I surveyed 100 user centred designers. Here’s what they said.

A woman curled up in a chair, looking unhappy. Her thoughts swirl above her in a dark mass of angry faces, broken hearts, question marks and scribbles.
A woman curled up in a chair, looking unhappy. Her thoughts swirl above her in a dark mass of angry faces, broken hearts, question marks and scribbles.
Image by pikisuperstar

In this post

Context

A couple months back, a young member of the UX Glasgow meetup suggested we do an evening on imposter syndrome and mental health. …


I’m leaving the University of Glasgow after 11 years on this beautiful campus.

The University’s main building in warm winter sunlight, seen across Kelvingrove Park
The University’s main building in warm winter sunlight, seen across Kelvingrove Park
UofG: easy to photograph, hard to leave

Turns out December is a good time to go as everyone’s in the mood to party! I’ve had so much fun over the last couple weeks, catching up with and saying cheerio to my old teams in Economic & Social History, the School of Social & Political Sciences, Internal Comms, IT and Information Services, and to colleagues across the rest of the Uni.

In between mince pies I’ve been reflecting on my time here and trying to come up with a final post for this blog that…


Time=money, so let’s save people’s time

I’m working my notice period at UofG and thinking about how the momentum of the last couple years might be maintained.

So far, through a range of grassroots projects, we’ve raised the University’s UX maturity from stage 0 to stage 2:

There are lots of different versions of the stages of UX maturity but none of them quite fitted UofG, so we made yet another version!

In 2017, the user experience was unrecognised, little understood or not considered important. Two years later it is often talked about, sometimes prioritised and occasionally ad-hoc funding is allocated for user research. …


I really REALLY looked forward to this conference. I loved last year’s and got loads out of it: ideas, contacts and tons of motivation.

This year’s programme was incredible: with the range and quality on offer, sometimes it was so hard to choose a track that I ended up tossing a coin.

And where last year UofG sent just 3 delegates to Dynamic Earth, this year there were 7 of us — go Team UofG! ❤

I took at least 3 blog posts worth of notes that’ll take me forever to process, and I’m not even going to start on…


This year, UofG sent more staff than ever before to Edinburgh for UX Scotland, the annual conference for UX, service design and digital communities. We were 7 strong, including staff from Information Services and the World Changing Glasgow Transformation programme — go Team UofG! ❤

Here, 2 of our delegates share their hopes and expectations for the conference, their top 3 sessions, and what they want to try now they’re back on campus.

Susan MacMillan

System Support Analyst, IT Services

This was my first time attending UX Scotland and I look forward to the next. It was really interesting to see how…


Our task-focused staff homepage has saved the University a ton of time and money.

A year ago, we redesigned the 3rd most visited page in the University of Glasgow website — the MyGlasgow Staff homepage — around its users’ top tasks.

With 8,500 staff clocking up 1.5 million views a year on a page that was largely unchanged since its launch in 2015, this was the perfect target for a user-centred redesign. I wrote at the time about how we approached it. Now it’s time to quantify the impact of our work.

‘Before’ and ‘After’ screenshots of the MyGlasgow Staff homepage, with links to staff’s top, medium, small and tiny tasks highlighted.

Disclaimer: The following is based on crude maths and potentially unreliable Google Analytics data, so I’ve rounded down a lot both for…


We watched 11 people log into Moodle and saw 11 different journeys.

11 users, 11 different user journeys

Background

Moodle is the University of Glasgow’s browser-based virtual learning environment. It’s our hub for course resources, assessment, staff/student communication and staff training. It’s also our largest and most widely used system, with:

This flowchart came out of recent user research sessions looking into how we might improve navigation in Moodle. I’ll write more on that work another time.

11 for 11?!

Our participants included undergrads, postgrads, academics, GTAs (graduate teaching assistants aka tutors) and course admins. …


How my UCISA bursary has helped me — and my Uni — to grow

Last summer I got to go to San Francisco for UX Week 2018, thanks to the UCISA bursary scheme. The trip gave me a huge boost of confidence in my potential as a user experience professional, a heap of new methods to try and ideas to share, and some great new friends and contacts.

Today I’m reflecting on what’s happened since that wonderful week, and on the benefits the experience brought to me and to the University of Glasgow.

Karl the Fog lovingly embraces the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by my hubby, MongolBlues

Sharing the joy

It’s encouraging to see more and more…


Explaining user experience design with metaphors from construction

Last week I shared some more UX Week takeaways in a talk at UCISA’s CISG-PCMG18 conference. It was UCISA’s bursary scheme that got me to San Francisco in the first place so it was great to meet the people behind it, along with 300 corporate information systems people and project/change management people from unis around the UK.

Here’s the video of my 10min talk, and I’ve expanded on it a little in the write-up below.

My first recorded talk! Is this really my accent?

Inspiration

At UX Week I learned that designers love to do things in 3s. …


Our users are humans, and so are we

Inspired by some of the heartbreaking, challenging and thought-provoking stories I read on World Mental Health Day, here’s a breakdown of one of the themes that emerged from the conferences I attended this summer: UX Scotland, IWMW and UX Week (the latter funded by a UCISA bursary).

These were my takeaways from the talks, case studies and throw-away lines that tugged at my heartstrings, and reminded me that before we can truly take care of our users, we need to take care of ourselves, and each other.

From Kevin Mears’ sketchnote for 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Earlier (In My Career)

Know yourself and own it

“Introverts are ace​”

Half way through opening IWMW with her talk 10 Things I Wish I’d…

Kat Husbands

User researcher, content wrangler, co-organiser of UX Glasgow meetup, fishkeeper, AFOL.

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