When a specific project/asset is being developed we come in at pre-planning, pre-development or pre-occupancy to perform a User Experience risk assessment.
Our framework and systems analyse the user-task-space relationship. This helps determine where in current plans there are risks to the humans natural enjoyment and experience of a place. It then identifies opportunities to improve desired human outcomes and the project managers effectiveness.
We combine an area assessment alongside a human assessment to gain a wider sense of the situation before analysing the users of a space from a task perspective.
Our job is to add a sophisticated layer of intelligence to help multi-disciplinary teams make and evidenced based decisions.
Our outputs are focused at a holistic series of solutions to improve the experience of users. Therefore, our outputs look at the orchestration of construction, architecture, design, management, culture and technology.
A UX Risk Assessment is produced via a 3 Stage approach
- SMARTER AMENITY CURATION
- FUTURE PROOF PROJECTS
- INCREASE HEALTH, WELLBEING AND PRODUCTIVITY
- AVOID COSTLY CHANGES POST OCCUPANCY
- INCREASE SATISFACTION RATINGS
- USE BESPOKE WRITTEN CONTENT FOR USER-ENGAGEMENT
- INCREASE CHANCES OF SUSTAINABLE USE
- DE-RISK COMPLEX PROJECTS AGAINST REDUNDANCY
1. MACRO INFLUENCERS
How we perceive a specific event (action, interaction, object) depends on what cognitive neuroscience refers to as top down factors, such as past experiences, goals or expectations.
These factors are used to guide our cognitive processing and will influence how we perceive an experience.
For example, if a person has had a long commute in a packed train, this factor will influence their perception and experiences of future interactions. They might perceive the entrance to a building as too loud or confusing depending if that journey made them feel stressed or tired. They might expect to enter a more calming space than a person who has had relatively less stressful journey.
It is crucial to understand how these factors will alter perception and expectation of building elements.
As ignoring or not being aware that perception is not linear can lead to unintended human consequences. In stage 1 we perform an area assessment alongside the human assessment to frame stage 2.
2. COGNITIVE OVERVIEW
An example of cognitive type would be a “learner” someone whose main tasks for the work day require reading, learning new information, communicating etc.
The “learner” can be gender agnostic, any age group, or social background.
A cognitive type provides a better backdrop for guidelines as there are biological and cognitive baselines associated to tasks. There is need to have a baseline from the human perspective to create a starting point for comparisons.
We are proposing the use of biological and/or cognitive elements of the human condition as baselines due to their low variance levels. These baselines are expressed in terms of tasks or activities. For instance, the activity of sleep proposes little variance in terms of biological and physical requirements to achieve it (everyone needs levels of darkness, to lay flat, low stimulation, low stress, etc). A sample point of enquiry using sleep could be "does long term exposure to night time light pollution affect sleep/wake cycles in children?"
3. RISK ASSESSMENT & MITIGATION SCHEDULE
A checklist to be used by all members of a development team to ensure risks are mitigated and avoided early. It's process runs in 7 stages
- Comfort Risk: Building on well researched and established comforts such as Thermal conditions and Spatial Variety.
- Description: The likely risk/unintended consequence.
- Cause: Reason
- The likely Spatial & Human effect: Identifying how this affects the human, perhaps from an irritation issue, and how this affects the use of space, such as dwell/retention/loss of orientation.
- Probability of Occurrence: Rated from 1-5.
- Impact Risk: Rated from 1-5.
- Mitigation Technique: The general rule is that mitigations/recommendations are made in line with the outputs required by the Client. Therefore, we would not make construction related mitigations when a project is near completion. All mitigations and recommendations are informed by existing spatial standards and codes such as BREAAM, LEED, HSE, WELL and augmented according to the bespoke research performed. There are cases where our research differs to that of a standard.
This section provides a series of achievable action points for project managers to guide multi-disciplinary teams. It helps ensure that all members are coordinated in helping raise the user experience.
(RIBA Stage 1)
Centric supported the lead architects (Stanton Williams) on the UCL East campus.
Assessing Stage 1-2 design against a working thesis that looked into academia and students in 2025. Aiming to identify risks that would turn-off students from valuing the building as a "chapel of education".
Outputs focused on
Changing atrium to include more intimate spaces
Changing ratio of private-collaboration space
Written content covered how learning is evolving with technology and the cognitive tasks most prevalent in 21st century academia.
(RIBA Stage 2-3)
Centric supported the Workplace & Development Management Team.
Assessing the existing plans for the 4 x “third spaces” through our framework we were focused on matching user to space better.
Outputs focused on
Articulating Coworking Space offer,
Advising on curation of the Active Lobbies, Outdoor Workspaces and Public Realm.
Written content articulated science behind “inspiration” and how modern urban life impedes it. This has become invaluable marketing material in humanising IQL.
TH REAL ESTATE
(RIBA Stage 6-7)
Centric supported the Asset Management & Development Management Team in some key decision making prior to completion and occupancy of a speculative office building in the City of London.
Outputs focused on
Helping identify ideal building amenity usage to suit workflows or users. Identifying methods in which to improve the health of daily users.
Smart Building Technologies
Written content covered the changing nature of target industries and how human productivity can be supported in this change through amenity curation and design alongside smart technologies.
Typically to perform a Risk Assessment is a 6-8 week process (sometimes less) and includes introduction and closing workshops. Alongside the practitioner based work, written material is professionally translated and ready for industry use often via marketing and communication channels.