Week 9 @ Clearleft

This week I’ve spent quite a bit of time mapping out and sketching the paper prototypes for my toolkit design. There have been plenty of challenges along the way, so I’ve been doing more than my fair share of chin stroking and head-scratching. I’ve sent numerous rough scribbles bin-wards, but I’ve ended up with a layout that I think works fairly well. User testing will no doubt produce some surprises though, as it always does. Here are three of my pages:

It was useful to map them out first using sticky notes on paper, as I made a lot of discoveries and adjustments along the way, which I’ve detailed in my main project document. I think my sketching is a little better than it was, but it still has plenty of room for improvement. Working at an angle on a cramped desk hasn’t helped and I think that’s why everything is slightly leaning to the right. I feel like I’m getting closer to the business end of this project now and it’s exciting to see it taking shape.

This week I was also lucky to be involved in a one day project to reimagine a couple of the interior spaces at Clearleft that are in need of a revamp. This was a great opportunity to see how UX methods can be applied to three-dimensional spaces, as well as digital ones. We followed a similar process, getting stakeholder input at the beginning of the day, exploring the spaces involved and then working collaboratively to identify the constraints and boundaries. We then did two rounds of 6-up sketches, one for each space we were looking at, and then critiqued each other’s work. Here’s one of the spaces we looked at on the third floor, taken from a few angles:

The concept for this area is to turn it into a project space that various people, clients included, could gather in to work on a project for any duration. We felt it should provide working opportunities at different heights for those who like to stand and the area should have a sense of separation from the rest of the floor.

Here is the plan I came up with and a few images I came across that seemed to address similar problems to the ones we’re aiming to resolve:

I enjoyed this process and realised how hard it is to visualise how much space you need around furniture to create a useful work space. I found it interesting that it was so relevant to apply UX techniques to interior design problems, which encouraged me that the skills I’m learning can be applied in ways I hadn’t considered.

It will be interesting to see how the space evolves and whether any of my ideas get taken up. But for now, on with user testing my toolkit…

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