An Interview with UX Researcher, Glenn Veugen (Netherlands)
Sometimes we strive too much to apply the most pleasing aesthetics, and neglecting functionality. We need to look at the bigger picture of things.
How did you get into the [UX] field?
During my high school studies, I discovered Photoshop and 3D Max, and my interest in design and computer graphics was sparked. Later on I explored motion graphics, front-end development, and Adobe Flash. I found myself stuck between visual design and front-end development, and then discovered usability research after a visit to the usability lab of the Leuven University in Belgium. Since then I developed my skills further in the broad field of UX.
Any advice for people wanting to get into the [UX] field?
Don’t be too rigid in your approach and designs. There is no single correct way to approach a problem, keep an open mind and experimental approach. Oh, and get acquainted with the psychological aspect of UX design.
What do you enjoy about working in the UX industry?
The opportunity of working for a variety of clients and companies, and the particularities that come with each industry. While working on a particular project, you also get to know the ins and outs of the industry your client is active in. Getting to experience first hand how a consumer electronics company, a retail bank, and an airline work, is something I find extremely interesting.
What has been your favourite project to work on?
Not so long ago, I was involved in plotting the design strategy for the digital touch points of a major European airline. There was a lot of conceptualising, guerilla testing, creative sessions, and stakeholder workshops involved, with the result hitting the market soon ( I hope ).
What is the most common usability issue you encounter during your testing?
Form being too dominant. Sometimes we strive too much to apply the most pleasing aesthetics, and neglecting functionality. We need to look at the bigger picture of things; people usually interact with your product or service because they have a certain need or problem. The most common exponent of this neglect can be seen in the lack of legibility and contrast of text.
What is the one piece of advice you would offer brands to improve their UX?
Don’t try to make the perfect product or service, but start with a good enough product or service. Striving for perfection makes you lose sight of the bigger picture. Don’t waste too much time on pointless details and features, but get things on the market, and learn from that.
What future UX trends do you envision?
UX moving away from screen interactions; technology will be blending more and more in the environment, and we will get personalised experiences thanks to big data. UX design will not be limited to how something looks and works on a screen, but what meaningful services can be offered with big data, and how an AI should behave in given situations.
What is unique about the UX in your country?
Compared to other countries I have worked in, it seems that in my current host country, the Netherlands, UX seems to find its way and establish itself as a full-fledged discipline within a corporation more easily than in most other countries. As for the rest, it’s a small world within the international community :).