Where it all began…

Since the demise of Fireworks, I had done most of my design work in Illustrator and Photoshop. Then, whilst working at Skyscanner, this new tool called Sketch was gaining popularity. Being an early-adopter, I was eager to try it and after making the switch, I never looked back — until recently…

Working in siloed squads with little need to collaborate with other designers, and before Design Systems were in full swing, working on an isolated file shared across Dropbox seemed to work just fine.

Moving to TravelPerk to lead the design team, I found myself working across many aspects of…

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Continuing on from my previous article on the preparation and first day, this part touches on general tips and key takeaways from Tuesday to Friday.

Trailblazing Tuesday

After finishing up our many “Ask the Expert” sessions on Monday at around 6pm, it made no sense to stick around to make key decisions on frazzled brains. We therefore started fresh on Tuesday with the voting step. This was also beneficial as one of our key stakeholders was out on Monday, therefore, having him involved in this stage on Tuesday made more sense.

Yes, we broke the rules of the Design Sprint format. It…

OK, so first a little background — I work as the Design Lead at TravelPerk, a high-growth, travel platform for businesses. Last week was the first week we ran a fully-fledged Design Sprint, where I acted as Moderator.

I’m here to share my learnings for others to hopefully benefit and expand on.

Not familiar with Design Sprints? I suggest checking out the official Design Sprint website before continuing.

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This was me back in our second office. We are now in our 4th office in 4 years. 😅

Preparation is key

Sounds obvious, right? It was to me too — however, the exact amount of time you’ll need for preparation is what caught me by surprise. You see a Design Sprint isn’t just…

A prototype can often be seen as an artefact, as something we deliver to check off an item on the project to-do list. To me, prototyping is a mentality — a way of approaching assumptions and clarifying doubts.

If you were to consider a scenario in everyday life where you were asked to hand over a large amount of cash in exchange for an unbuilt product, you’d likely be reluctant, no? This is exactly what I did 10 years ago when I bought my first house. I had secured a significant amount of money from the bank for a house…

User-centred design is no new thing. As a term it has held many guises long before the the digital age in areas such as human factors and ergonomics.

Being customer centred is a mantra that we all wish to believe we are following, but sadly this is not always the case. As I not so subtly alluded to in my previous post about persona’s, there is a danger that customer insight research is carried out solely as a check-box exercise destined to sit on a shelf for the rest of eternity. …

Next sprint, we should develop feature X. [Fabricated Persona] really needs this to solve [made up problem].

Tell you what, let’s see once that feature is shipped how accurate your hypothesis about your persona and his/her need was. I’m pretty certain their feedback will be fairly uninspiring (spoiler alert—you can’t hold a conversation with a PDF or a print-out).

The Problem with Personas

One thing that has always plagued me since entering the world of User Experience has been the oft-mentioned act of “creating personas”. From the outside, it appears to be some mystical foray into the minds and bodies of our customers, who…

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Icon by Vladimir Belochkin (via https://thenounproject.com/)

Talking systems

Back in September last year, I wrote the first part of this article. While I could say that I have strategically taken eleven months to do the follow up, I would be lying. That being said, this larger-than-intended gap means that I am able to discuss some interesting developments in the world of design tools. Let’s dive in…

Communication is key

As with successful teams, communication between successful design tools is key. Having an amazing design tool will allow you to produce the artefacts, but alone, those artefacts are meaningless. They need to be shared, reviewed and discussed with your team.

One thing…

How to get valuable insight without breaking the bank

I recently did a talk at the Product Tank Meetup here in Barcelona where I spoke about this very topic to a room of Product Owners, Developers, Designers, and Researchers. This is a follow-up article to accompany the presentation which you can find on SlideShare.

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See the presentation from the Product Tank Meetup on SlideShare

Why do user research?

First up, let’s consider why we do research in the first place. There could be many reasons and motivations for speaking with current and potential customers but I’d like to focus on the aspect of validation — getting feedback on existing or upcoming parts of your product or service. …

The understanding

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My personal history with design tools

Design tools have had a funny past. For many years Adobe had the monopoly with their early versions of Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign before later going on to acquire Dreamweaver, Flash and Fireworks (R.I.P) from Macromedia back in 2005. To me, these were the design tools of my formative years building up my design career.

When I first began using (mostly) Photoshop, it was used to add ridiculous amounts of superfluous layer styles to my compositions as well as doctor the few decent photographs that I took back then.

As I began my foray into the world of design, predominantly…

At TravelPerk, my role here is to build a world-class interface which helps to improve the business travel experience.

I wonder how many of you, upon reading that first sentence, have begun thinking of user interfaces, search controls and the latest shiny shot that you seen on Dribbble? Imagining travellers searching for and booking their flights and accommodation. This is of course a part of the process which I am concerned with, but is fractional when you consider the entire landscape and all of the touch points that make up a business trip.

In TravelPerk, our main users are Travel…

Chris Roy

CPO @Boatim 🛥 | Founder @northswiss | Advisor @Amenitiz. Formerly Design Manager @TravelPerk, and Lead Designer @Skyscanner. Addicted to 🎵 + ☕️

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