Designing

The unexpected consequences of compiling user feedback at collection

I’ve run plenty of face-to-face usability sessions, but since joining Red Gate I’ve found myself having to run remote sessions. I’ve discovered a great technique and in doing so I have also stumbled upon some unexpected consequences of using it. Red Gate has a vast user base, and it turns out that a significant portion of it is located in the U.S (though this shouldn’t have been a surprise). Meeting users face-to-face for usability testing is less common and... read more

UX katas – Heuristic evaluation.

The “extended” UX team sharpening their swords… At Red Gate, our software engineers run regular  “code katas”, workshops where developers practise their coding skills on simple problems, then discuss the experience afterwards as a learning exercise. So, a while ago, I thought it might be a good idea to use the same Kata principle... read more

New Wizard Design in the Microsoft Azure Portal

There’s little doubt that Microsoft has been investing heavily in the (re)design of many of its existing products and taking a different approach when creating its newest products. Some have been quite successful whilst others have been met with a wall of criticism and even anger (Windows 8 anyone?). read more

Centralised or Embedded UX? How the team is organised at Red Gate

I’ve been asked several times recently what it’s like to work in UX at Red Gate and how we organise ourselves as a team. In this blog post I’ll attempt to briefly answer those questions. 1 – We are a functional team. Development at Red Gate is split into divisions based roughly on product... read more

Remote design collaboration

About a year ago I damaged my shoulder and needed surgery on it. Unfortunately that meant that I couldn’t get into the office, a 50 mile drive away. It was at this point that I started working remotely and ever since I have worked at least 2 days out of the office. There are... read more

Lessons learned running a remote diary study

User research through a diary study was a new experience for us. We always want to get first hand feedback from our users, and had hoped to do more site visits so that we could sit and watch people use out tools in their day-to-day jobs. There are 3 main problems with site visits:... read more

5 presents for UX geeks suitable for small and big pockets.

As we are approaching Xmas so quickly, I have asked around the people in our UX team what would be their ideal present in the field. The outcome is the list below, you can use for your late presents if you want to please a UX geek!  1 – A lifetime licence of the... read more

My Experience Working in Product Support

I’ve had a bit of a rude awakening over the last few weeks. I’ve had to start handling support tickets for the product I’m working on. Product support?! I’m in the UX team! I DO NOT get my hands dirty. Ever. It has been a bit of a culture shock. You know it’s having... read more

An alternative way to do customer interviews: the revelation of the JTBD framework

I recently discovered the JTBD framework at Business of Software: what I learnt made me swear that I’ll use it from now on in every customer interview I need to do in order to understand their underlying needs and support our product pipeline. It is *that* brilliant. It’s like a targeted, systematic guided interview... read more

Lesson taken from Mind the Product #1 : Contextual Enquiries for the win!

About 10 days ago, I attended the Mind the Product 2013 conference in London, and I was amazed by the quality of the speakers there. I was also impressed by the number of time “user experience” was mentioned at what was definitely a product management-focused event. I left each talk with something I thought... read more