We’re in October and there’s a chill in the air as this week we left Academy HQ and, like a brood of chicks following, the mother Ben, we were off for a visit to the Everyman Theatre and Shop Direct to learn about the fundamentals and history of Everyman and about user experience at Shop Direct. Our first stop was the Everyman Theatre, which was a building I always walked past on my way to class but never stepped into.
Sarah Ogle, marketing manager, kindly gave us a tour and I could instantly tell from her energy how passionate she was about the place. She told us about how it started and how it’s evolved. We met an Academy grad, Becky, and she told us about how she started and the invaluable experience the Everyman has given her. Everyone is valued hence the name ‘Everyman’.
The next day, we headed to Shop Direct in Speke and it felt like I’d walked into Lime Street station. It was busy, bright and great to see how so many people work so well together. We learned about user experience from Kate, who showed us her lab and what she does. It was interesting to see behind the glass of user experience and how much thought goes behind it. Never did I think when I’m shopping on Amazon buying all those books and Korean face masks, that someone behind the screen had researched the way I think and buy items online. It’s fascinating how psychology plays a part in, what I assumed, was entirely business.
I think a key lesson we learned was to understand your target audience, something that we need to keep in mind with our research design and preparation. Now, whenever I buy clothes online, I realise the little details that enhance my experience. For example, ‘Inayah’ is one of my favourite online clothing stores to order from and now I notice that they’ve laid out their pages in a way so I’m not overwhelmed with choice. This is surely a result of the Jam Jar study that proved if you have too much of a selection then it hinders your purchase. With all this in mind, I hope our research has prepped us enough to engage with other businesses as we head into Week 4.
With special thanks to programme funders European Social Fund and Skills Funding Agency.