In our fourth #Fiveminuteswith feature, we talk to our UX Designer about trends, innovations and brands.
Hi Adam. Firstly, what websites do you rate highly for their usability? What do they do well?
AM: Surprisingly, one of my favourite websites is gov.uk, which isn’t a particularly glamorous website, I know. One of the main reasons it ranks highly in my list is because they’ve done the basics right; they’ve invested an intense amount of time in user testing - they document this in their blog. It’s a vital component to our everyday lives and it’s completely intuitive, accessible and makes digital-by-default the core of its journey.
Medium.com is probably my favourite place for opinions and research; it also helps that it’s pretty beautiful from a UX perspective! What I admire about Medium beyond all that is the frequency of their experimentation. During their ‘boom’ whenever I’d visit I’d find something new, whether it’s a new structure, a new sidebar or just changing the way they worded things. In addition, they clearly learned from user behaviour and began adapting the site around their users’ ‘hacks’ and ‘glitches.’
Google Ventures is another favourite. Again, it’s not that attractive, but it is a good example of placing content first. The resources are really useful, but more importantly easy to find and alig to specific user types.
I should highlight that it’s not just minimalistic websites I like, there are more, honest!
Which sectors do you think are leading the way in UX and how?
AM: There’s been a real buzz around healthcare of late, especially with the rise of eHealth. I think this sector is definitely a real one to watch, especially in the world of UX as I feel we’ll see the true definition be defined.
We’re all aware of the gap between online and offline. We’ve tried to bridge that gap by creating apps/websites that take advantage of the improvements in technology. However, what we’re yet to see if a complete immersion of an experience. That’s why healthcare has a prime opportunity; to take their offline care excellence into a complete user immersion.
What trend or innovation have you been most excited about in UX over the last two years?
AM: There’s been an increase in the tools that we use, and recently, it’s begun to really take off. From prototyping tools such as InVision, UXPin and Axure to exploiting tools like Sketch and Balsamiq for rapid wireframing and ideation through to user testing software such as Treejack, ScreenFlow, Lookback and Silverback (we’ll ignore Version 3 on that one!). It’s great to have so many options!
It’s great to see Adobe working on Project Comet too, however, I’m not sure a one-size-fits-all tool will be the way forward, however, look how well Photoshop became a fundamental tool.
The future’s certainly looking great for the world of UX!
Are there any trends you think we’ll see more of in 2016?
AM: We’ll see a greater understanding of UX, and that means going beyond the generic phrase of ‘we place users at the heart of everything we do’. It means going out and speaking to users at the beginning, middle and end of a project. It means understanding what the core problems and needs are and taking research seriously. It also means the entire team understands that UX isn’t a process, nor is it a department. It’s the research, testing and validation that separates good projects from great ones - it’s the science behind the magic.
And finally, what project are you most proud of from your time at Rippleffect?
AM: I’ll stick to the mantra that you’re only as good as your last project. I’m currently reaching the end of an entirely UX-focused project that’s allowed me to interview, research and test my validations with real users. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the project and one of the best elements was ensuring the client was involved from start to finish. The close communication helped excel the project but also educate both parties about what their users were struggling with and how we could -together - overcome those difficulties.
I’ve learnt a lot from leading my own project here and met some fantastic clients along the way. It’s certainly been challenging at times but as they say, success comes from hard work!