Hi. My name is Laurie and I’m addicted to UX. I never used to be until I learned the ins and outs of UX design, and how it pretty much makes everything in life better. I fell into UX, as most non-traditional practitioners do. The thing that got me even more hooked is the way UX is done at Code Computerlove. I’ve been in Manchester (after moving from America) for nine months, at Code for eight months and so far, I’ve found that the people here make UX enjoyably contagious. It’s unavoidable and in demand.
Here’s what a typical week in the life of a UX Consultant looks like… Lucky you!
What does a week in the life of a UX Consultant actually look like?
Well let’s talk about what the @£$% a UXer does in the first place. UX spans a wide spectrum of concentrations, from research, usability, accessibility, user interface design, and visual design. For Code, I specifically focus on stakeholder workshops, user testing, design sprints, information architecture, and prototyping. Code is great because most of our responsibilities are done in collaboration, where individual great minds are put together to solve a problem.
Aside from my constant nagging for chocolate and lousy attempts at making tea like a proper Brit, a week in my life as a UX Consultant involves constantly learning from others and applying it to my work. Throughout the week, I work on client teams and periodically check back with my Experience Design team for new knowledge, feedback, and advice. A busy week in this role can easily get out of hand, but thankfully we have some great lean leaders to help us organise our work.
10:00 Stand-up with the Experience Design Team
Time to get lean. We talk about our projects for the week and put them on our lean Kanban board. We also talk about our hopes and fears. In doing this we make sure we are on task, not creating waste, and addressing fears we may have with the help of the rest of the team. I thankfully didn’t have any fears today.
12:00 Discipline Meeting
Once a month all of Code divides into their discipline teams to discuss or workshop a topic of our choice. We also get a food catered and this month it’s my favourite, PIZZA! After eating, Code’s Senior Interactive Designer, Tom Newton presented how we can use a feedback loop to give effective feedback to each other’s work, and the type of feedback appropriate for specific situations.
7:00 Train to London
Coffee – check! Pens and markers – check! Sweets to keep everyone hyped and creative – check! Account Director Sally Anderson, Project Manager Sophie Gorecki, and I set off to London for the Amnesty Solution Design Workshop. On our two-and-a-half-hour journey we run through what we want to accomplish at the workshop. After reviewing, I nap because staring at my computer gets me travel sick… and having a nauseous leader is not ideal.
10:00 Amnesty Solution Design Workshop
The room is set-up and people are ready to workshop! We work with six stakeholders to get an idea of proto-personas and user journeys for their campaigns section. I love Amnesty! It’s always great to work with passionate stakeholders who care about the user experience as much as we do.
10:15 Amnesty Optimisation
Reviewing A/B tests is like watching to see if you won a bet in a really slow horse race. We are lucky enough to have such an amazing team of optimisers to lead us through this. We go through what needs improvement on the Amnesty website, what evidence we have for addressing it, and then decide if we should test it. So far, we have some clear winning variations that have been converting well!
13:00 Design Review
The Experience Design team gets back together again to review any work that needs feedback. Today, Digital Designer Charles Burdett is showing us his designs for Chester Zoo. After seeing the designs, we use a rose, thorn, bud system to give feedback on what is working well, what needs attention, and what to watch out for. It’s always good to see what everyone on the Experience Design team is working on and get a little piece of the action.
10:00 User Testing Prep for Brother
My favourite part of being a UX Consultant is getting to talk to users and test our design assumptions. Prepping for these sessions are just as important as the testing itself. Today, I have to get the script finalised and make sure the lab is set-up.
11:00 MSS Sprint Retro
The MSS team did a non-stop run of three design sprints in the past month. I was in a one of them, doing IA and user testing. The team were able to catch a break, so we brought back all the great minds to look back on how the design sprints went. We discussed what we thought we could stop, continue, and start doing. So far, these design sprints have been extremely successful and client thinks so, too!
16:45 Gin Friday
What a busy week! The gin and beers are all laid out in our café. I pour myself a gin and tonic, mingle, and watch foolish attempts of my co-workers play an American-styled beer pong game. They try to make it British, but that’s OK. Life is still good!