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New digital lab focuses on attracting creatives to Norwich

Published: Friday, 17 July 2015   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

The opening of a new digital research lab in Norwich in October is set to enhance efforts to attract more creative minded people to the city.

Norwich University of the Arts will open the new purpose-built facility at Cavendish House to encourage the spread of ideas and innovation.

The £3.1 million project is funded via a £1.6m grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund alongside £200,000 from New Anglia local enterprise partnership.

Further support from business partners in the Digital Creative community will ensure the project is well funded.

The digital user research lab aspect of the project is worth £542,000, with £155,000 of that funding coming from HEFCE.

Several high profile companies including Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (CEE), Special Design Studio and FXHome are also sponsoring it.

The project should help to ensure that User Experience (UX) design thinking features in NUA courses while also helping digital businesses in the region to use UX processes in a cost effective fashion for their own design and development work.

Once complete, the lab will enable users of digital products to test prototypes using a range of equipment including phones, tablets, games consoles and computers.

These experiences can then be tracked and their experiences monitored by those interested in the projects – such as clients and boardroom executives.

In theory, this will enable products to be optimised to give them the best chances of success, as the user will be at the forefront of design and development.

It is also hoped that entrepreneurs in the digital sector will be able to access a host of new options that were not previously available to them.

Rob Johnson, from Sony CEE, described the lab as being “invaluable for creative students” as they can access UX testing while completing their studies.

This should increase understanding and help prepare them for the working world, ensuring they have the desired skills when they graduate.

Grad Plus has a wide range of graduate jobs in IT for those considering a career in the sector

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