Author: Duncan Stephen

The UCD Gathering conference offered a string of sessions with advice on making the case for human-centred approaches in an organisation.

Back in October, I had the opportunity to attend the UCD Gathering conference, a new virtual event for practitioners of user-centred design in all its forms.

There is a new network in Microsoft Teams for people across the University taking human-centred approaches to their work. This includes people interested in user experience, service design, human–computer interaction, lean, design thinking… Any kind of human-centred approach is welcome here!

We have recently completed a short collaboration with the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies to better understand the needs of students of online postgraduate courses. The findings may help us understand the differing needs of students online compared to on-campus.

At last month’s Web Publishing Community session, we conducted an experiment in mass remote collaboration. Using a technique called liberating structures, 40 people generated ideas, before sifting through them all and finding the strongest one — all within 20 minutes.

Our current requirement to work remotely brings obvious challenges when it comes to collaboration. But by trying things out and learning quickly, we’re figuring out how we can adapt to the new reality while remaining collaborative.

We are looking for an experienced Senior Content Designer to join the Website and Communications team as we embark on major projects to launch the new University web publishing platform and services.

For practitioners of human-centred approaches to design, where face-to-face interaction is often so important to enhancing our understanding, our current requirement to maintain social distancing creates obvious barriers. However, this doesn’t mean our work to ensure we’re meeting people’s needs has to stop. In fact, there are some perhaps surprising advantages to working remotely as a user experience practitioner.

Last week I attended the Service Design in Government conference, held here in Edinburgh. This event brings together design practitioners from across the public sector and beyond, from across the UK and beyond.

We are looking for three experienced Content Designers to join the Website and Communications team as we embark on major projects to launch the new University web publishing platform and services.

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