The journey starts here, back in the city I graduated in – Manchester. The city in which I have made so many incredible memories. The place I have always wanted to be in to pursue my passion and start my career as a web developer. PRWD have given me this opportunity.
Within my first week at PRWD I was given the chance to be involved in a user research session. This was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have ever had as a developer. To think that this was the first time I have observed in detail how another human interacts with a website. By observing a sample of users and watching how each individual navigated around the website to achieve their goal, this helped to identify the common problems with the design and usability. At the end of the research session, the subsequent data highlighted what problems really affected a user’s journey and gave us the relevant starting point to solve the problem.
As a developer, it’s easy to criticise what we think is wrong with a website, but the issues may not be as relevant to the user as they feel to us. I have come to realise that, as a developer, we unconsciously have an egocentric thought process, for example; ‘I know how it works so everyone else should be able to use it’. In order to move forward, I need to take into consideration, at every stage of development, that ‘everybody has to be able to use it’. This is a valuable lesson I have learnt within my first month. The user’s journey through a website should be as simple and easy as possible for all user abilities.
When I compare my knowledge at the start of the month to my knowledge at present, it seems unreal looking at how much I have learnt in such a small space of time. This is mainly down to my first-class mentor Lisa. As a thought to the future, I am excited to see how much I will learn and evolve as a developer.
My mum once said, “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”. She most definitely stole this quote from somewhere, but right now it feels like I am living this quote. The team at PRWD are incredible and everyone has made my first month here amazing.
As my final note, getting free beer ever Friday is also on my list of favourite things about PRWD. There are many more on the ever-growing list, but they can all wait for another day!