ADLIB Blog | The most knowledgeable, honest and straightforward digital, marketing, creative, technology and ecommerce recruiters you will ever meet.
Creating teams. Shaping futures.

“What do you like most about being part of Team ADLIB?”

We asked this question internally…

Here is what Team ADLIB is liking the most about being part of Team ADLIB…

Francesca Fleming “Along with the fridge full of prosecco for our celebrations, I love our offices, the location is right in the city centre (although sometimes lethal for shopping and amazing food), and we have an open plan office where we can work collaboratively across teams. It’s hard to say what I like most about ADLIB Life as there are so many things to pick from so I’ll pick my top 4: excellent training and clear career progression, working alongside the most talented recruiters I’ve ever met, amazing clients to partner with and an honest way of working, which has created a lovely culture that I am proud to be a part of.

 

Stacey Tylisczuk “What I love about ADLIB is that nothing is built on KPIs for KPIs sake. This is an environment where you are encouraged to put forward your own ideas, to contribute to change, and most of all – to be yourself. I know for sure that working for ADLIB is as unique as it could be, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.”

 

Sam Firth “I’m a big fan of the design of the new offices. The space looks amazing and it’s got everything we need (including FIFA). As for ADLIB life; i do and will always love our core values. It’s a highly ethical business in an industry that is plagued by malpractice, I wouldn’t’ do recruitment anywhere else.”

 

Alex Cosgrove “What I like most about being part of Team ADLIB is actually enjoying coming to work! Working in a lovely environment in our brand new offices with a fancy kitchen and a fridge full of Thatchers is great! On top of that, working with hard working, but down to earth and amusing colleagues makes it actually a great place to be for the working week. Doesn’t hurt that we have some massive bean bags to chill on and play FIFA when we need a break either!”

 

Rupert Douglas “The collaborative culture here at ADLIB truly is something special. No one is here for themselves and you’ll struggle to find a more welcoming, honest, open bunch of people to work with.”

George Cumberlidge “I love being able to grab one of our really smart meeting rooms to either collaborate with another colleague or just to sit in silence and get in the zone. You can work hard with some great consultants to then be able to wind down at the end of the day for a game of Ping Pong or FIFA and a cold brewski from the beer fridge. Not only can you enjoy your time during work but we also have a great social aspect out of hours, the people here are awesome.”

Adam Kamal “The culture. There are no big egos here and the competitive side of things are saved for FIFA and 5-a-side. Everyone is here for the same reason and to work together to help each other reach their goals.”

Gabby Shaw “We’re lucky to have a pretty sweet pad. Hard to know the very best bit between the posh coffee, collaborative playlists, table tennis, beer fridge or the twenty-first century magic that is the boiling water tap. If I’m honest with myself, though, it’s FIFA on the PS4 that wins it for me.”

Kevin King “My favourite thing about working here are the established relationships with so many amazing businesses and organisations, enabling us to be as successful as we desire. The energy within the business is always very positive and collaborative too which is a real pleasure and privilege to be apart of.”

Ross Williams: “I love how light and spacious the new office is! It’s so nice having lots of natural light it really does make a difference, especially this time of year when it gets dark so early in the day.”

More about joining team ADLIB this way.

Mariana Morris on Mapping users’ mental models

We caught up with Mariana Morris ahead of the upcoming UXBristol event, to have a chat about topic “Mapping users’ mental models”. As event sponsors, we took the opportunity to also ask her about her career journeys so far. Mariana Morris is a User Experience Designer and Founder of Fruto.

ADLIB: In a nutshell, what has been your career journey so far, leading you to where you are right now?
Mariana Morris: My background is in Design. I did a BA in Industrial Design (Visual Communication) in Brazil and an MA in Interactive Media in Bristol, UK.

Early in my career, I followed the interaction design path. I’ve always been fascinated with the challenge of creating non-linear interactive experiences. During the BA, I did a few part-time internships as a web designer. I’ve always been grateful for having real work experience before graduating. It was particularly useful to develop the necessary soft skills for working directly with clients.

In my career, for the past 15 years, I worked for design and digital agencies as Interaction or UX Designer. During this time, the role of a web designer developed, putting the user more in the centre of the design process and the web design role gradually matured into what we call UX design today. In my last job I was the Head of UX Design, for three years, at a software development company where I led and managed a team of eight designers and front-end developers.

One year ago, I decided to start my own User Experience agency Fruto. We’re based in Oxford, UK. We design interfaces and experiences for the web, mobile and emerging technologies for tech teams and startups. We also provide UX Design training courses.

I’ve also been teaching at Universities and hoping to encourage graphic design students to pursue a career in UX design, which is an incredibly exciting path.

ADLIB: As an intro to the topic, can you share why you think mapping the users’ mental models is important?
Mariana Morris: When users are frustrated, dropping out or giving negative feedback, often the problem is that their mental models (the way they expect the system to work) don’t match the designed systems. Systems are often designed without a full understanding of how people think. The only way we can design a good experience is to take into account how the target audience would expect it to work and design for that. Knowing users mental models also allows us to innovate, anticipate user needs and delight them.

ADLIB: Can you help with some starting points? Where to start when a mismatch is found? How do you recommend to prioritize fixes?
Mariana Morris: The first step is to understand users needs, behaviours, expectations and goals (what are they trying to achieve). We do this by talking to users in structured but relaxed one-to-one user interviews. Then, we typically run a workshop with the product team to map out the users’ mental models (step by step of how users would expect to accomplish the task they are trying to achieve).

Once we’ve mapped out the users’ mental models, we then map out how the system is currently designed. That’s a simple way to identify unnecessary or complicated steps in the process. Often project teams are trying to fix usability problems at a micro scale, for example fixing elements on individual pages and creating new features. From my experience, often the problem is found at a macro scale, for example, should this page even exist?

A good way to prioritise the fixes is by running a User Story Mapping workshop, where we map out the backlog of issues in relation to the user journey and order them based on how critical they are for the user experience and business goals.

More information about this process can be found on our blog.

ADLIB: What will participants be able to take away from and learn about during your UX Bristol workshop on that topic?
Mariana Morris: In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn practical techniques for identifying and mapping out users’ mental models, match with actual user journeys to improve the user’s experience of their systems.

 

UX Bristol 2018 is set to be a memorable day of UX workshops. Learn hands-on UX techniques from leading practitioners in a friendly and sociable setting. Tickets and event info via www.2018.uxbristol.org.uk.

Emma Howell on Bias in Research

We caught up with Emma Howell ahead of the upcoming UXBristol event, to have a chat about topic “Bias in research”. As event sponsors, we took the opportunity to also ask her about her career journeys so far…

Emma Howell has 12 years of research experience, starting in academia before finding her way to crafting lovely digital stuff. She has a mixed bag of research experience. She is a Senior User Experience Consultant and Research Lead at cxpartners currently.

ADLIB: In a nutshell, what has been your career journey so far, leading you to where you are right now?
Emma Howell: I’ve never been someone that has known what ‘career’ they want. In many ways, I still don’t. My parents gave me the best advice growing up – they simply told me to do what I enjoy. And whatever I enjoy, I just have to do my best. This allowed me to explore subjects, and later careers, with intrigue and genuine interest rather than pressure or a feeling of necessity.

I began a research career in academia after really finding a passion for research at Uni . I started in a Biology department studying bird vision and camouflage. After a few years, I began chasing a career in becoming a researcher for natural history documentaries. It was fiercely competitive and a tough slog and I found myself back in academic research. This time, I jumped back to Psychology and watching humans. I toyed with the idea of staying in academia and carving out a career for myself but it just wasn’t for me. I didn’t find the pace quick enough and I wasn’t able to flex my creative side. That lead me to UX research. And here I still am now!

ADLIB: Can you shed some light on the potential impact research bias can have and why you think it is important to avoid?
Emma Howell: Our brains try and save us time and energy by creating short cuts that allow us to find patterns in the things we experience around us. While this can be useful, it also means that when we do research, we are at risk of missing new patterns and information.

As researchers, we need to learn how to recognise our biases. We need to be aware of them and we need to be willing to challenge them. That means actively looking out for evidence that will prove our assumptions wrong.

If we don’t do this, we risk skewing our data. Once our data is skewed, we can’t be sure that we are designing the right thing. Bias research can lead to anything from slightly questionable changes to outright wrong business decisions that cost companies millions of pounds.

ADLIB: As a starting point, can you share common places where bias can creep into projects and how to reduce its effect?
Emma Howell: Bias can creep into research from so many parts of our projects. From your kick off meeting to producing your research deliverables, bias can lurk anywhere! The main place that people tend to think about bias is in research sessions. Being mindful of your language when interviewing and actively seeking information that will challenge your biases is a great place to start. I’ve also found that having more than one researcher and making anaylsis a group activity are great challengers to bias. They’re also pretty quick and easy to build into projects.

ADLIB: What can people expect from your workshop at UXBristol?
Emma Howell: So often, when you read about bias in research, it focuses on the research session itself. I’m really interested in exploring all of the places that bias can come into play. I want to give people time and space to think about how their own biases could be affecting their research. I want to explore all of the places it can creep in. And most importantly, I want people to leave with a fuller toolbox of tips and tricks to minimise bias in their research.

Thank You for sharing Emma!

 

UX Bristol 2018 is set to be a memorable day of UX workshops. Learn hands-on UX techniques from leading practitioners in a friendly and sociable setting. Tickets and event info via www.2018.uxbristol.org.uk.

For some further reading on User Research, Emma’s book might be for you.