We plan to put five questions to each of the WXG (www.wxg.co.uk) conference’s speakers to give you a look into their talks, histories and what inspires them to do what they do. Introducing the eleventh speaker, Andy Budd. Why did you agree to speak at WXG?
I always enjoy attending and speaking at events, so it's great to see the guys at Kyan doing something positive for their local tech community. It also helped that they offered to pay, something a lot of conferences fail to do I'm sorry to say.
What do you think delegates will get out of your talk?
I'm seeing a lot of confusion around the field of user experience design, so is it a deep and well-understood specialism or something designers call themselves when they learn to wireframe? Furthermore, does it really matter? As such I thought it was about time I stopped arguing with people on Twitter, and put my thoughts into a more structured debate. So hopefully folks will get a clear understanding of what the UX industry thinks user experience design is and isn't, whether they agree or not.
How did you get into user experience design?
Back in the early naughties I got fed up of designing websites purely in Photoshop, with no real thought about how they were to be used or what they were supposed to do, then to see them launched and fail to deliver the goods. So I started discovering using tools like site maps, personas, wireframes and usability testing.
As I delved deeper I learnt that these were just a few of the tools and techniques used by information architects, interaction designers and user experience designers. Soon I found myself doing more and more of these activities and less and less design and dev, to the point that I felt justified dropping the title of web designers and becoming a fully fledged UX Designer.
Who is your inspiration in the industry?
Jeff Veen has always been a huge inspiration to me, from his early work with Doug Bowman at Hotwired, founding Adaptive Path, and his book on The Art and Science of Web Design, through to his recent work at Typekit, a company we found ourselves competing against with FontDeck. So it's always a pleasure to see him share his knowledge on stage, and occasionally hang out when visiting San Francisco.
What advice would you give to someone new to the industry?
Well I've written a lot about this here and here. However the best advice I can give is to build up a fantastic portfolio as quickly as possible, get known in your local scene, and specialise in a specific area, be that a tool, technique, style or vertical market.
If you want to find out more or reserve tickets to the WXG event visit: http://wxg.co.uk/