Interactive Agencies » “UX designers must know how to analyse usage and the needs of the audience”
“UX designers must know how to analyse usage and the needs of the audience”
London, December 7th, 2016
This year, NASA has confirmed that, as David Bowie famously said, there are spiders on Mars. Top Interactive Agencies has found Mars Spiders in London!
Founded in October 2014, the young company is driven by people that are passionate about delivering elegant, functional and practical digital experiences – and who are also Sci-fi lovers, hence the name of the company.
Mars Spiders UI/UX Léo Léger describes the agency as: ambitious, friendly and persistent. We spoke to the charming French-man to learn more about UX design.
How do you define UX design?
UX design consists of thinking and producing a digital product in a way that will allow for the most intuitive user experience. This usability factor is possible by having a design coherence and placing all the elements in perfect balance.
What does it mean and what does it take to be a great UX designer?
To be a good UX designer it is necessary first of all to be fascinated by it and be super creative. A UX designer must know how to analyse usage and the needs of the audience. One must take into account of the human factor and the Cognitive psychology. Plus understand UX methodology: persona, use scenario and user journey.
What is your design process?
At Mars Spiders, we first analyse the needs of the client. We then look at the end customer they want to reach and try to understand what is their environment and how they might want to use the UX.
My job is then to define and built the solution with one point of view in mind. The idea is to focus on the consumer’s needs. This step allows us to create user scenarios.
The next phase is a prototype creation. What we develop is one representation of our solution. To finish, the acid test is to test the prototype with the end users.
How do you prioritise which product features to keep and which to discard?
It depends on the requirements of the client, you provide an advice but at the end of the day the client will decide.
Could you give us some examples of your experience dealing with usability studies, eye-tracking study, field study, or focus groups.
We have just won a project where we will completely rebuild the Open UK Web Archive. The Open UK Web Archive is a collection of selected websites archived by the British Library and its partners since 2004, with permissions from the owners.
Definitely of interest to today’s web and UX designers, the archive offers an opportunity to see how sites have changed over time, locate information no longer available on the live Web and observe the unfolding history of a spectrum of UK activities represented online. Sites that no longer exist elsewhere can be found here and those yet to be archived can be saved for the future by nominating them.
The Archive can be search by the title of the website, full text or URL, or browse by subject, special collections or alphabetical list.
Our user group will be two fold: expert user who use the Web Archive for their research study and the other side of the spectrum where we will try to find users who perhaps never even heard about the Web Archives.
Can you tell us about a project you worked on and that was especially successful?
We worked recently with a start-up called Metadiet. This project has real design flair. We assisted the customer in his approach by analysing the user’s needs and their environment constrains. To finish we proposed a functional product that is a perfect answer for what our client was after.
How do you imagine the UX concept to work in the future?
UX concepts will develop lot quicker in the near future. Businesses today realise that good user experiences are vitally important for the success of the product or services they want to offer.
How do you know that you are leading your team, and leading it well?
I know that I am doing the right thing when the developers are somewhat happy with what we produce.
Tell us three things you like and three things you dislike about your current position.
Cannot think about anything. If I must complain about anything I would say that the accommodation in my town in France is a lot cheaper then what you get in London.
How much time do you spend with customers?
A lot. More then the project manager does. I found it very important to interact with the client. That’s the agile way and it’s no good to hide behind your macbook pro. Go out there and communicate, learn and provide brilliant services. That’s how we do it here at Mars Spiders.
How does your agency treat people involved in failed projects?
We are compassionate but we had to cut off some projects in the past, which were not right for us. We strive to provide first class services and if we are not appreciated there is no point for us to hold on something which is not destined to provide a massive or even some value.
Do you focus more on problem-solving or opportunity creation?
Both. I am a natural problem solver, proactive and I believe that one must create an opportunity. If you wait for things to come your way you will wait a long time. Go out there and hassle.
What are some of the characteristics of people that have been successful at your company?
They are good listeners. They take time to understand the client’s requirements. They also have a good eye for detail.
Could you name three important things or experiences that have brought you to where you are today?
It must be the inspiration from my travels. I travelled with my girlfriend for 3 months in Australia. We covered the entire cost of this continent. It was an awesome experience and it changed us for better. A real eye opener.
What keeps you up at night?
I read various books about design. I love what I do and I am always keen to learn more. The journey is endless.
By Geny Caloisi.
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