Nick Bowmast, Design researcher.

User Experience from a Kiwi (‘s) perspective

I’m Nick Bowmast, an experienced design researcher from a diverse and practical design background. I’ve tried to explain some of my approach in the following visual:


I’m an independent design research consultant based in New Zealand, but my clients and their customers are often outside of NZ, so I am lucky to have a wider perspective on both product development, consumer behaviour and research methods.

Why write about this stuff?
I launched this blog as a place to explore and discuss ‘user experience’ in New Zealand when I returned home to NZ from London in 2008 … good thing I did as I’ve met many like-minded individuals through this blog, and not limited to Kiwi’s either.

How I discovered design research:
(Without really knowing it at the time)
In the early 90s while building surfboards customised for individual riders I realised each person had different requirements; the way they rode, the types of waves, body shape, their budget etc.

I found that only by observing each customer riding their board, then listening to what they liked and didn’t like was I able to build the board they wanted. (I wrote a blog post on this if you’re interested in User Centred Design meets custom surfboard making)

More than 20 years later after design school and having worked in industrial, architectural, graphic and website design in London I realised bringing user research and a user centred approach to the design process;

  • Informed other designers and their business clients
  • Led to better design outcomes and user experiences
  • Was more fulfilling than charging on under mine or my clients assumptions to a solution which didn’t always fit the end user.

Since, I’ve learned that this approach to product development is completely agnostic to the technology, context, business model, type of customer, across products, services, digital and physical.

In fact, I’m doing less and less digital since I’ve moved back to NZ.

I’m based in New Zealand, digging for, revealing, interpreting and sharing insights through qualitative research.

I help designers and business understand their customers, and provide a better product or service as a result.

I offer consulting services available through my website

View my profile
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