Meet our new Senior User Centred Designer, Hefin Jones
It’s been a busy time in the rapidly expanding PDR team, with lots of new faces added to our weekly video calls - and we’re very happy to introduce our latest recruit, Hefin Jones!
Joining us as our new Senior User Centred Designer, West Wales native Hefin was previously working as a designer with public, cultural and educational institutions such as Wales Millennium Centre, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging, as part of collaborative research and design projects. Alongside this work, Hefin has been a lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, and visiting lecturer at Central Saint Martins, and Gothenburg University.
Before finding his new role with us, Hefin spent 2 years working as a freelancer on diverse fully-remote projects that have involved co-designing services and experiences for diverse users - from young people with epilepsy and their families, to teachers and freelance creatives before finding his new role with us. “For 2 years I’ve worked remotely on various projects, and while they were great to work on, the idea of being embedded in a single team and developing a design culture in the place I’m from was really appealing to me.”
There’s a great culture of autonomy and agency here, which is great to see.Hefin Jones | Senior User Centred Designer | PDR
Talking of culture, our team was another huge draw for Hefin. “There’s a great culture of autonomy and agency here, which is great to see. And the regular interaction with the team is perfect - there are so many opportunities for learning and exchange, and everyone is really open and supportive.”
With a strong background in multidisciplinary design and a passion for that approach, PDR’s ways of working were a key factor for Hefin. “From in-depth ethnographic studies and sociological skills through to practical skills like film-making, how I see design is definitely about drawing on any discipline in any means necessary. PDR is a great example where you get product designers and engineers working alongside people with analysis and usability research skills to address a specific challenge together.”
But what could all of this look like in a single day’s work?
“My 9-5 day might start with a cross-team meeting where we discuss all the various projects progressing within PDR. At the moment we’re working on a range of usability studies, so I might spend time learning about users’ roles and behaviours for various projects in a series of interviews, for example,” Hefin says.
From in-depth ethnographic studies and sociological skills through to practical skills like film-making, how I see design is definitely about drawing on any discipline in any means necessary.Hefin Jones | Senior User Centred Designer | PDR
But, as ever, the scope of work here will always present something new and interesting to get stuck into. “We’re just beginning to work with various cultural partners on a project where we’re looking at how people have access to public institutions, looking at distributing resources and forms of knowledge - and how dialogue might be initiated between urban-centred institutions in rural areas. It’s like I joined PDR and they designed this project specifically for me!”
“As a project, it’s all about creating something in Wales, working with collaborators and clients on your doorstep to build that culture and public discourse around design and what it can be. PDR’s projects are renowned for their international reach and relevance but this Wales-specific project is so exciting for myself and the team,” Hefin explains. “It really is my dream project.”
The team at PDR would like to say a big official hello to Hefin and welcome him back to his homeland - let the projects commence!