Who am I
With 10 years as a Software Test Engineer in both Manual and Automation my main focus has always been “Is this good for the user” and not just does it work. I have always had a passion in life for helping others, from working behind the counter in a local DIY store advising people the best approach to painting a wall to ensuring that a button not only does what its meant to, but also that it looks and feels right. Prior to that I served my time as a carpenter and shop fitter where I would need to design a solution to make things work when building a stud-wall or making a gate from scratch to ensure not only does it stand up, but also does it do its job right and even how does it look.
In design, my approach isn’t just does this solve a problem or does it fit with its surroundings but also does it communicate to the user its intent and does it feel right. A user should never need to think about what they are doing when something is designed right, the action that needs to be performed by the user should be instinctual.
Because I believe this, and because of the way I look at the world around me, I believe that if something isn’t simple then its not done right. Things should never be complicated.
Simplicity in design is instinct by nature, but Simplicity for the sake of it is lost meaning.
I am a designer, I am a user, I am a coach, I am a human.
To be empathetic for the user should be key to everyone not only designing but also developing. Empathy will help build amazing products that the user truly wants.
Question, Question, Question. Only in asking questions are we able to fully define the problem so that we can identify the solution and agree on a path.
There is no such thing as a bad idea, only an idea that isn't right for this problem. Once we can accept that everyone has a voice, everyone has thought and everyone has an idea, and once we realise that an idea is never right, can we add to that idea to create truly great solutions.
In an age of the digital and electronic, sometimes a real demonstration is the best approach to understand where you are and what you need. Creating physical prototypes or even digital representations of these rather than looking at code or words on a screen can really help to pull the idea into focus.
As a former Test engineer, I have a unique view of testing. Testing is one of the most underutilized and undervalued steps in the product life cycle even though it is constantly heightened as an important one. as the old saying goes, "Measure twice, Cut once." Test Test Test and Test again since this will bring all the flaws and bugs to the surface. we can never be 100% bug free but we can get close.
An Iterative approach will always help to build on the solution before it, but it will help to relax people knowing that they don't have to get it right straight away and that the next round may improvements that can be made.
When we think we are complete we rarely are, but the delivery of a product is always the end goal. Ensuring that we have tested, iterated and come up with the best design possible can or should we deliver what we have to reduce the possibility of a redesign.