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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.

I also help teams set themselves up for making continuous improvements in future by focusing on where we want to improve rather than what we might be doing wrong.

FED stuff

I work on the front-end of projects across various tech stacks, building templates and front-end Style Guides. I work with Rails, Django, Node, .NET, Laravel, WordPress, and static site generators like Jekyll (which powers this site). I use templating engines like ERB, Jinja, Handlebars, Razor, Blade, Liquid. I also work with front-end JavaScript frameworks like Angular (a fair bit), and React and Vue (a little, but looking to do more).

I work best in the view layer. I write and edit code to use APIs and make the most of the framework, but I tend not to touch models or controllers. 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 use:

  • task runners like Gulp and Grunt, and set them up;
  • pre-processors like Sass and Less to make CSS a bit friendlier to use;
  • Git for version control (with GitHub or BitBucket), and I quite like git flow as a branching strategy;
  • Trello and Jira for task management.

UX stuff

I look for where small changes in process can make the biggest difference, and pick UX activities or deliverables that match the need.

  • I make Personas, Journey Maps, wireframes, and prototypes. These help teams have a deeper, more empathetic, understanding of their users, and have more clarity on what to build and why.
  • I conduct usability reviews to find quick wins and make plans for bigger, longer term, changes. I like to sit with the team and make our own UX Checklist, based on some well-know, industry standard, ones that I keep a list of on GitHub.
  • I run usability tests with the users, and ask devs to sit in so that they can see their work in action. This usually results in a big list of potential To Dos. So, we sit and prioritise the items (using Effort vs Impact or Urgent vs Important), and see what we might bring into the next sprint. Then I sit and pair program with a developer to build out the changes.

For each UX deliverable, 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).