Last week we delivered an introduction to user research and user experience for an incredibly talented and committed bunch of entrepreneurs from UP. Based at the Creative Exchange Leith, the UP techmedia accelerator programme is focused on:

“Finding business with a prototype, early stage product, service or platform with the potential to grow significantly. And ideally, to disrupt the market they’re aimed at.”

What makes UP different?

“Most accelerators look for teams of two or three people, with at least two coders. UP is different because they want business, technical and creative skills in each of the businesses we build. So, it doesn’t matter which of these you represent, because if your idea is great, we’ll help you build your team.”

Our remit: make user experience inspiring!

Given their focus, they wanted us to help participants in the programme learn more about user experience and how it could be applied to their businesses. As Mark Elliot, the programme director put it, “inspire them to become UX champions!” No pressure then.

What’s more:

This wasn’t a homogeneous group of entrepreneurs and businesses. They were all so different, not just in terms of their offering but also in terms of the challenges each faced. Each had a different strategy in terms of developing and commercialising their ideas.

All of the participants had been exposed to an enviable list of industry and domain experts who had rammed home the importance of “lean thinking, MVP’s, testing and iteration”.

Some of the participants were not really sure what user experience (UX) was whereas others were well-versed in human computer interaction (HCI). So, we tried to come up with a thread that would engage all whilst still delivering something of substance to each business along the way.

Slides: An introduction to user experience

So, we developed a number of slides to accompany our talk. They’re not available to download directly due to the file size as what talk on UX wouldn’t be complete without a video to two to break things up! But if you’d like a copy please feel free to contact us and we’ll fire a copy over to you.

Why do this talk?

We wanted to talk about UX and because we genuinely believe businesses, and in particular start-ups, can benefit greatly from adopting a user centred approach to design.

Because we like to practice what we preach we did a fair bit of research on all of the attendees. So that we could find things to talk about that were likely to resonate with them.

What’s more, to make this talk as actionable as possible we’ve offered each attendee a free UX surgery that they can use at any point whilst they’re on the programme. That way not only have they got a full overview of how user experience and design thinking will help them build the right thing for the right people faster. We can also delve a little deeper into their specific issues and needs – as understanding the why behind the what is so critical to what we do.

Working on the talk and spending time with each of the businesses involved has been a truly rewarding experience! After all, what could be better than talking to and learning from incredibly talented people who are striving to realise ideas they believe will make a genuine difference.

Closing thoughts

So, thank you to everyone who attended – we wish you all the best over the coming weeks! If you or anyone you know need any further context for the slides and separate links provided just give us a shout!

François Roshdy

François is director of user experience at Border Crossing UX. He specialises in helping clients continuously improve the experiences they deliver.