You’d be forgiven for thinking that the work we do at Razor is invisible. You know why your business will benefit from it, you know what it can do, but oftentimes you can’t hold those crucial lines of code in your hand. But don’t be fooled, we design too, especially when we’re building applications to help empower people.
You may think design doesn’t matter if you’re building a product that will only be used internally, but good design, that is accessible, follows a process, and has people at its heart is the key to a positive outcome for you and your organisation.
Our design team debate and challenge high-level user experience, interface design and read up on a whole lot of behavioural psychology and research. They become advocates for our clients and their teams who will be using the product every day; a bridge between Razor’s development teams, our customer’s reality and the outside world.
We’re kicking off a series of design blogs on the importance of good design and UX in technology. But before we get to all that goodness, we thought we’d start with an introduction to our design team.
Danny Tomalin, Design Team Lead
I remember realising, early on in my career, that when we understand an individual’s experience, we can start to make positive change. It is the same in design.
My journey into design wasn't a conscious one. I started life as a filmmaker working with people from all walks of life. I remember realising, early on in my career, that when we understand an individual’s experience, we can start to make positive change. This has always been my instinct to put people first.
Throughout my career, I've gained a reputation for being able to ‘pick things up' - even before then - I remember building a website for someone at age 16, with little or no knowledge of how everything worked. You could say I was a bit of a ‘have-a-go hero’. Funnily enough - that’s where my career as a designer started.
I spent the next couple of years bolstered by success, immersing myself in design and front-end website development.
I quickly found myself watching people using technology. I would spend hours deconstructing designs trying to understand the thought process behind them. I would analyse simple designs in the world. I’d ask myself the questions which led to the design decisions: How can we make it easy for people to understand? How will people use it? Notice both of these questions have ‘people’ at their centre. This is what we do. We think about how design affects people, not just how it looks. I was a UX designer before I’d even come across the word.
My role at Razor has evolved over nearly three years, but the essence is the same. We make technology that works, and we start with the people first.
I started as a Designer, progressed to a Design Lead and then to my current position as Design Team Lead which involves working with a team of multi-disciplined designers. My team solves problems, creates visual solutions no matter the platform and ensures that the quality of work produced aligns with what people expect for technology.
Martin Alcock, Design Lead
I’ve gone from wanting to be a fashion designer to designing apps with no loss of enthusiasm.
I’ve been interested in art and design in all its forms since childhood, so I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to make a career of my interests. My idea of what that means has evolved, but at its roots, it’s pure design. I’ve gone from wanting to be a fashion designer to making apps with no loss of enthusiasm.
I’m a hybrid of sorts in terms of my background. My formal education is in Graphic Art and Design, but I have had a strong interest in development and coding since my teens. I went into web design and development rather than pure graphic design after university, as I could see digital was on the rise.
Coding is an expressive tool that has informed and reflected itself in my creative practice, while my design background has taught me to think laterally and empathise with those who consume it.
My role starts right at the beginning of a project, where we dissect a problem into user stories, value propositions and user journeys. It then follows the project, producing and validating wireframes, high fidelity prototypes and designs, right up to delivery.
Often the role requires advocating for the client or even the end-users to ensure that we deliver beyond expectations. After all, technology is useless if no one can figure out how to use it.
Aidan Minton, Design Lead
Everyone experiences design differently. It's subjective. But being good at this is about meeting everyone’s needs.
I was immersed in a creative environment from a young age. I first stepped into a design studio at eight years old, don’t worry, I wasn’t working that young; my Dad worked there as a Screen Printer. I like to think smelling the fresh print and seeing how everything came together set me off on a path of discovery.
I've had a good eye for design and a good ear for requirements since I can remember. Intrinsically everyone experiences design differently. It's subjective. But being good at this is about inclusively meeting everyone’s needs.
I'm a very tactile designer, I love the process of creating and experimenting to find ways of elevating design to the needs of the user. Outside of work, you will always find me doing something with my hands, I love building things, painting, illustrating, working on my car and basically anything that keeps me busy.
My role is multifaceted. It allows me to go through the project from different angles, from problem-solving and critical thinking to creating wireframes and building meaningful end products. The end goal is always the same, to make a difference in the lives of people who interact with it.
Keep your eyes on our feeds, we’ll be releasing a blog on human-centred design written by Danny soon!