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Seedcamp winners get thinking on user experience with ThoughtWorks

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Time and again we hear from start-ups one of the biggest reasons they apply to Seedcamp Week (apart from the great mentors/advice and networking opportunities) is the support we give our winning teams in the three months after the winners are announced.

This year, part of that support came in the shape of workshop sessions with leading user experience consultants ThoughtWorks. Marketing Director, Katy White and Project Manager, Liv Wild kindly offered time with two of their leading user experience consultants to Seedcamp Week winners to improve and refine the usability of each company’s product. As we all know, no matter how great the technology or product features are they are worth little if the user doesn’t find it solves their need or problem.

Each team was given a four hour session with one of their top usability experts, Marc McNeill and Eewei Chen. So, the question you may have is: what is a website’s user experience? Well, in short, it is just that: the experience a user has while using the website for its intended purpose. The elements contributing to this ‘experience’ are quite varied and ThoughtWorks’ perspective shines a light on these.

Curious about the process involved in identifying usability issues and working out solutions to address identified shortfalls we managed to attend one of the sessions as ‘flies on the wall’ with Patients Know Best and Marc McNeil. A full blow by blow account of their session can be found here if you are interested in getting more detail on the process followed but needless to say I was very impressed. Marc managed to reduce the 10-step patient registration process to four steps that was less error prone.

Let’s get something straight: Marc is not like you and me when it comes to evaluating the appeal of a website. You and I may notice the colours, layout and pass a comment to the effect of “this site is so web 1.0”. Not Marc. He would look at a web page and silently evaluate its ability to convey the intended message and utility to its users for what appeared to be an eternity and then come out with his comments that were diligently noted by the Seedcamp teams.

Needless to say, the other Seedcamp winners also found these sessions very helpful including Platogo (to improve the USP and social aspect of their product), Kwaga (creating an automated email assistant to prioritise emails) and Codility. Indeed, some of the teams will continue to work with ThoughtWorks to help them in their journey to create the ultimate customer experience for their target segment.

This really showcases the power of the start-up ecosystem and how true collaboration can benefit teams that are starting out. Providing the Seedcamp winners with sessions featuring usability experts ThoughtWorks at such an early stage can help each one of them get better traction with their target segments.

So on behalf of all the Seedcamp winners, we would like to thank Liv, Katy, Marc and Eewei at ThoughtWorks for making these sessions possible. Thanks guys.

Lastly, we’re always keen to get to know more user experience experts and open up the opportunity to work with start-ups. So, if you are interested in getting involved as a mentor do get in touch with us at info@seedcamp.com

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