Maximising design effectiveness with James Downes

Box UK's James Downes leads Developing for User Experience workshop at 2011's Technique Retreat in Manchester.

Technique Retreat workshop

On the 18th March 50 members of the digital community gathered at The Hive in Manchester for Technique Retreat; two days of hands-on workshops and talks on cutting-edge design techniques and technologies. James Downes, Head of User Experience at Box UK was there to lead the session on User Experience (UX) Design but other subjects covered included Mobile Games, Interaction Design for small screens, CSS3 and Javascript.

Developing for User Experience

James’ ‘Developing for User Experience’ workshop was designed to highlight the need for UX design in the development process. The session began with an introduction to the concepts of User Experience and User Centred Design, focusing on their importance in increasing user satisfaction and meeting key business objectives before cycling through the four key stages of the User Experience Design process: Discover, Define, Structure and Design. Participants were able to take part in a variety of hands-on activities, including persona development, project scope definition, and practical implementation of the Sketchboard technique. The session was concluded with a look at Usability testing, a key way of ensuring that the user is at the heart of the design.

Maximising Design Effectiveness

Maximising Return on Investment

With User Centred Design (UCD) process considered one of the most effective ways of maximising Return on Investment, businesses are increasingly looking to consider the user’s needs when undertaking any development. At Box UK we agree that User Experience should be a core foundation of the development process, and have a strong UX design team supporting James to produce intuitive solutions for our clients, with real, measurable benefits.

Feedback from the event has been incredibly positive, both on the day itself and subsequently across the online community, including Twitter and prominent design blogs. James Downes said: “It’s great to be involved in an event such as Technique Retreat, as you come away knowing people have learnt valuable new skills. I’m passionate about User Experience Design, and through these workshops I hope I’ve encouraged people to find out more about the discipline.”

About Technique Retreat

Technique Retreat is a unique 2-day training camp for digital designers and developers. More intimate and in-depth than a conference, and more dynamic than traditional training, the focus is on practical, hands-on training ensuring that visitors maximise their time learning from practicing experts as well as their peers. 

About Box UK

Box UK is a team of 50 experienced web consultants and software developers. Established in 1998, privately owned and profitable every year since inception, their client list includes BBC, Investec Asset Management, LAN Airlines, The National Gallery, World Vision and Severn Trent Plc. Box UK offer a range of innovative, effective products and services including Content Management, User Experience, Analytics and Bespoke Development, including Mobile and Apps.