Monday was the first day at the Digital Catapult, Brighton. I will be resident UX Coach and Practitioner at the Catapult providing advice and training to the resident startups and entrepreneurs over the next 6 months.

We’ve already been discussing collaborations with several of the residents prior to Xmas 2016 and our first day gave us some insights of where we may be able to add value to these fantastic teams.

Tuesday I visited The Open Data Institute (ODI) to discuss options for becoming an official trainer under their program for associates, which I’m happy to say we are moving forward with. I’m hoping that we’ll have all the paperwork sorted out in the next month to confirm We Are AFK as an official partner with The ODI. It gives us the ability to work together and access to more social value projects and activities with NGOs.

Wednesday I spent the afternoon with Christian Lawrence whom I have been mentoring since last summer. Christian is in the process of developing a UX portfolio and has a fantastic idea for a research based project.

We looked at ways he can structure his research in order to get qualitative data with the intention of being able to create a product definition from it. 

I hope he’ll be blogging about it very soon. We also spent some time doing an expert review on a marketing site and native app. I showed Christian an alternative way of evaluating a site of this nature that doesn’t use the, what I feel are drastically out-dated heuristic markers created by the Nielson Norman Group in the early 90s.

These were originally designed for desktop software and doesn’t really apply to anything that is not an appliance.

Thursday was paperwork day. Receipts, invoices, taxes. I cannot believe how much money the government takes from small business every year.

Friday morning was another meeting in London, this time to discuss collaboration on a few projects involving team building, mentorship and coaching for a group I’ve grown to be very fond of in the last year.

The day finished up with a presentation from Fracture Games at the Digital Catapult that I had been invited along to earlier in the week. They’re working on a concept for being able to demonstrate the experiences that can be had with Microsoft HoloLens.

The presentation was pretty solid even with the anticipated crashes both hardware and software. They’re taking a very smart approach investing time in finding a way of presenting their work without the need of exhaustive time in After Effects to fake it. I’m hoping to do something with them during my stay at the Catapult.

Thoughts from Andy Parker published 13th January 2017