UX sells: How TSSG start-ups are taught to design for the user first

9 Jun 2017

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A key focus of the work of TSSG at Waterford Institute of Technology is imbuing start-ups with strong UI/UX design sensibilities.

Innovative products must enshrine the user experience. That’s the view of Sharon Lambe, a TSSG researcher who leads the Creative Development Unit.

According to Lambe, the role of her unit is to combine technical ability with artistic ability to essentially design and create innovative products.

“A key component of our work and of our UX strategy would be the customer, the user.

“We work closely with all our customers and across all the units at TSSG to help to essentially create the best possible user experience,” she explained.

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Core to the process is approaching every problem with a design and usability mind set.

“That means essentially we believe it is not purely about the features or the functionality or purely how something works, but it’s about delivering a quality experience and an experience people enjoy using and enjoy interacting with.”

For example, the Creative Development Unit hosts workshops for client companies and start-ups around creating user interfaces and managing user experiences.

“There are two types of workshop. The first is called a product discovery workshop, which is aimed at somebody who has an existing product and we help to define what that product is.

“The second is a product-scoping workshop, which is aimed at somebody that doesn’t actually have an existing product but does have a good idea and they want to come into us, and that helps us to essentially define and identify what those requirements are.

“This would be quite useful for a start-up taking part in an innovation partnership or innovation voucher programme,” Lambe explained.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years