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Learning at Work Week 2016 #5

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Learning at Work Week 2016 #5

Let us introduce Andrew, the final participant in our Learning at Work Week 2016 blog series.

Andrew is a Senior Product Designer at CDSM.

Andrew Evans, Senior Product Designer at CDSM

Andrew is a Senior Product Designer at CDSM. His role is to work with our customers and users to understand their needs and design suitable solutions to those needs in partnership with our project management and development teams. Andrew’s is currently working on Hwb, the Wales national digital learning platform and school improvement tools for regional education consortia.

We asked Andrew – what did you learn at work this week?

“A big part of our job is to work with our customers and users (not always the same people but that topic if for another blog post) to understand their goals. Once we understand their goals we set about generating ideas on how we can help people achieve their goals.”

“A prototype can vary in fidelity from paper-based sketches to a polished interactive on-screen application. Our go-to tool is InVision for stitching together prototypes.  We can work in Balsamiq Mockups to put together rough screens and as our ideas develop we will replace the rough screens with screens we design in Photoshop/Illustrator.”

“Another approach is to build functional prototypes to test a more complex workflow.  This involves building the user interface in HTML and JavaScript and producing a prototype that you can perform basic tasks with.  This is particularly useful when designing Web Form and how they behave.”

“I’ve started learning various coding frameworks and tools that will help us build functional prototypes fast.  The frameworks include JQuery, Backbone.js, Meteor.js, AgularJS, and React.”

“In a previous role, I was a web developer so these frameworks are not intimidating but are still challenging to learn.  I’m not trying to become an expert developer and build the most elegant and efficient code when prototyping.  I just want to build something good enough that I can test our ideas with.  We have far more talented developers who will build the finished article.”

“I have started using a website called CodeSchool to learn the frameworks I mentioned.”

“Prototypes are for testing ideas and to do that you need to test with your target audience.  Once we have a prototype we start User Testing where we will ask users to complete certain tasks and see how well the prototype performs (note: we are testing the prototype, not the user – this is an important distinction).  Functional prototypes will give us more options when testing ideas and give us more depth when experimenting with how our users experience our products.”

“Ultimately it will help us validate ideas before we start building the feature or product in a production environment.”

That’s it for our Learning at Work Week 2016 blog series, we hope you’ve enjoyed. Have you participated in at Learning at Work Week too? Tweet us at @CDSM_eLearning.

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Authored by Tom Coleman, Marketing Executive, CDSM Interactive Solutions

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