What is UX?

In short and simple terms, user experience is all about how people feel when they use a product or service. The experience of using a product should be seamless and enjoyable for every type of individual. User Experience can be applied to anything, whether that’s a school student looking at a particular course on the University’s website or the process a staff member has to go through in order to get another application installed on their managed laptop.

Our job as a UX team is to ensure that the user is at the forefront of every project. While our primary focus is being on the user, it is also important that we take into account the organisation’s goals and needs. As a team we aim to create enjoyable, usable and accessible digital products for the university.

Some of our day to day work includes research for digital projects across the university. We use a wide variety of different research methods, the most common ones being one on one user interviews, focus groups for collecting insights from a larger audience and surveys for obtaining statistical quantitative data. The research methods we use are subject to the project being worked on.

We take our research and make use of the data by constructing user journey maps. These allow us to visualise a user’s existing journey when carrying out a task and allows us to see where users may be getting stuck, and where we can improve the experience. Empathy maps are another resource that we use to put ourselves in the shoes of the end user – allowing us to explore what a user might think, say, and do when completing a task.

UX at Edinburgh Napier University

In 2017 some of the members from the Applications team within the Information Services department realised that the University could benefit from taking a UX led approach to application development. From 2017 we have been using this approach and with it has brought great success with the projects it has been utilised on.

Looking to the future

I joined the Information Services department as a UX Designer at the start of August and a Senior UX Designer is due to start in a few weeks time. This is an exciting period for UX within the University as it is gaining a wider presence and the team is growing.

If you have any questions about UX or would like to be involved in future projects, feel free to email me direct or reach out on Microsoft Teams. We will be blogging here with further information about UX and sharing our work.

By Josh Longhurst

I'm a UX Designer at Edinburgh Napier University. I strive to create intuitive and enjoyable user experiences across the University's digital services.

One reply on “What is UX?”

Thanks for that. Informative. I also didn’t know about the senior UX person being hired. As i’ve said in our private conversations I think there’s a lot of potential UX wins to be had around information security to increase compliance and contribute towards a positive security culture.