Who the hell is Nick Gassman…?

Who the hell is Nick Gassman, and why should you be interested?

You can see my Linkedin profile if you want Nick’s Linkedin profile

Well, you might not be interested. Hmm. I’m sure someone told me to be positive.

Anyway, I’m a UX guy. That stands for ‘user experience’ for those not familiar with the term. I recently had to describe what I do in ten words, and came up with ‘Design digital interfaces so they are easy to use’. I don’t do the design work myself, there are better people for that. What I do is manage people who design websites, apps, or other digital interfaces, to make them easy to use, and therefore meeting the goals of the organisation owning the website, app etc.

I used to be the User Experience and Design Manager at British Airways, responsible for the user experience on the website (desktop and mobile), and the app. I’ve also worked on in-flight entertainment and airport kiosks, and keep up to date with other devices and design challenges.

I got quite a lot of experience in UX and Design, and hope to be able to share some of that usefully and in an entertaining way. Also, having some opinions about what’s going on in the world, and some views on what’s right and what’s wrong, some of that will come through as well.

There are a few core things that I most enjoy.

I get very frustrated when I use poor interfaces, which we all do, all the time. I enjoy the challenge of understanding the customer (I prefer that to ‘user’, but use both terms), and solving the problem of translating theirs and the organisation’s objectives into an interface. I can often spot if something will work or not, and understand different testing methodologies so we can find out if we’re not sure. You should still test everything anyway.

It’s all about psychology. Understanding human psychology as applied to design is the core skill needed of a good designer. That’s why I am often annoyed when UX is classified as an IT skill. It’s not. You can design a gorgeous lovely interface that is technically brilliant, that no one will use, and is therefore a failure for the organisation.

Back to me. I enjoy managing people. It’s really a way of helping people achieve things, just as UX is. And I get a kick out of working as a member of a great team, no egos (not even mine). Not enough companies focus rewards on team – rather than individual – success.

I have a BA and an MSc in Psychology, as well as an MBA.

I am married to my lovely but long suffering wife Helen, and have a grown-up son, Patrick.

Enough of that for now.

This is something of my story. When I was sixteen, my dad, mum, younger brother and sister, and I, went to live on a boat in the Mediterranean. I did my A level studies by correspondence. This was pre-internet days, so when I posted off assignments, we had to ask for them to be sent c/o some port or marina we were planning to be at in some weeks time. Dad wrote the book, with some editing and tweaking from me. It gets good reviews.