As of March I have been contracting at Biglight, a mid-sized agency based in Kentish Town. There’s about 40 people spread across 3 floors. They offer services across e-com, they have acquired a nice selection of big clients like Timberland, Specsavers, George by ASDA, Goldsmiths, Ted Baker, Habitat amongst others. They boast a new UX testing lab where they can analyse and control all aspects of usability testing. They also have a photographic studio.
I was contracted for 2 months to work exclusively on a new mobile-first ecom site for Arco, a giant retailer who specialise in safety clothing and equipment. I was jumping into an accelerated sprint plan. Basically they doubled up the UX resource to finish in half the time. I put my head down, worked hard, met with the client, workshopped site functionality, improved existing wireframes, offered consultation on existing issues on their proposal, and created a lot of new sections for the new site and finished a couple weeks earlier than expected, forcing Biglight to scrabble around trying to find more work for me to do! So I had a bit of Timberland UX work thrown in too. I kept telling them ‘Im too busy to go to lunch’ or ‘I’ll relax when Im finished’…and then it was finished in 6-7 weeks instead of 2 months before I started to slow down.
The current arco.co.uk is a giant behemoth of a site, mostly built 15 years ago. It’s clunky, not responsive and mostly custom built. The plan is to build it on a Hybris platform and custom build only sections that are not ‘out-the-box’ along with a complete design overhaul. The challenge was to future-proof the site and take all the clunky pages they currently have and simplify them to improve and streamline user journeys. A lot of the sections like ‘Decoration’ and ‘Purchase List’ were particularly challenging as they were fiddly and tricky and required a lot of deep UX thought and workshopping to simplify without losing too much detail.
What I liked about Biglight is that they threw me in with a very well organised team, right into the middle of a project at the get-go. As is normal as a senior when joining a project mid-way, you quickly identify the mistakes/failings that have been made in the project, but hopefully my consultation on these pre-existing issues helped resolve them in the final build. I got to work with the only other dedicated UX person I have ever worked with – Rin Dam. She totally got what I was saying about everything and we also understood each other’s ideas very well. It made the work easy when you can relate easily.