Testing 1,2,3

September 16, 2018

Steve Alexander

After much discussion and a number of false starts, I’m excited to be writing Purple Shirt’s first article … ever. Our biggest challenge was working out what to write about. As many of you will know, we’re never short of things to say – but jumping straight into an opinion piece, philosophical discussion, or the do's and don’ts of practising and delivering UX, presumes that you want to hear from us in the first place.

So we’ve settled on testing the waters with a more general piece that we hope you’ll find interesting. We’ve got lots of things to write about in the future, but for now we thought we’d celebrate the time we have to invest in reaching out and letting you know what we’ve been up to.

In many ways having the time to write an article signals a significant milestone for us. It means we’ve reached the point in our evolution where we can reflect and, more importantly, share. It means we’ve matured and that the team is out there doing important work with less dependence on Blake and myself.

2018 has been a transformative year for Purple Shirt. We’ve taken the bold step of applying many of our own methods to the business – with the help of some sage advice and the cracking whip of our secret weapon in the war against complacency. Unpicking your own business is frightening as it forces you to take actions that challenge the status quo and, fingers crossed, pushes you to new heights.

We’ve grown the team (we’re now 12!) and built capability in product management, and have our first UX engineer (our term for a front-end developer dedicated to delivering great UX). We’re now better positioned to ensure that what gets designed, gets delivered. It’s an exciting and logical extension to what we’ve been doing for so many years.

We’re still getting our kicks working with a group of great clients (you know who you are) who trust us to do the business on their business. And we’re seeing our clients mature … adopting great practices, transforming around their customers and developing exciting new experiences in the process. We’re continuing to deepen our knowledge across a breadth of industries, including aviation, transport, education, finance and health.

The tools used by the team have matured, resulting in increased design efficiencies as we use them to create and manage complex design systems across multiple digital formats. The team is constantly ‘geeking out’ at new plugins and our #cooltools Slack channel is written in a language that Blake and I can only pretend to understand.

We have built our first internal tool to estimate work more effectively. It’s in beta at the moment and was born out of the frustration of estimating projects in Google Sheets and a strong desire to just … well, build something. Hit us up if you’re interested and we can lock you into a massive maintenance contract ... trust me, you’ll love it ;)

So we did it – we wrote an article and it wasn’t too painful. Don’t despair, we’ll get opinionated, philosophical and talk shop in future editions. Meantime … watch this space.