Was yours the usual route into UCD?
“There are many different routes into a career in UCD. You often find people working in UCD have backgrounds in psychology or design – or even philosophy backgrounds. A lot of the principles of UCD are grounded in psychology and philosophy which gives us an understanding of the theory behind what we do.”
What makes a good UCD consultant?
“I think the first thing is to have good facilitation skills – you have to understand the views of users, stakeholders and other designers and then translate them in a way that can be understood by everyone. You have to ensure everyone is working as a team and that there aren’t any silos developing.
“You never forget that you are the users’ champion and your main role is to represent them and make interactions easier for them.
“Technically, you need knowledge of a range of software, depending on the situation.
“We use the interactive whiteboard software Miro a great deal – it’s used throughout Opencast and is getting more and more popular in the sector.
“We often need to translate ideas into visual form so will use Sketch or the GOV.uk toolkit, both of which are easy and efficient to use.”
Where are you working now?
“I’ve been embedded with DWP since last November. I have been home-based throughout my time with them so far, which comes with its own challenges such as workshops and bigger team meetings. I’m the only Opencast person within a team of 13 – the others are from the DWP or are other contractors.”