Barry  Briggs 

Senior UX Architect at the BBC and organiser of NUX

Designing for the gap

Presented at Camp Digital 2016.

UX as a discipline is made up of a number of micro-disciplines: information architects, interaction designers, user researchers, visual designers, etc. Seemingly new titles are invented every few weeks. During a project, many of us wear multiple hats, and it can be difficult to straddle these often conflicting roles, and to bridge the gaps between them.

Added to this, we're only human and it's natural that we get drawn towards the activities we enjoy. On a good day we might be able to spot this happening and mediate our actions accordingly, but if we're not careful it can be all too easy for us to gloss over the tricksy stuff in favour of the shiny, the sexy or the seemingly simple.

However, complex systems have many nooks and crannies that are easy to miss and if we don't deal with them early on, the bits that we subconsciously gloss over will come back to haunt us. Over the last couple of years, I've developed an approach that helps ensure these tricksy areas of our systems don't fall between the cracks in our own bias.

Using an approach that combines the documenting of system flows and user journeys iteratively alongside key stakeholders, domain experts, business analysts, designers, developers, and other disciplines. I've found a way of capturing what happens between our pages, so we can design for the edge and the problem cases, and so we can design for the gaps.