About Pat Godfrey
Updated by Pat Godfrey: July 2018
I design inclusively. I enable visual design to follow a great User Experience, not to lead a poor one.
If you are serious about your customers' experience of your products, brand, and values, then I am the UX designer you are looking for.
If you want to see screen-grabs of beautiful homepages and bright stock photography, then you may be Selling the UX Short with the 50% UI Role?
There's more to experiencing the Web than looking at it.
As your designer
I deliver UX, IxD, and UI design as a 100% UX designer.
I am a user experience (UX), learning (LD), interaction (IxD), and user interface (UI) designer forged from the exacting MSc eLearning Technologies program and working in the learning and service delivery industries. (View my Professional Profile). Although I design the UI's aesthetics, I am best paired with a graphic designer.
Our users learn behaviours. Their behaviours and environment affect their experience and in turn, their performance. We must research and analyse to design and deliver the service our users and our enterprise need.
As a digital designer I discuss my design with stakeholders and graphicists using sketches and wireframes and collaborate with our "techies" using HTML and CSS. We share our learning through rapport and common goals in the langauges of our medium and a 100% UX design workflow. Together we test and deliver best in class services and experiences to our enterprise and for our users.
What is important to our user's experience (the UX) is the design thinking; the knowledge that invites inclusivity and allows visual and user interface (UI) design to follow a great user experience, not to lead a poor one.
It is not about 50% UI, but 100% UX. Graphic design does not create a delightful user experience on its own.
My design philosophy is to get the content and architectural basics right using research and analysis. Our interaction and communication with our user is paramount. We evaluate using basic wireframes and then decorate to confirm the experience.
Our users' experience
To be delightful, our design must be inclusively accessible, usable, learnable, and useful to all our users. Visual cues communicate, complement, and even ignite the design although not all of our users will perceive them1 .
- Our users must be orientated to the task you or they want to achieve.
- Content must be accessible, legible, and understood by the target reader regardless of their browsing device or technology, cognitive and physical differences, or preferences.
- Forms should be easy and intuitive to complete risk-free.
- Videos and audio content must have usable alternative content access strategies that all our users can use inclusively and without special skills or equipment.
- Content should print without waste.
An inclusive philosophy is the least expensive and takes least effort, yet it is the most compromised and abused.
1Note: Web users are not all visual: not everyone experiences or comprehends in the same way that you might. Great digital design is about inclusively encouraging curiosity, fostering trust, knowing our users, and enabling our users inclusively to experience learning too.
Inspiration from Patch Adams
This famous movie clip taken from the Universal Pictures 1998 movie, Patch Adams is a source of great inspiration. The brilliant Arthur Mendleson character summarises what we need for a great UX:
You're focusing on the problem. If you focus on the problem, you can't see the solution. Never focus on the problem!
...See what no one else sees. See what everyone chooses not to see... out of fear, conformity or laziness. See the whole world a new each day!
100% UX Design: I am a trained user experience, learning, and interaction designer and can communicate with our techies in HTML and CSS and coach them as well as learn from them matters of interaction, usability, and accessibility. Although not a trained graphic designer, I can "do" your UI design, too.
My background is clinical excellence, training, and education leading to eLearning and digital design including web, app, and platform UX and UI design.
My colleagues label me an innovator, which is cool as innovators have loads in common with artists - and as an emerging digital artist, it boosts my id. (See my Side Projects below.)
As an innovator, I want to create new experiences and optimise the routine. According to the W5 (Dublin) web site, innovation and creating new stuff takes inspiration, imagination, and creativity.
I don't imagine or design randomly. Combining user research with business analysis, I build an empathy for our consumers' needs and environment. As a designer, I then imagine how our enterprise will deliver the best experience - and test the hypothesis toward developing the right solution.
While working with HMH, I received a team award for my innovative approach to our user experience, information architecture, and user interface. 😇 I was a little surprised. That's the way we all work, isn't it?
Note: Innovation isn't inventing: it is about closing the gaps between frustrating, the expected and delightful experiences with or without novel solutions.
What I do
My Wife describes my career to her friends as, "Pat works in computers". Then they give out on some network issue, or other. Grief.
I'm not a "web developer", "engineer", or "graphic designer", although my consultancy enables a dabble in each to understand and more often to negate constraints or to rapidly prototype. I'm a UX and UI designer. I work with developers, engineers, and creative designers to offer the best "user" and "universal" experience for our digital product users.
I may wireframe or prototype: I may develop a little - this website is "hand coded" using HTML, CSS, and some jQuery. Consider it a "prototype"! I may also supply graphics or visualisations. Sometimes I do a lot of each. I enjoy all of them and my focus is always on our user's experience.
As with everything in design, it depends!
I do not design just for the "screen". I design the user interface (UI) for users of alternative browsing technologies and learning preferences too. I cannot trivialise the UX design that goes into documents, data spreadsheets, presentations, forms, or other digital output either.
As a Universal Experience designer, I work to make sure the parent and product brands align; that our customers experience the same values and service levels across all modalities and channels.
My article, Selling the UX Short with the 50% UI Role demonstrates one part of what I do through the review of website user interfaces that were open across my browser tabs one evening.
"Pat works in computers, indeed", Mrs Godfrey.
My spare time
In my spare time I assist local volunteer and charity organisations and small businesses to reach out from the Internet. I help them set up and to learn to manage their first sites and offer ongoing advice and feedback (mostly when they break them). They don't much care for the intricacies of UX or web design, which makes distilling their wants and needs more than refreshing if at times, challenging!
You can find an example developing at ARTBANK.Bunclody.eu. It uses the WIX WYSIWYG platform. I modelled various content and presentation strategies to the volunteers, which enabled them to manage their own website. Other platforms are available. Davis Porter reviews the top eight website builders on Cloudwards.net.
I also answer Facebook group questions about web presence and commerce and aim to guide toward inclusive online strategies. You can also find me answering questions on Qura and Medium. They keep me in touch with real-life design problems, general user expectations, and irritations.
My hobbies include digital painting and general design. (See the My Side Projects section below). ARTBANK Bunclody hosted my first exhibition in July 2017, which was kindly extended through August. I am also being coached to paint with acrylics and will in turn hold workshops on Microsoft PowerPoint as a cheap vector graphics package.
I love learning as much as I love facilitating learning for others. We cannot sit back on our qualifications and experience and claim to be expert. Experts can only be current if they continually develop professionally; if they study.
Books and online reading do not qualify us. They broaden our outlook and perceptions of our areas of expertise and those of others. Reading is an essential process to challenge us and to extend us. Review my favourite books list if you like.
I'm always studying and we cannot beat the formality of the occaisional course to focus our efforts. I am delighted to accept a place on the MSc User Experience Design at IADT part-time from September 2018 in Dún Laoghaire.
It's ten years since my similarly-specified MSc Electronic Learning Technologies and I'm looking forward to reflecting on and updating my practice as I study.
My side projects
We all need a bit on the side. My own side projects include painting and helping small organisations with their web and print product design.
My first week-long solo exhibition, "Traction" took place at the ARTBANK Bunclody in Co. Wexford during July 2017. The exhibition was specially extended to August 16th. You can find some of my digital paintings on Behance.
Facebook - Art of Pat Godfrey
Prints for Sale
In 2017, I was commissioned to provide the logo, graphic, and copy design to the inaugural Streams of Bunclody Festival I voluteer time to. The designs required were for the festival logo, large street signs, banners, leaflets and programs, meal vouchers, dance tickets, etc. There was an emphasis on locality and re-use. The festival team achieved a Merit in the Bank of Ireland Enterprising Towns Awards, November 2017.
I volunteer minor graphic work to small business too. The work enables me to get close to small enterprises and their customers to test out ideas and to seek feedback about the online products that they routinely use or commission.
"Pat is a well-educated, hardworking and innovative person, who has been re-assigned by our client for 5-years. He has performed a variety of roles, including Learning Designer, Lead Designer, User Experience Consultant and Interaction Designer, specialising in the UX and IxD of platforms for multiple Agile teams. He has a passion for Learning, he is self-motivated and I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone who is looking to utilise his skillset in the foreseeable future."
Business Development Consultant, Triad Resourcing
"Pat possesses the key traits of a great design lead: a team player who listens and is an active practitioner. I have worked with Pat intermittently over the years and never failed to learn something. I was impressed with his enthusiasm to overcome challenges with a smile, and to go the extra mile to delight the BAs and Product Owner. I hope we cross paths again."
Business Analyst, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
"Pat brought creative UX design to our help landing pages, coordinated and implemented Google Analytics across multiple projects (divided among 5 Tech Writers), performed every task and responded to every request with thoroughness and follow-up, and, in general, brought freshness and humor to our team discussions that I will truly miss. He was a pleasure to work with!"
Technical Writer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
"So impressed with your work Pat. I wish you were on the UX team as your ideas come so natural. With...UX there is a lot of back and forth and opinion differences that we often agree to disagree. But every project I have worked with you on, it's been amazing...it makes my job so much easier and I believe the customer experience is top notch. Thank you!"
Program Manager, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
"Pat follows a fluent methodology when investigating and designing, synthesising information well and conceptualizing solutions in a usable and often visual way. He... writes succinctly and clearly, has excellent diplomacy and people skills and demonstrates the ability to discern business development opportunities."
Senior eLearning Developer, Service Now
"I worked alongside Pat for a year and in this time he showed himself to be diligent, intelligent and determined. He has a creative mind and a strong academic learning design background that he brings to bear with an infectious enthusiasm."