UX is everywhere: developer edition — my talk from MK Geek Night September ‘17

Warning — this post will contain swearing!

My name is Jess, I’m currently a UX designer at Booking and taking on side projects too. This talk (or post in this case) is about UX, how to use it to improve your development processes and ultimately your life.

What is UX?

Generally when you think of UX you think of things like wireframes, post-it notes and workflows — or maybe you just think about a hipster looking guy.

But this isn’t going to be about the processes or tools of UX, what I’m going to talk about today is the essence of UX thinking that makes us good designers. It is that piece of empathy and care that makes products really excellent.

For example you can have a good product, or great marketing but if you don’t think about the person’s experience whilst viewing what you’re doing, you can end up with stuff like this:

And whilst it makes for an interesting presentation, it is always really important that we all take a step back and view things from the other perspective.

Its this way of thinking about things that is what I’m now, affectionately calling, the ‘give a fuck’ factor — or — the Gaffer.

What has this got to do with development?

So you’re probably wondered what the heck it has to do with development right? You might be involved but how is this going to teach you about coding or engineering?

I’ve got just three things for today that the GAFfer might suggest:

Just like a designer would employ the principle of not making people have to think too much with their designs, don’t make people think with your code either. Its better for when others read your code but it's also better for you, so you can comfortably come back without having to reset as much. Be consistent in your naming and structure and add comments, a lot!

As well as people being able to read your code from the files, your code must be understandable i.e. Usable to everyone on the other side, the users. Give a fuck about making your code accessible and inclusive. Simply because, of course fucking of course.

If you can give a fuck about how you communicate, you can communicate better with others. This includes those who have completely different jobs, background or perspectives. It takes time to practice this empathy but its an important skill. It will make your meetings shorter and more frictionless. This benefits not only you, but the other people in your team and your work itself. Less friction and better communication increases happiness and efficiency.

This kind of thinking from the other people’s perspective can be taken forward into your non-work lives as well.

Put things away around the house when you’ve used them so that when someone else is looking, they don’t have to think about where it might be.

Consider what kind of meeting place would be good for a friend, don’t just pick your favourite.

Ultimately, just try and give more of a fuck, and you’ll help improve the world one gesture at a time.

Hi! I am Jessica Lovegood — User experience consultant. I wrote this article and many others, if you’d like to know more, check out my website — https://jessicalovegood.co.uk/

Senior User Experience designer

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