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How I can help

Becoming an excellent user-centered team doesn’t happen overnight. Old habits die hard and figuring out what users need (rather than what they say they want) is tricky. I help teams find and make the small changes that will make a big, lasting, impact to help them in their journey. Things I do:

  • run short, focused, workshops on areas of FED or UX;
  • work directly with teams on a project;
  • make first versions of UX deliverables with teams (like Personas and Journey Maps);
  • help make a clear business case for spending more time on the front-end and user experience.

point-and-explain

I also help teams set themselves up for making continuous improvements in future. I pick up bits of work that they don’t have capacity for, then walk them through what I did, how I did it, and why I made the choices I did. I help back-end developers learn more about the front-end, help front-end developers learn more about UX, and help both to write better, faster, more widely supported code.

I slot in with the existing process of the team I’m working with. I particularly like the short feedback loops and focus on learning that flavours of agile bring, though.

FED stuff

I work on the front-end of projects across various tech stacks, building templates and front-end Style Guides. I’ve worked with Rails, Django, .NET MVC, Ember, WordPress, and static site generators like Jekyll (which powers this site). I’ve worked with front-end frameworks like Angular, React, and Vue.

I work best in the view layer of a framework. I can write and edit enough code to use APIs and make the most of the framework, but I tend not to touch models or controllers (even in the front-end frameworks). I focus on the HTML and CSS (and UX stuff), and add small amounts of JavaScript (sometimes ES6, usually sprinkled using Babel) where necessary.

I set up and use task runners like Gulp and Grunt, and use pre-processors like Sass and Less to make CSS a bit friendlier to use.

I use Git for version control (with GitHub or BitBucket), and I quite like git flow as a branching strategy. I use Trello and Jira for task management.

UX stuff

I make UX deliverables like Personas and Journey Maps, conduct usability reviews, and run usability tests.

For each thing, I like to use the lowest fidelity that provides good enough results. That means a mixture of sketches (I have fancy pens), wireframes (usually in Balsamiq because I find it’s quite fast), or clickable prototypes (usually in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, using something like Bootstrap for speed).