UX Research & Design Lesley mackenzie-robb phd, dIP. ux dESIGN

by Lesley Mackenzie-Robb PhD

I bring more than 20 years of cross-industry experience in research, creative software design and development, film production, digital learning consultancy to my UX Design practice. I specialise in human-centred design, the application of design thinking, and collaborative, co-creative working. I draw deeply on the Learning Sciences including Social and Cognitive Psychology, Ethnography and organisational / individual knowledge behaviours: Connect & Engage, Actionable & Sustainable, Personal & Meaningful. I have experience in the application of lots of different yet compatible UX methods from competitive benchmarking to usability studies, deep-dive interviewing, affinity diagrams, interaction design, prototyping and wireframing. My analytic skills are gold standard.

My hall-mark is I'm a social / observational scientist, highly experienced in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, a published author and experienced conference speaker. I am also an experience programme/project manager with a tenacious ingenuity for getting around problems and barriers.

PhD, MA, BSc Hons (Applied Psychology). lesley@knowing-how.com

In the last 4 years, I've worked on research projects investigating the apprentice user experience (transition to FT employment, and impact of C-19/lockdown); designed new content for a leading adult skills assessment platform, researched how adult ESOL learners and practitioners currently use EdTech and their challenges, and developed and piloted an innovative custom-designed adult pedagogy for a particular category of learner as a part of a transnational project team. More recently, I've been working with NHS Digital on the research and design of a new Primary Care online procurement support app to be rolled out nationally to more than 5,500 practices.

Usability test reports and initial mappings
Affinity diagram drawing on usability tests
Analysis and planning
Customer Journey map drawing on affinity diagrams to identify where improvement are needed.
Working through a flow diagram for a desktop app - connecting this to Customer Journey Map - and this becomes this....
The Flow Diagram addressing issues identified through UTs, Affinity Diagram, and Customer Journey Map
Sketching out the interactions
Detailed wireframes

The last step of the project involves creating detailed wireframes for each screen/state of the app with detailed instructions to developers on interaction, functionality, user feedback, component placement and navigation. The more detailed this step is, the more the development can be done accurately and efficiently.

Check out the functional prototype, created using Figma, designed to demonstrate the functionality design and user flow through the app. This version is designed for desktop with the design specifically tailored to subsequent development as a responsible website design, capable of adapting to any device.

A project I'm particularly proud of involved working with a team of partners to build and deploy a national online platform that aggregates family-relevant data from all Local Authorities across England. This was achieved through researching and developing a new taxonomy (card sorting workshops), and training personnel across all local government authorities in its application as core to the metadata solution. This allows the aggregator to seamlessly receive data pushed automatically 24/7, tagged accurately to a common information architecture.

Images from a selection of my earlier e-learning projects

What I do - apply robust research methods working in collaboration with clients to gain distinctive and differentiated positive design impact and improvement

  • From initial research project design and planning (defining the research hypothesis and question(s)), to participant profiling, sampling and screening, in strict adherence to ethical standards (BERA) and GDPR;
  • to the design of research methods, primarily qualitative (social constructionist), with a smidgeon of quantitative (descriptive) methods;
  • Preliminary and Discovery / Field research - in-person and remote;
  • Usability testing and Evaluation studies - in-person or remote - mobile or desktop;
  • Various UX research methods including A/B testing, Card sorting, competitive benchmarking, interviewing, online surveys, user/expert workshops etc.;
  • Analytic methods and tools include affinity diagrams, customer journey maps, thematic and categorical analysis, conversation / discourse analysis, NVIVO 12;
  • Interaction design, development and testing of MVP/Prototypes and production of detailed application wireframes;
  • As useful project tools, collaboration and communication methods and project evidence artefacts - development of human interest-Case studies, user stories, user experience flow, the user as learner journey, and personas;
  • All leading to evidence-based findings with actionable insights drawing on in-depth data analysis with findings grounded existing research artefacts and relevant published research;
  • Practiced in a range of UX and Research tools / platforms - Figma, UXPressia, MIRO, Optimal, Trello, Filmora, NVIVO etc;
  • Skilled at making effective and compelling presentations to stakeholders;
  • Familiar with GDPR, GDS and Assessment plus W3C accessibility standards.

Who I do it for

Some of my recent blogs and articles:

The Slipper Revolution

UX Research, Technology Design and the Importance of Talk

The CAP Principles and Doing Effective Blended Learning

Designing for Multi-Cultural Audiences, Part 1 and Part 2

Contact me to find out more about how I can support you to achieve your next success - but first, let's figure out what the real problem is! lesley@knowing-how.com


International Centre for Guidance Studies, National Foundation for Educational Research, member of the User Experience Professionals' Association (UK), and the eLearning Network