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Welcome to episode #018 of Custom Made and today I’m joined by two guests from Dialexa - Sarah Reid, Vice President of Design Research and Quality Assurance Engineer, David Ferguson.

Sarah has become a regular on Custom Made discussing topics on User Research and User Experience Design. Sarah’s fascination with how design and psychology interact has led her on a relentless pursuit to shape user experiences that enable elegant solutions to complex problems. Her specialties in web and UX design include layout, interaction and aesthetic design for websites and software products.

David is a tenacious Quality Engineer and knowledge seeker at Dialexa, with over a decade of experience focused on quality and scrum methodologies. His background includes leading quality and support initiatives in projects spanning financial, automotive and real-estate industries.

Here at Dialexa, David believes in quality as an initiative that should be implemented through varying involvement throughout the lifecycle of a software project, from research and problem-solving to delivery and handoff. By being involved in a project early and often, David and the Quality Assurance team are able to identify the customer and sustain empathy for the customer's needs, concerns and goals, becoming the voice of the customer throughout the software development lifecycle.

During development, David believes in working alongside the development team and project leads. David's goal is to minimize the need for expensive manual testing, and implement quality initiatives that are repeatable and sustainable as a platform or application scales and matures.

On this weeks episode Sarah, David and myself are discussing what is required during product development to ensure that your product has the best possible chance of being successful - providing a better user experience, increasing adoption and usage, and ultimately delivering positive ROI to your business.

By having Quality Assurance (QA) and the end users represented throughout the product design and development process, rather than have QA as a silo’d team that does software checks towards the end of development, you can ensure that quality is built in to your new product.

After all what might appear to be a bug once the product is deployed, could actually be software working as intended, but not actually designed and developed with the user’s actual needs in mind.

You can catch Sarah and David's full Custom Made episode here:

If you prefer to listen on the go, you can get all episodes of Custom Made on these platforms and many more. Do subscribe on your favorite platform to catch each episode as it is released, and let me know any feedback, questions, and recommendations on twitter @dougplatts.

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I hope you enjoy this episode!

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