What a week.
Often accompanied by Rich, each day this week was spent travelling to a new, prospective or current client across London or Sussex. A good problem to have... Clearleft seems to be pretty flush with interest these days, and on this evidence the death of the agency seems greatly exaggerated.
One of the train conversations with Rich revolved around job titles. It's a tedious subject, but interesting (perhaps more to me) when in the context of a digital consultancy and speaking to prospective clients. What do you call the designers on your team? Designers? UX designers? Visual designers? Product designers? UI designers? Interaction designers? Service designers?
At Clearleft have we for too long separated out UX and visual design as separate disciplines? Is visual design still even a thing, given the rise of Product designers? Or perhaps, from another angle, can you even be a Product designer at an agency when much of the value you bring to the table is speed and efficiency, whereas Product design is predominantly an in-house role?
It's all somewhat ironic that we continue to have these conversations when I'm also nodding in full agreement to the sentiment in this article on the vandalism of UX (hat tip Swain0) where we as a self-aggrandising industry are intent to carve out new names, titles, job descriptions when it's all somewhat counter-productive to the actual concept of good user experience design: Holistic and multi-disciplined, not siloed and exclusive.
The work week concluded with a great brown bag at Clearleft HQ by Benjamin Parry on the logistics of planning and delivering Research to Clearleft clients. Fantastic insights into how Ben and the team approach research in projects, as well as some initial forays into (🚨buzzword klaxon!) ResearchOps for the studio.
Away from work my week was rounded out with my eldest once again doing the Brighton Mini mile at Preston Park. She did fantastically, but there's also something highly entertaining about hundreds of parents running across the park - from start line to midpoint and back to finish line - to shout words of encouragement and take pics of their kids. It's so lovely to see such positivity on a grand scale. In fact the entire Brighton Marathon weekend is excellent. Everyone taking part, being active, challenging themselves and raising money for charities is incredible and incredibly humbling.
On that note I also took part: I rode in the inaugural Brighton Marathon ride on what was an incredibly cold April day. I couldn't pass up on the chance to ride the classic Brighton marathon route on a bike, and it was great: a fast, fun and flat 50k. My only criticism: it's still very much a route designed by runners, for runners. My time was OK... could have been better had I not been a fair few pens back. At least I know for next time.
Ta ra for now.
April 14th, 2019