The Scoop - Jayson Preece

How did you find out about Open Window and how did you end up studying at OW?

Hi, I’m Jayson and I am a product designer specialising in mobile application design. I originally found out about Open Window through word-of-mouth via friends of mine and then I began my studies in early 2018 and finished my final year in 2020 since then I’ve worked on a variety of projects and companies in the tech industry ranging from Crypto Startups, Fintech businesses and now currently in Retail and hospitality solutions.

What inspired you to pursue a qualification in Interaction Design, and how has it influenced your career path since then?

I originally started studying Finance after high school and soon realised it wasn’t for me and that I needed something more creative and more hands-on, so after visiting Open Window’s website and campus and learning about interaction design I knew It was exactly what I wanted to do. Interaction design has many disciplines and career choices that you can choose to specialise in after graduating and it is extremely rewarding to see users interact and adopt something you’ve designed into their everyday lives.

Where do you work at the moment?

The company I work for is called Munch, and we specialise in cloud-based point-of-sale solutions for restaurants and retailers. We essentially streamline the whole ordering process from table-side ordering to customer ordering and allow owners and staff members to manage their operations on their mobile devices.

How do you approach the design process when working on a new project, and what are some of the key considerations you keep in mind?

I follow a mixture of Human-Centred design with Design Thinking approaches, what this looks like is exactly is I first get handed a project or specific brief and then first try to understand the group of people I am going to be designing for and what problem they are trying to solve and why.

The next is to define and discuss goals and needs with stakeholders or clients to get a better understanding of the opportunities available. From there, I kick off all of my rough ideation and this is where my creative process starts to kick into action, once I have a few good options I then work back and forth with clients to prototype a viable option that they are pleased with as well as demonstrate the interactions and flows that their users will engage with before.

Finally, testing is conducted with users to see if the solution creates an impact in solving their goal. Then the process repeats itself to incorporate new features or to change with growing user needs.

I think a big consideration in the whole process is to communicate constantly with your clients throughout the whole process, not only to give them peace of mind but to ensure you are catering to the right goals and needs.

What are some of the biggest trends you see emerging in the field of interaction design, and how do you stay up-to-date with the latest developments?

Definitely Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), I am really excited for what is to come in the next few years and how it’s going to open a world of opportunities for Interface designers and new immersive experiences as a whole. combining that with A.I and we’ll be able to create amazing new developments in E-commerce, fashion, and marketing.

How do you collaborate with clients, stakeholders, and other designers when working on a project, and what are some of the biggest challenges you face in this regard?

I think the best way to collaborate with clients and stakeholders is to communicate and involve them throughout your entire design process from start to finish and have weekly reviews to ensure they are satisfied with the progress and result as well as to make sure you are aligned with their vision of the project.

With regards to other designers, sharing ideas and providing feedback is such a valuable way to improve your designs and to learn other methods or approaches to your own work,

that is something I learned while studying at Open Window – my classmates and I were constantly reviewing each other’s designs and that really helped me build a strong foundation for solving problems in various ways just like writer’s block, you get design block from sometimes staring at your own work for too long and you might end up overcomplicating and missing a few things.

How do you balance the creative aspects of design with the practical considerations of functionality and usability?

It comes down to understanding the user you are designing for, their needs, goals and expectations. Another important aspect is to follow design principles that have been established by some of the best leaders in the industry such as hierarchy, consistency, and contrast to name a few, and be willing to make adjustments or iterate a design based on feedback or user testing. Once you have this outlined you can create designs that are not only visually appealing but are functional and easy to use.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve seen individuals make when working on website or interaction design, and how can they be avoided?

I think a big mistake relates to the lack of collaboration between Designer and Developer, as designers we want to make really out-of-this-world designs with complex and beautiful visuals or interactions, and what tends to happen is we overlook the technical feasibility and implementation that developers would need to go through to achieve a mirror image of our designs.

A way to avoid this is to have a shared understanding of project goals and technical requirements at an early stage of the process and then follow with regular check-ins to communicate the progress from both sides.

If you’re a designer or developer my advice would be to learn how the other side works and their process – I find it really interesting to see my colleague’s code structure (even when I’m not 100% what it does) but once you know where each other limits are you can start planning and breaking those boundaries to achieve great results.

Top 3 Podcasts?

1. The Futur by Chris Do
2. UI Breakfast
3. The Huberman Lab

Can you talk about a particularly challenging project you worked on in the past, and how you overcame any obstacles you encountered?

I don’t have a specific project to talk about but two recurring obstacles throughout my career do come to mind. The first is differing opinions, different clients have certain expectations or opinions on design which can lead to delays in timelines and conflicts, and a way to resolve this is to explain your reasoning behind your design choices, this is something that all interaction designers will experience and it’s important to back your choices with research as well as user testing to ensure there’s no design debt accumulated. And the second would be something we call Scope-Creep and this is something that happens when you’re working with a client that may want to add new features or changes constantly towards the end phase of a project’s due date. Something I would recommend to all designers really is to put together a proposal template that outlines your process, expected timeline, costing model and contract termination. This will set you up for success and ensure you have the right documentation in place to cover you and your client in any event throughout the project.

How do you ensure that your designs are accessible to users with a range of different abilities and needs?

Accessible design is extremely interesting in the way that it outlines users’ different needs when approaching a goal, some users have physical impairments such as loss of hearing or sight others may have slightly larger thumbs or arthritis in their hands and these are all factors that play a huge role in how they will interact with your product.

A great way to ensure your designs meet these standards is to use assistive tools and simulators to test for example the contrast of colours on your design or to check the readability of your text and paragraphs and to follow design guidelines that ensure a user can click a button that is sized correctly and not strain their hands.

How do you incorporate user feedback into your design process, and what are some of the best ways to gather this feedback?

I incorporate user feedback from the start of my process by conducting user research such as on-site visits, surveys and interviews with individuals to gain insights into the needs and mental models of the users before diving into design, once a design has been established I share prototype links and allow the client or user to make comments on the process where they see fit to keep them involved and to ensure the flow or process Is easy to use and follow.

Do you have any favourite free resources you can share?

Yes, many! If you are doing or thinking about doing interaction design then Figma and the Figma community is a great place to begin, they offer UI Kits, UX templates and step-by-step instructions to help you learn. Another would be the UX Checklist which provides a checklist of best practices including user research, information architecture and UI Design principles. Google Fonts for free font families to choose from for your design. Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines are extremely helpful and explain every design choice and interaction present on their devices. ChatGPT can help you understand and find out the best solution or the reasoning behind why certain principles work and also give you step-by-step processes for feature flows.

What’s your go-to creative snack?

Definitely popcorn, during my time in Open Window I was always snacking on popcorn between classes and now I’m really fortunate to have a popcorn machine in the building that I work in so every morning at 10:00 my team and I head down to grab some before diving into the days work.

Any favourite hobbies?

I enjoy travelling and exploring, one of my favourite places I have visited is Amsterdam and exploring the modern interactive museums and creative tech scene was really something special.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in pursuing a career in Interaction Design, and what skills or qualities do you think are most important for success in this field?

Start now, and learn as much as you can, you can only get better with time, practice and patience. Pick something you’re interested in and create something for yourself or someone close to you in my opinion it’s the best way to learn and find out what you enjoy, it can be something attainable, if you enjoy Travelling try creating a travel planner app for your next holiday or if you love animals, create an app that brings pet owners together at parks for playdates on the weekend.

If you enjoy solving problems, and have attention to detail and empathy then I would definitely recommend pursuing Interaction design as a potential career, and the benefit of studying at a place like Open Window is that you get taught first-hand experience from leading industry experts and the curriculum Is structured in a way to equip you with the best skills and knowledge to take forward into your career.


The work represented in this interview is both work done by Jayson and work done in collaboration with his colleagues from Munch.