I visited Redweb in Bournemouth to see how they work with website prototyping. Redweb is an award-winning digital agency offering a comprehensive skill set in the design and development of websites, they want the client to enjoy the UX experience and they incorporate their client into the design developments. Later on I will be publishing a short interview I had with their Executive Creative Director, Damian Proctor.
Redweb uses small test groups (6 people max.) because there’s no need to test with a lot of people, it doesn’t serve any purpose according to them. They don’t use eyetracking tests at their office or in their design work because where people look or don’t look is rarely the challenge they need to focus on. The UX designs they work with have other issues to solve. They also take on charity cases where the aim is to find out why people give to charity trough websites etc. It’s a lot of psychology related to these issues.
When it comes to prototype tools they use applications such as Axure, MS Visio, Photoshop, Fireworks and they do design clickable prototypes. However, they don’t focus too much on the tools as the most important element. My impression is that design projects are more tool driven in the world of the traditional ad agency or commercial design studio. Proctor says they get into the mind-set of the users quite often, that differs somewhat from the traditional design studio that doesn’t deal with UCD to the same extent.
Process and development strategy
Clients approaches with a brief. First stages are all client driven. They don’t come to Redweb saying “can you make something like this?” They introduce some issues they have instead. A typical design agency would approach the client with a hifi prototype suggestion: “we made these suggestions for your site, doesn’t that look way better than what you have”? They don’t include user centric aspects or design custom solutions. Everything Redweb does is custom work, they rarely have to design white label solutions.
Here’s the 5 phases of the UX client process according to Redwebs Creative Director:
- Research/planning – UX
- Solution definition – UX
- Deployment and support
I will share more from my visit to Redweb later on…