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User-centred design: Bristol’s new meetup kicks-off in September

By Maria Santos

Digital Marketing Manager


Bristol-based digital agency Natural Interaction and user recruitment experts People for Research have teamed up to add a new exciting event to the Silicon Gorge’s calendar. The first UCD BRS meetup (User-Centred Design Bristol) happens on 21st September at Desklodge, in the city centre, with a focus on user-centred content.

Mike Dunn, User Experience Consultant at Edo, is our first speaker. In this workshop, we’ll focus on a new strategy to help UX and design experts find the content that meets their audience’s needs. Mike will present “a simple tool to help you identify that sweet spot where content meets user needs and business objectives”. During the session, you will be able to use an interactive, Lego-based version of the tool to have conversations about user-centred design and content.

Ahead of the first meetup, we asked a few questions to Adam Babajee-Pycroft, Managing Director at Natural Interaction.

user-centred design bristol meetupWhy did you decide to organise UCD BRS?

Based on past experience, there is a strong demand for user experience (UX) events in Bristol. I don’t want to take anything for granted, but a well organised event with compelling speakers should attract plenty of members. We’ll know it’s going well if people come back after the first month and bring their friends!

What is the meetup’s main goal?

I want to provide the best possible member experience. I’d love it if UCD BRS could become a focal point for the UX community and build on the work done by BUG and other groups.

The sponsorship from People For Research and Natural Interaction will enable UCD BRS to have a consistent venue every month. If you have been along once, you will know how to find us and won’t have to worry about logistics. The hard work the speakers put in will survive beyond the events with videos and articles.

Who is the UCD BRS meetup for?

The talks and workshops are aimed at anyone involved in the research or user-centred design process, so many of the talks will assume some prior knowledge of UX. However, if you don’t understand something, just ask questions. Judging from the sign-ups we’ve had so far, plenty of people will be comfortable to talk about any topics.

If you’re interested in understanding people and designing better things for them, come along! You can expect talks or interactive workshops from engaging speakers and a friendly atmosphere with lively debate. And, of course, free pizza!

What are you most looking forward to with this new meetup?

Honestly, I enjoy the talks. It’s a great opportunity to learn new stuff without paying for the privilege.
We have Mike Dunn from Edo running our first workshop on user-centred content. He’s an experienced UX expert and has worked with brands including Historic England, Parkinson’s UK, and the British Heart Foundation.

What is your long-term vision for User-Centred Design BRS?

For UCD BRS to be known for providing the best possible meetup experience. Beyond UX, I admire Digital Gaggle’s model of running a couple of larger events every year. Their video content helps talks live on well after the events.

Why do you think Bristol is such a hub for digital people?

The creative culture, range of restaurants and things to do and great businesses seems to be the main lure. In the past, the financial services industry attracted the agencies, who hired in or developed the talent. Nowadays, tech start-ups seem to be moving here, taking advantage of the wealth of talent available.

What do people need to do if they are interested in speaking/presenting/running a workshop?

Just get in touch with me ( or Jess Lewes at People for Research ( with an outline of what you want to talk about. We’re looking to run multiple speakers at some events, so even if you’ve never given a talk before that won’t be a barrier. It would also be helpful to know how long you think you’ll need.

If you would like to attend the first meetup, you can guarantee your free ticket here. If you can’t make the first date, make sure to join the meetup so we can send you more information about the next ones.

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About the author: Maria Santos is the Digital Marketing Manager at People for Research. You can find her on the People for Research’s Facebook or Twitter accounts, regularly engaging with potential participants, market research experts and the UX community.

About People for Research: We recruit participants for UX and usability testing and market research. We work with award winning UX agencies across the UK and partner with a number of end clients who are leading the way with in-house user experience and insight.

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