’s dairy farmers. Since then, I’ve created web applications, apps for every platform, solutions for custom embedded hardware and more.
I’m a certified UX practitioner
I have trained with the prestigious Nielsen/Norman Group and been awarded their UX certification. I got to meet Jakob Nielsen!
I follow proven processes
I always prefer to begin a client engagement as part of a team with complementary skills. We will start with a workshop with the client to discover as many hidden requirements as possible. I’ll then try to arrange a field study. User research is next – as much as time and budget allows, supplemented by heuristics and expert review where appropriate. I follow Nielsen’s method for usability research.
When creating a candidate interaction design, I follow Cooper’s goal-directed methodology. This will start with client workshops to develop personas, and end with wireframes and interactive prototypes. I use a range of tools to develop these artefacts, with a preference for quick turnaround times. After iterating the interaction design, I’ll work with the visual design lead to develop a great look.
If I’m the only UX person on the project, I’ll use the client and my teammates from other disciplines as sounding boards where I can, as I prefer to work transparently. During the delivery phase, I’ll engage with the build team to make sure everyone is commited to a quality release.
I’m not a graphic designer!
By all means hire a graphic designer! Graphic design and user experience design are complimentary disciplines. There will always be a strong visual element to my work, but my background and training are in designing behaviours and communications. I love working alongside graphic designers as part of multi-disciplinary teams, to create user experiences that are easy and quick to use and great to look at.
Users love my work
I don’t mean to brag but… actually this is my portfolio site so of course I’m going to brag! For me, the true measure of success is when the actual users of a product are delighted to use it.
I’m good at data visualisation
I’m good at public speaking and face-to-face
I have excellent English skills and I’m comfortable speaking in front of both large and small groups. I can articulate technical ideas in plain English and explain pros and cons of different approaches clearly and concisely. I’m an asset in a pitch meeting and a brainstorming session. I have an arts degree as well as a computer science degree – that represents a broad interest in the wider world outside tech which I use to enrich and inspire my work. I can relate to and work effectively with technical, creative and administrative members of a team.
I’m a boat rocker
This is where the “strategist” part of the job comes in. If you ask me to design an iPhone app and I don’t think that’s the best approach, I’ll tell you. And I will give you alternatives that make sense and are supported by precedent, observation and science. I believe in giving users the best possible experience, and that often goes beyond the screen.