Head of Prospective Student Web Content
Neil is an experienced and qualified user experience professional, with a long track record in the public sector digital management and enhancement.
A champion of user experience research and design techniques at the University of Edinburgh, he has pioneered their use in a wide range of projects, and established a user-centred approach to the development and management of digital systems and services.
Neil initially joined the University to lead on user research, training and support elements in the development and management of the corporate web content management system service. Earlier in his career, Neil was a teacher and a higher education student recruitment & engagement officer.
Neil is qualified in human computer interaction at postgraduate level.
He also holds a postgraduate teaching qualification, and an undergraduate degree in Technology Management.
Neil undertakes a wide range of projects supporting colleagues across the University in the development and enhancement of websites, software and services.
The key elements he brings to all these projects are:
- Helping teams and their stakeholders come to a common view of who they're serving and why
- Understanding user needs and how these align with business priorities
- Establishing sustainable management practices informed by regular user insight
Neil regularly blogs about the projects he's working on.
Neil has played a lead role in all development projects relating to the University of Edinburgh's corporate content management systems. His responsibilities typically involve requirement gathering and validation, process and user interface design, user research and usability testing and user support and training management.
- Requirements are hypotheses: My experiences with Lean UX (presenting at IWMW 2016 conference)
- Usability Testing Service: 2016 achievements summary & 2017 plans
In the press
A collection of slide decks on a range of topics relating to user experience, digital strategy and website management:
Better website management
How to get a grip of your website (and then keep hold) - Step-by-step guidance on better, more sustainable website management, and how the University Website Programme can help you
Optimising what’s important – Get to know your long neck - In most walks of life, a small number of things are significantly more important than the rest. To be effective as the manager of a web presence or service, you need to know what matters most to your target audiences
User research and facilitation case studies
- IGMM website strategy workshop - A write up by a colleague of one of Neil's digital strategy workshops
- Straight from the horse’s mouth: focusing student support web content - How we engaged a University community to identify what they really needed from a website, then set about refocusing and delivering a more useful experience
- Collaborative planning of new user experiences for Cityscope - Engaging the Cityscope project team and senior stakeholders to establish a user experience vision before development begins
- Usability Testing Service insight leads to student app enhancements - How multiple rounds of usability testing through the development of a new student service resulted in a significantly better, more user-friendly product
Thinking about user experience
- UX: The building blocks of digital transformation - An opinion piece on digital transformation, and how underneath it all, it's really just good management of user experiences
- Lean UX – requirements are hypotheses - Inspired by a workshop run by Lean UX author Jeff Gothelf, this is an introduction to the concepts with examples of how we made it work at the Website Programme
- Humility in development - We need to accept that we don’t know it all – in fact we don’t necessarily know very much – and plan our development to accommodate learning along the way