A Day in the Life of UX Designers Hana Stevenson and Ed Vinicombe from Clearleft
Do design processes differ around the world? We reached out to Clearleft, a strategic design and innovation consultancy based out of Brighton, UK, to find out what it’s like to spend a day working at their office.
They connected us with Hana Stevenson and Ed Vinicombe, two UX designers with slightly different roles. Stevenson works as an interaction designer and Vinicombe works as a product designer, but both have overlapping processes that mimic much of what we’re used to on this side of the pond.
In their own words, they walk us through a typical day in their lives as UX designers.
Hana Stevenson, interaction designer
I could write ten different versions of my day because as a UX designer, each day can change depending on the problem we are solving or where we are in the design process.
This would be the rough schedule of my day at our client’s office after we had conducted a round of usability testing on a prototype.
First thing I do when I get in is have that crucial cup of tea to kick off the day. While for many this would be a cup of coffee, I just can’t bring myself to take on the vice!
I then attend a quick stand-up with the team, listening and discussing with team members about what they did yesterday — if they had any blockers, and what they are doing today. Just like a tea, this is a healthy ritual to keep the team productive.
Afterwards, I jump into analysing and reviewing the data to see if there are any behavioural patterns emerging or if there are opportunities to improve the design. More importantly, has the design met the requirements of the problem we are solving? Research is a core part of user centered design, which is why usability testing is an integral part of our design process. It helps to create a stronger basis for decision making and provides evidence to not only the design team, but also the stakeholders.
Depending on time and the amount of testing videos to analyze, I would assemble either a report or showreel highlighting findings to inform the next stage of iterations. Later in the day, I would have a meeting with the team to share the insights and to make sure we all have a common understanding of the areas left for further improvement.
Once the work day is completed, I like to unwind by listening to a new podcast, often involving the future of tech, but sometimes a funny one, while sitting on the train on the way home.
Ed Vinicombe, product designer
After a short walk into the office and a spot of breakfast, I tend to start my day with a couple of team stand-ups. The first of which is a very short 10-minute catch up with the team at Clearleft, the second is a larger stand up with the client and any other stakeholders in the project. We use these stand-ups to ask questions, review work, and make sure the project is moving along smoothly.
After the stand-ups, I could be working on a number of different aspects of the project, but most typically I’ll have my head down in [design programs] iterating on ideas based on the quantitative and qualitative user data that we’ve collected. I find that printing out each iteration and sticking it up by our workspace not only shows the journey of my ideas, but encourages the team to come and have a discussion about what they feel is working and not working.
After the working day, I like to round up everybody from our team for a bit more of an informal review of what we’ve done for the day. This is a great way for us to share ideas and research with each other on a bit more of an ad hoc basis.
Responses have been lightly edited and condensed.
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