Following Evolution 2019, NAAME caught up with Kate Portman of The User story, who spoke on the Design and Adaption Panel at Evolution. Kate spoke about the importance of keeping an open mind in whatever you do, and always listening to the advice of others. She highlighted how ideas can come from everywhere, not just the experts in one field. 

Kate was kind enough to tell us about the work that she and her team do at The User Story.

• Who are The User Story, and what do you do?

The User Story is a usability and user experience (UX) consultancy based in Norwich, working with a variety of national clients to help them improve their experiences and design interfaces.

 We do this by applying data analysis, best practice knowledge and real user insight. Taking an evidence-based and iterative design approach, we test a concept or minimal viable product with the target audience as early on possible, then revise and test again.

 The most insightful feedback comes from the people that actually use a product. Sounds obvious, but this is still not the way many digital products get designed and built!

• What is User Experience?

It’s the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy and pleasing it is to use.

 It’s important to distinguish the total user experience from the user interface (UI), even though the UI is obviously an extremely important part of the usability.

 • How can manufacturing and engineering businesses better utilise User Experience?

This sector is driven by making things work, which is great, but thinking can often be systems based. User-centred design focuses on the why over the what – to uncover people’s pain points, motivations and context when using a product so it better meets their needs.

The benefits of applying User Experience to your workflow is that you can reduce development costs, move in a faster and more agile way, plus improve customer satisfaction and your bottom line.

• What does the future of User Experience look like? (Notable technological advances?)

It will become more in demand and evolve into more specialised areas. Websites and mobile screens will probably stay with us in the near future but as our world grows more comfortable with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, voice commands, augmented reality and virtual reality, we’ll be designing experiences for new contexts that blend more seamlessly into the environment.

 In the tech world there are always rapidly evolving innovations and tools but the building blocks of human behaviour – attention, trust, fear, habit etc. – will remain a constant.

• How can manufacturing and engineering businesses better utilise User Experience?

This sector is driven by making things work, which is great, but thinking can often be systems based. User-centred design focuses on the why over the what – to uncover people’s pain points, motivations and context when using a product so it better meets their needs.

The benefits of applying User Experience to your workflow is that you can reduce development costs, move in a faster and more agile way, plus improve customer satisfaction and your bottom line.

 

 

 

• What does the future of User Experience look like? (Notable technological advances?)

It will become more in demand and evolve into more specialised areas. Websites and mobile screens will probably stay with us in the near future but as our world grows more comfortable with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, voice commands, augmented reality and virtual reality, we’ll be designing experiences for new contexts that blend more seamlessly into the environment.

 In the tech world there are always rapidly evolving innovations and tools but the building blocks of human behaviour – attention, trust, fear, habit etc. – will remain a constant.

To find out more about the work that the User Story do, Please visit their website: https://www.theuserstory.com/

Henry Mules

Author: Henry Mules