I offer consulting and training in UX research & design which help organisations (chiefly higher education institutions and public libraries) to transform their services. This is achieved through direct and innovative research into user needs and behaviours and the prototyping and design of new services in response.
What is User Experience research?
We can learn a huge amount about how our users experience (and feel about) services, spaces and products by adopting rich qualitative and quantitative research methods that come under the umbrella term ‘UX’ (User eXperience). Crucially UX research explores user behaviours and needs, not just what users say they want.
I show my clients how to supplement the usage and survey data that they have always taken with a range of invaluable behavioural and attitudinal methods which study and explore the real activities and experiences of their users. Crucially these methods are easy to use and low cost too.
What is User Experience Design?
User Experience Design is all about translating the data you have collected through UX research methods into new services and products to test. It involves mapping and analysing data, idea generation, and testing service prototypes. Too often we stop researching after we have collected data. We tend to just solve the easy problems, write a report that no-one reads, form a committee that takes no action, or do nothing at all. If you employ and embed a UX research and design process then you create the opportunity for real service and staff transformation.
My recent consultancies in UX research and design include:
- SLU University, Uppsala, Sweden (October 2019)
- research and design of physical spaces across SLU campuses with a particular emphasis on the experience of non-Swedish students
- Stockholm Public Libraries, Sweden (Jan 2019 – October 2019)
- transformation of the ways in which library services are delivered across the city through a ‘rising stars’ UX development programme and a senior leadership UX programme. Key contact: Daniel Forsman
- Swedish Defence University, Stockholm, Sweden (September 2019)
- research into the user welcome experience for all visitors to the University, and library space development and design
- University of Hildesheim Library, Germany (June 2019)
- Exploration of new spaces and service opportunities for this University Library and training of key staff. Key contact: Dr Jarmo Schrader
- University of Wolverhampton Student Services Directorate, UK (Nov 2018 – Feb 2019)
- UX research and design at this large University Library ahead of a multi-million pound building refurbishment including liaison with the architects. Key contacts: James Anthony-Edwards, Jon Granger
- Tasmania Public Libraries, Australia (Summer 2018)
- New approaches to service delivery and process in public libraries across the state, training staff in Hobart, Launceston and beyond. Key contact: Brett Patterson
N.B. I believe in, and only take on, consultancy work that yields long-term benefits for clients through the incorporation of the personal and professional development of staff. This is the only way of embedding user-centred approaches and facilitating true service and transformation. For UX to be effective a culture and mindset change is required.
Typically I offer intensive courses on UX research and design over two or more days which are highly practical and immersive. These courses allows participants to put their learning into action immediately, exposing them to the practice of actual fieldwork with users, tangible data and real opportunities for service development.
Typical course content:
- What is UX research and design: definitions, purpose and value, applications
- Exploration of the key UX research techniques: observation, behavioural mapping, semi-structured interview, cognitive mapping, photo studies, user journey mapping, usability testing, cultural probes, card sorting, touchstone tours, love and break-up letters.
- Practical fieldwork: conducting of UX research techniques with real service users
- Mapping of data gathered from users through the fieldwork and identification of key service problems and priorities
- Successful idea generation in response to user data: ideas for new services, directions and products
- Planning and creating low-cost service prototypes (minimum viable products)
- Testing and iterating prototypes in situ with services users
- Evaluation of UX research and design process barriers and opportunities
Libraries Tasmania (Australia):
‘I have never been part of training which had such a profound and positive effect on so many participants. You have left us with new skills, renewed enthusiasm and a belief that we can make a great impact on the quality of the programs and services we deliver to the public. Your humour was on point and the combination of theory, staff exercises and hands-on practical application was great. It was perfect timing for us as we try to create a strategy for our organisation that is more client centric.’
Brett Patterson, Director – Governance & Operations, Libraries Tasmania
Melbourne, La Trobe, RMIT and Deakin Universities (Melbourne, Australia):
‘Superb! I thought Andy was a warm, confident, humorous, and engaging speaker. UX in libraries is long overdue and I am delighted to see it now come to the forefront!!’; ‘Andy, thanks for a fabulous and thought provoking day of learning. Lots of practical stuff covered to put in our toolkits.’; ‘Awesome, full of energy and positive processes that I can take back and use.’; ‘Fantastic high energy creative and educational session. Top marks!!’.
House of Commons:
‘Very informative and enlightening, and really well presented’; ‘Really positive, informative session. I’m amazed by the different research methods, there is something in all of them that is valuable. Certain methods will be very easily applied and I’m really excited to implement them. Thank you for opening up a whole new world of qualitative feedback and research!’
‘I feel very enlightened as well as excited about the ideas and tools I have learnt today. The session was fun, well-paced and full of very practical advice on how to get started’; ‘Kept me engaged throughout the day’; ‘Andy helped frame and package UX in the library context. Interactive and participatory – thank you!’
University of Salford:
‘A great way of sampling the UX methodologies’; ‘Lots of ideas to go and explore further. An engaging presenter with a good balance of interactive task ad presentations’.
University of Lancaster:
‘The UX event challenged all our assumptions and provided an entirely new way of looking at user experience. Through a combination of engaging presentation and hands-on activity we were introduced to a range of techniques that we could immediately take and apply to gain insight into the perceptions, experiences and behaviours of our users. With staff from all areas of our service attending there was something of value for everyone to take away. Our staff said “it was different to anything I have attended”, “incredibly helpful, thought provoking”, “a good blend of theory and activity”, “I feel motivated to carry ideas forward”, “genuinely inspiring and useful”, “a super day”, ” Inspired!”. Phil Cheeseman, Head of Academic Services, Lancaster University Library
Email me to find out more about my UX consulting and training so I can tailor my offering to your specific needs.