UX for landscape architecture


The HERE + NOW team took to the streets last week to do some face-to-face user research about how people local to Canonmills, Edinburgh, feel about their local area. Check out our video of this process below.

We call this a 'PREP Talk' - a preparation and information gathering event -  asking the people who use and experience a place how they feel about it at present, and what their hopes and aspirations are for the future.  The  'PREP Talk' provided  essential feedback that can then be 'fed forward' to help set the agenda for the follow-up PEP Talk event.  Who knows better what improvements their local places need than the people who live or regularly pass through there?

This is linked to our concept of  'User Experience Design for Place-making'. A focus on user-centred, participatory, iterative and bottom-up approaches to both engage people in place and provide a framework within which local people can meet each other, share their views, and work together to take action to improve their local places.

Following this initial phase of talking to local people about their experiences, we then bring the community, local businesses and other stakeholders together through events, talks and discussions to help kick-start action for improving their local places...  'PEP Talks'. They are about People Engaging in Place, a call to action and a kick-starter for local communities to work together and drive positive change. All whilst having a good time and meeting other interesting people! More on the PEP Talk series soon..

Thanks to Architecture + Design Scotland for their support in developing this process!


PEP Talks / PREP Talks from Jenny Humberstone on Vimeo.

HERE + NOW take to the streets to do some face-to-face user research about how people local to Canonmills feel about their local area. We call this a 'PREP Talk' - preparation and research ahead of a PEP Talk event. At a PEP Talk we then bring stakeholders together through discussion and talks to help kick-start action for improving their local places.



New Year is the perfect pivot-point for reflection, thinking about what we do, but also for thinking forward to what we are going to be doing… a time for fresh starts!

And it’s a new beginning for the three of us at HERE + NOW as we consolidate a range of activities and work into one big super-charged agency for change. We’re ready to design, engage and curate with a renewed focus on people and place, and to pilot our ideas in UX for landscape architecture. But more on that later.

Putting people at the heart of the design of places is critical – would you ever design for a place without ‘consulting’ the site? Typically designers will survey and analyse in detail a site’s conditions to understand its characteristics, traits, systems, flows… so why wouldn’t we do the same to understand the needs, characteristics, potentials, resource, and dynamics of the people relating to a place? We’re interested in new methods for how we engage people in mainstream design processes, and hope to initiate and demonstrate an approach relevant for anyone working in the design and delivery of place-making.

At HERE + NOW we have strong principles rooted in the importance of understanding the ‘people’ layer of a place; it’s what makes for really meaningful design.

So this New Year, why not join us in exploring techniques in UX for landscape architecture, and follow us as we look to how engagement can become part of a fuller and more 'real' design process!


  • UI: the user interface, is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. You might call this, the 'digital landscape'.
  • UX Design: or 'User Experience Design';  is the process of researching, testing, and iterative design processes that enable you to create that digital landscape in a way that makes it accessible, enjoyable and easy to navigate.  This gives the user the best experience possible. 
  • What if we could learn from the relatively new fields of digital UX Design and translate some of the lessons learned and iterative user-centred methods from the digitally designed landscape to the physical designed landscape and places?