Week 7 @ Clearleft

And just like that another week whizzed past. We kicked off the week by meeting with the BBC guys to wrap up the sprint with them. They seemed pleased with the work that we had produced and the findings from the user testing. It’s been fascinating to learn more about how the BBC operates and to work on a project that will have an impact on so many people, hopefully helping many along the way.

This was my first week getting properly stuck into my new project – the UX toolkit. It took a bit of work to re-contextualise the two projects as case studies in my major project, but I think it works now and makes sense overall. I want to make sure I’m taking every possible opportunity to work with real clients while I’m working at Clearleft, as it’s such a fantastic opportunity for me. I’m focused on delivering a top quality academic project, but I have to make sure that I balance that with getting as much meaningful work experience as possible too. I’ve reached out to one or two other team members at Clearleft to see if I can help them out with projects, so I may even have more case studies to add to my project before my time is up. I’m hoping to help out Ellen with some content strategy work on the Theirworld project this week, so I’m excited to learn more about that.

At the weekly UX team meeting we did an interesting exercise this week, to help Ellen prepare for an AI event that she’s putting together plans for. The whole team spent 10 minutes individually brainstorming words and phrases that are connected to AI and sticking them up on the wall, colour-coded for nouns, verbs and adjectives. I’m not quite sure what she plans to do next with this, but there’s certainly a lot of interesting┬ávocabulary there to stimulate an interesting discussion. Here’s the team discussing the output, which you can see on the opposite wall:



My toolkit project is taking shape now and I have a clearer plan of attack. I’ve created this project plan to keep me on track day by day, which so far I’ve been able to stick to pretty closely, although one or two things have naturally moved around. I’ve been busy working on auditing the existing content structure, which is known as the UX wardrobe, so I can understand the current situation before moving forward with my project. I’ve also been analysing some research done by a former Clearleft intern on the different UX methods and when they might be applied. I believe that one or other of these lists could form the basis for the information architecture for my toolkit, I’m just not sure which one. On one hand, the UX wardrobe is a shorter list, more manageable but perhaps missing important methods. On the other hand, the research list has over 150 methods, which is a huge amount to gather information on and maintain in the longer-term. I feel the need to get some guidance on this before I progress further on this aspect. Here’s the diagram that the former intern, Sebastien Chung, created.

I’ve been getting more feedback from the UX team about the project this week, through a survey that I’ve created and some one to one interviews. It’s been great to get input from the actual users, I’m fortunate that for this project they are all around me! My focus for this project initially is going to be on creating a tool, an intranet I suppose, for the Clearleft team, but I’m not taking my eye off creating something on a larger scale for the UX community at large. I’d love to take this on as a personal project, as if it delivers and gets endorsed by Clearleft, would be a fantastic kickstart for my career. Once I’ve delivered my degree project I’ll be able to think more clearly about what comes next, but for now I can’t really think beyond that. I have talked to Clearleft about opportunities beyond this internship, so I’m keeping everything crossed that I might be able to stay connected to the business in some way, as I have so much more to learn and they’re an inspirational and talented bunch of people to learn from. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to spend my third semester working alongside them and I feel confident that I’ve made a career choice that I’m going to enjoy.

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