Thursday, 10 July 2014

UX Design for Namibia

Hi ya'll,

For the past 8 months I have been working on my thesis, I know it seems like a long time but really I was learning so much it is crazy. So the story starts in 2012 when i started my Masters studies in Germany. As a requirement for my Masters degree we have to be part of a team that works on a software development project.

I come from a Networking and Systems Administration background and programming is a distant cousin that I rarely visited. Now I had to be a developer, the easiest way was to be a front-end developer (XAML, HTML, JavaScript and C#). Okay back on track, I was responsible for the front-end design and development of our Microsoft ARM Windows 8 application. I thought I was doing such an awesome job and it was working as per specifications and requirements documentation. one thing I neglected to do was design, from the perspective of the user instead, I concentrated on designing and developing from my own perspective as if I were the intended user.

Fast forward to the year 2013, when we had our final prototype presentation of the apps (in total we developed 3 apps). We were ripped apart by our professor as the #usability and the overall user experience felt very technical and not #intuitive, the #Affordance was not even a topic of discussion because it was not there. I could not understand how this happened when I did all the research I thought possible (in total I spent more than 80 hours on research). I was not pleased with my grade at all, I thought it did not reflect my efforts, to date I still think that it doesn't, but i understand why it is the way it is!

I am not one to pout and stomp my feet, so I figured the next step is to educate myself on how to improve for the future. In a way I owe my Prof a big thank you for giving such harsh constructive criticism early on in my career. I embarked on a journey to learn how to never make such a huge mistake again.

So I found a company that is willing to offer me a thesis topic in the areas mobile and user experience design. So for the past 8 months I have come to realise and learn that UX design is really needed for all that are involved in the life cycle of an interactive product.

With this mind I started a Google+ community, with the aim of informing others that are in the position I was in 2 years ago. Hopefully I can also render my newly found expertise in UX design, especially with User research, Artifact evaluation, ideation, agile methods, requirements gathering and synthesis, prototyping methods and rapid testing.

So please join the community it is aimed mostly to the Namibian community as this community has a lot of decentralisation of roles i.e. developers also being, user researchers, user experience designers, Information Architects, Visual designers etc. So the core intention is how these individuals could be helped to carry out their many jobs efficiently to the benefit of the HUMAN.

Join the Community!


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