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Itroducing our new Guest Blogger – Frances McVeigh from Zabisco

frances mcveigh

We’re joined for the next two weeks by Frances who is part of User Experience Agency Zabisco. We asked Frances 10 questions to get to know her and Zabisco a little bit better.

Who are you?
Zabisco
is a user experience agency based in Nottingham city centre, just behind Oceana. Our primary service is to provide a user-centred approach to all things digital, from user research and testing to information architecture, web design, copywriting, photography, website development and mobile apps and websites.

What brought you to Nottingham?
Our Managing Director Hammad is Nottingham born and bred, so when it came to choosing the location for Zabisco, Nottingham made sense. The central location of the city means we can service clients from across the country, whilst lower living costs in the city when compared to places like London means we can keep our overheads (and therefore our service rates) low.

What keeps you in Nottingham?
There’s a really vibrant creative community in Nottingham, so we really value the events that we can attend and the contacts we build up from being here. Our location also allows us to better service clients from across the UK and keep our costs down. Plus there are loads of really nice restaurants in Nottingham that we’ve heard about but not visited – we need to remedy that before we even think of moving on!

What makes you different to other creative people in Nottingham?
Our unique selling point here at Zabisco is our user centred approach to absolutely everything we do. We fully immerse ourselves in every project we undertake and gain a complete understanding of the target audience to ensure all we do is right for them. We have what we believe to be a rare skill in combining both the needs of the audience with the needs of the client and we create some really exciting work for some really exciting clients as a result.
We’re also very person focused within the agency, allowing the skills and passions of our staff to be our driving force when it comes to our service offerings and methodologies. Everyone’s genuinely interested in what they do and there isn’t one person in the agency who wouldn’t go that extra mile to create something truly exceptional.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
As an agency, we see ourselves continuing to grow and develop according to what’s best for the end user. At the moment, we’re really excited about infographics and infomotion (the use of non-text methods to communicate with an audience) and are also continually looking at ways to engage with the mobile user because we see that as a really important market.

Our portfolio is already full of local names such as inafishbowl.com and Blusource as well as national clients such as the British Heart Foundation and Barclays, so we see that continuing to grow and develop too.

What do you wish you had more time for?
We’re pretty good as an agency at making time for what we feel are important developmental and social activities. For example, every week we take half an hour out to gather in our focus group room and chat about an issue that someone is passionate about, which gives us a great opportunity to learn from one another and understand how we can better work together. We also take regular team lunches to keep us all socialising with one another too, as a team who can socialise together is often more productive and creative in the office.

At the moment, the thing we struggle most to make time for is our own internal infographics that we’d like to use for our own website and marketing. We’ve got so many ideas constantly flying around the office of new ways to visually communicate with our audience but it’s difficult to get the design time to do them when we’re so busy with client work. Worse problems to have though!

What keeps you awake at night?
For our MD Hammad, that’s probably his baby Mahir! For me, I tend to sleep pretty well – I work hard during the day and then go to the gym at night so usually I’m away as soon as my head hits the pillow!

What do you think is Nottingham’s best kept secret?
Zabisco! We’re already serving huge clients from around the UK but we’re also looking to grow our local presence. We’ve got loads of services available to suit large budgets and small, and even offer an on-site photography studio where we can photograph for both business and personal shoots as well as on-site user testing facilities and focus group areas.

We’re also all huge fans of the restaurant Iberico – anyone who doesn’t know it or hasn’t been should definitely check it out. The small cafes and tea rooms around our office are also really nice but many people seem to miss them and head straight to Starbucks; the Jam Café is especially nice, as is Snack Attack (the sandwich shop).

What would you like to see more of in Nottingham?
Collaboration. We’ve got a really active creative community in the city and we already collaborate with our next door neighbours at Kuki Media and at BCS, but more communication between the creative agencies and businesses within the city could be very beneficial for us all.
We even set up http://networknottingham.ning.com/ to give Nottingham businesses a place to network and socialise. It would be great to see that grow even more.

What Big thing are you currently working on?
We recently won a really big contract with a very prestigious brand but, unfortunately (and as if often the case with these things) we’re not allowed to disclose details until the project is complete – keep watching our website at www.zabisco.com to find out more though!
We’re also continuing our work with Barclays and the BHF and are just getting started on a user experience project with the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) which is going well so far.