User Experience (UX) service

What we do

The UX Service exists to help improve the digital experiences of students and staff at the University. Please contact us to discuss your requirements by emailing user-experience@ed.ac.uk

The UX Service provides advice, consultancy, training and guidance to help improve the student and staff experiences of digital products, systems and services within the University.

The Service is delivered by a team of expert staff, uniquely positioned to propose and implement appropriate user experience (UX) approaches in the specific context of University staff and student digital experiences.

We aim to embed a user-centred mindset and raise awareness of the benefits of working in student-centred and staff-centred ways by training and coaching colleagues to adopt and apply UX techniques to the University’s digital products, systems and services.

We offer consultancy and training

There are two main elements to our Service.

UX research and design consultancy

We support large-scale projects of strategic importance as well as smaller pieces of work. When we receive a service request, we will arrange an initial meeting with you to understand your requirements.

We will ask about your project and the staff and students it impacts

 To enable us to help you in the best way, to make the most appropriate recommendations, we will need information about the current stage of your project and the staff and students involved. We will ask for:

  • Detail about the staff and students who are using (or who will use) the system, product or service in question
  • Information about what they will use it for  
  • Insight into what you wish to achieve: changes you want to make or problems you want to solve

We may recommend one or several UX activities depending on your needs

When we have assessed your needs, we will suggest an appropriate approach. Depending on your situation, and the stage of your project, we may recommend a single UX activity or a programme of activities, following a design process.

Outcome definition
  • Goal/objective setting
  • Problem/hypothesis framing
  • Target audience definition
  • Affirming business needs and user needs
Qualitative or quantitative research activities
  • Desk-based discovery research
  • Analytics tracking
  • Competitor/comparator analysis
  • Gap analysis of existing knowledge
  • Stakeholder identification, mapping and analysis
  • Survey design and distribution
  • User interviews
  • Usability/interaction testing
  • Content testing
Prioritisation exercises
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Framework selection and application
Solution ideation
  • Prototyping 

  • Wireframing 
  • Information architecture
Content design and optimisation 
  • Content modelling 
  • Content strategy development 
Dissemination activities 
  • Playback sessions 
  • Presenting/reporting to stakeholders
  • Data visualisation

We can support you to self-serve 

If you wish to carry out the activities yourself, we can offer limited support you to help you to use resources we have prepared:

UX and content design toolkit (Sharepoint site - login required).

We undertake UX activities on a daily rate (depending on capacity and priorities)

Depending on our team capacity, and existing priorities, we may be able to carry out UX activities on your behalf. This work will be charged at a daily rate, and we can provide you with a quote to estimate the duration required. 

We can support you to recruit UX and content design specialists

If you are unable to carry out UX activities yourself, and we are unable to undertake them for you, we can assist you with the recruitment of external UX and Content Design specialists. We will charge a daily rate for this aspect of the service. 

Training and coaching in UX and content design 

We offer two types of training, a self-serve online course and regular sessions, delivered in person. Both are free for University staff. 

Effective Digital Content - our online self-serve course

Content Design for Web Publishers 

For the best outcome, engage with us as early as possible

It is never too early to think about UX.  We can offer help at any stage of a project, however, considering UX at the start of a project helps ensure user-centred decisions are made from the start, to avoid wasting time and effort developing products, systems and services which don't fit users' requirements and expectations and having to pivot and make changes later.  

To enable us to help you most effectively please contact us at the earliest possible stage – for example:

  • When a project brief is written or signed off
  • When a project team is formed
  • When kick-off meetings are scheduled
  • When scoping begins.

Our recommendations will be based on your needs and our knowledge

We’re often asked for UX help but there is no single ‘UX best practice’, ‘UX perspective’ or user-centred solution to fit all situations and projects.

Our team has experience of supporting a range of large-scale and smaller-scale projects. When we make recommendations, we do so drawing on our previous experience gathering knowledge about University staff and students, as well as your specific project or programme needs and circumstances.  

Examples of our previous work

Read about some of the projects we have previously supported in our series of blog posts:

Learn Ultra - the upgrade of Learn, the University virtual learning environment

Learn Foundations - a multi-year project to ensure Learn provides the best possible user experience for students and staff 

Web Publishing Platform - EdWeb 2 - an Agile project to replace the University's content management system

Short Online Courses - a project to optimise the short courses site for online learners 

Multifactor Authentication - the roll out of a new security procedure for staff and students 

Contact us to discuss your requirements

Please contact us to discuss how we can help you by emailing user-experience@ed.ac.uk

Read our Service Level Description 

Our Service Level Description is available to view.