Tait Behind-the-scenes: Usability Design

Tait Behind the scenes: Usability designMeet Rodney Mackrell. Rodney works as the Senior Design Engineer in Tait’s Usability Design team. We thought that maybe, like us, the rest of the world would like to get to know Rodney and the work he and his team do for Tait Communications, and see just how important Usability Design is to our clients and our company.

With Rodney we learnt about the process Tait takes to develop new client solutions, how ideas are formed and what working closely with clients looks like and what it can achieve. We looked around the workspace and discovered how this department works, how it thrives and how it can, and has, developed innovations that can take us into the future of critical communications. It all begins here.

This is the first in a series of behind-the-scenes videos to show the inner workings of Tait Communications. Plenty more coming up, so stay tuned for more.

If you have any questions for Evan or Rodney about Usability or Design at Tait Communications please comment below! We would love to hear from you.

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Full Video Transcript:

Evan: Don’t look at the camera. I look when I’m talking to the camera, but I look to him when I’m talking to him. Can I go back and forth? Alright.

Evan: Hello, and welcome to the first behind-the-scenes look at Tait Communications. We want to give you guys an insider look into the people and passion that go into making the communication solutions that help drive your business forward. I’m here today in the Usability Design area. This is where ideas begin at Tait.

I’m here with Rodney, and he’s going to tell us a little bit about what goes on here. Hello, Rodney.

Rodney: Hi, Evan.

Evan: How are you today?

Rodney: Good, thanks.

Evan: So what do you guys do in Usability Design?

Rodney: We’re really about understanding our client’s needs and their world. And helping translate that understanding into opportunities for Tait to develop better solutions that drive better business outcomes for our customers. We spend a lot of time doing end-user research.

We actually have members of our team embedded within and client organizations, so that we can better understand how they operate, what they do in their daily jobs… Particularly the end-user out in the field, the ones that are using the solutions that we provide. Draw the picture and bring that back here to Tait for ourselves and the other developers and engineers from the company to really understand their client’s world so that we can develop the right solutions to help them do their jobs.

Evan: So instead of just asking the client what do you need, we try to and embed ourselves into their world, understand their problems, and then innovate new solutions that they may have not even thought about before. Right?

Rodney: That’s right. It’s really about having the in-depth understanding and we are particularly interested in looking for insights. So we spend time observing them, seeing how they work. And we might say things that, like you say, they haven’t really thought of or they never really realized they were doing. But with our unique understanding of technical solutions, we can, we can see opportunities to help them work safer, or faster.

Evan: Rodney, a lot of this stuff sounds really interesting. Do you mind if you show me around the Usability Area and just what some of this actually looks like?

Rodney: Absolutely, let’s have a look.

Evan: Alright.

Evan: So, I’m here with Trouble Man Trev, here in Usability Design, and he is one of our customers. He is just a constant reminder of who we’re working for and who we’re trying to serve and the needs that they have.

Rodney: So this is the net of a customer purchase, basically what’s happening… These are our observations and the opportunities that we’ve identified.

Evan: And how is this useful for us?

Rodney: It creates a visual map so we can see how everything fits together; and see where the opportunities are for us to create valuable solutions.

Evan: Okay, this is a persona right here. So Rodney, what do we use these for?

Rodney: We use personas to get a good understanding throughout the developmenting of people we’re designing for and what their needs are. That means we can keep focused on the end-user who’s using the product and make sure that we’re developing something that’s going to be right for them and the work they do. We’ll sketch our ideas, drop some concepts, build some prototypes and as you can see here, we’ll mock things up, get a feel for them and get some feedback on them as quickly as we can.

We build prototypes to learn more about the opportunity and to teach our concepts. It’s really about building our understanding, and validating assumptions, and knowing where the real value is.

Trouble Man Trev: So even before a product’s ready for launch, necessarily, we build a prototype or client or the customer and say, “Hey here’s our prototype. Will you give it a test so we can see if it’s really understand if it’s working in their world or not?”

Rodney: Yeah, that’s right. Obviously we can do some testing ourselves to understand if things are working. But really at the end of the day, it’s up to the client to say if something works for them or not. The quickest way for us to know that is to send them a prototype and get them to try it out.

Evan: Okay. Awesome there you have it. This is Usability Design and this is your first behind the scenes look at Tait Communications. Stay tuned for more.

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