Meet the Members: Made by Unfold
Unfold are a small team of passionate creators based out of our Cigar Factory site down in Southville. With a laser-focus on user-centered design and modern web-development technologies, they’re the crew you need if you’re looking to get into the mind of your customer.
When they’re not bringing your UX dreams to life, you can find them huddled round the table together at lunch, or brightening everyone’s day up with a big smile. Can you tell we love them?
We had a chat with Unfold’s Founder Harry Cobbold, to dive a little deeper into life behind their studio doors. We found out their fave spot for a team social and details of the interesting projects they’ve been getting stuck into recently.
Can you tell us what you do and what an average work day looks like?
For me no two days are ever the same. We work with so many different clients on a variety of projects. Just last year we worked with everyone from gardening, to private chefs, and even self storage – so there’s never a dull moment here in the studio.
But narrowing it down to an average day, generally I spend my time working with the team and our clients on solving problems and working out how to use design and technology effectively, to make better experiences for our clients’ customers.
What excites you most about the creative process?
Great question! I would probably say the process of actually making something. I love that we often start with a blank sheet of paper, take an initial idea, and run with it to explore how to make it actually work in the real world.
Going from zero to a tangible thing that someone will actually use in the real world, and that will hopefully make a positive impact on their life, is super rewarding and exciting. It’s something that runs through everything we do and stand for here at Unfold.
How do you get into the mind of the customer when working on a UX design?
My main bit of advice would be to go and spend as much time with users of a digital product or physical product as possible. We conduct lots of secondary desk research; for example looking at forums to find out what people are struggling with, what are they complaining about, and what opportunities there are to improve the problems that people encounter on a regular basis. It’s also important to look at how users are solving those problems already, to find out if there are work-around solutions they’ve found, which potentially we can improve upon.
It’s also really important to speak to the customers themselves. We run focus groups, one-on-one interviews, phone calls, zoom sessions, where we look at how people interact with websites, software or eCommerce sites to try and understand how they use it. When we can see how they use it, we can understand where the pain points are, which ultimately is what we then target when we come to doing the UX design.
Anything you’re working at the moment that’s exciting you?
Yes definitely! Here’s two projects that come to mind.
The first is Muddy Trowel, which is a business we’ve worked with since it first started as part of the founding team. Muddy Trowel is an online gardening business helping to disrupt the outdoor plant market by providing curated kits that allow customers to create a beautiful outdoor space, really easily from home.
We’re currently working with them on developing the next iteration of their proposition, which is a garden design service where customers approach Muddy Trowel, tell them all about their garden space (their interests, their preferences, what kind of soil they have, whether their garden gets sun) essentially all the things that impact gardening. Following this they’ll be matched with an award-winning designer who curates a bespoke design and planting plan, with a list of the plants that will be needed and instructions on how to lay those plants out.
This is incredibly disruptive because if you wanted to do this in the current market, you’d need to engage a designer directly which would cost maybe £2000-£3000, just to get the designs. Because Muddy Trowel is using technology and an innovative approach, they’re able to offer that service for £50-£500 and they’re able to sell the plants to the customer as well. It’s super exciting for me! Not only are we helping them design that service/proposition, we’re providing all the UX design and technology to support it as well.
The second project is one we are working on for Good Sixty, who are a Bristol based business. They’re a sustainable online marketplace, where you can shop from multiple independent retailers and your order is delivered in one go, straight to your door. They now operate across the UK for places like Camden and Borough market in London, and they provide the online, eCommerce functionality for those stores.
We’re currently working with them on improving their website; including looking at the booking funnel and re-designing their homepage. They’re currently rolling out the new pages so be sure to check out their new home page courtesy of Unfold very soon!
What kit/tools can you not live without?
I personally couldn’t live without Notion or Figma, they’re my 2 favourite pieces of software.
Notion literally runs everything for us, from our team knowledge base where we share resources and articles that inspire us and help us to do even better work, through to project management and keeping track of all the things we’ve got going on in the studio.
Secondly, Figma is our main design tool because it’s so good for collaboration – you can work in real time with the whole team. We don’t just use it for designing, it’s also great for workshops and team meetings as well, so everyone can use it as an online whiteboard to share ideas and thoughts in a collaborative way.
Where is your favourite place to get together for a work shindig in Bristol?
For our Christmas party we had a great time playing board games at Chance Encounters on Christmas Steps, and getting very competitive at a game of bowling at The Lanes.
Closer to the office on North Street, we love the Tobacco Factory for after-work drinks and Yafo has become our lunch option of choice, especially when anyone new joins the team.
Why did you choose to come to Gather Round?
We chose Gather Round because it’s a workspace that’s focused on creativity. We wanted somewhere that was an inspiring place to go into work, and the Cigar Factory is such a beautiful space that the whole team loves.
Also the sense of community here is amazing and it’s so great working alongside other creatives. It’s great for collaboration too as it’s led to us to work with lots of really talented freelancers in the space too, which has been an added benefit of being part of the community.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Harry! If you want to see more of what Unfold do, check out their website!
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