We were fortunate last week to get two super-busy heads of department together to throw around some ideas on the relationship between user experience and design in the agency environment. Emma Carpenter, a Creative Director with lots of digital design experience, and Brett Reid, the head of UX, had an informal chat in which they compare their disciplines and speak openly about the challenges, problems and huge benefits of working together. We recorded their discussion as a podcast – take a listen here!
Just some of the interesting points they raised:
- UX and design are very closely related. It’s difficult to separate them into distinct fields, and both strive towards a common goal – an awesome-looking and well-functioning end product.
- UX and design should be iterative – constant back-and-forth suggestions, discussions and revisions are vital. In fact, designers and UX practitioners should be spending a lot of time at each other’s desks, working through problems and challenges together.
- When it comes to creating wireframes, negative space is good! UX practitioners tend to fill every part of the page with content and useful buttons, while designers know that a bit of white space and breathing room are essential.
- Web developers form an important part of the UX-design mix – after all, they take the flat wireframes and images and bring them to life. Therefore, their advice, input and expertise should always be taken into account.
- South Africa has a bright future in UX and design. In the past, these two fields were merged into one, but with UX now becoming its own discipline (following international best practice), both sides can focus on what they are best on.