Judge’s Q&A: Jack Holmes

Judge’s Q&A: Jack Holmes


Judge: Jack Holmes
Role: Digital UX Lead at Nationwide Building Society

  1. Do you have a favourite app & website in terms of the design and user experience?

    Gourmet Burger Kitchen app. It’s one of those apps that has a bit of personality. You know someone has taken the time not just to create a usable app, but achieved what so many of us aim for: delight.

    The first time I ordered a take away, I won a reward, free bacon sauce with my next order. Who doesn’t love free bacon sauce? That’s what I call a delightful experience. It remembers my favorite orders automatically, reminds me that I usually order the honey comb shake when I order the taxi driver burger. (If you’ve tried one of their honey comb shakes you’ll know why this feature is so important). They’re rolling out the ‘order from your table’ feature so you don’t have to get up to order, of course it remembers your payment details and most importantly I’m only 1 order away from a free burger.

    It’s the integration with the whole customer experience that makes this app so great.

  1. Which industries, in your opinion, tend to deliver the worst user experiences, and why?

    I’m slightly embarrassed to say it’s the industry I work in, banking has some abysmal experiences. Why does it take a week for a cheque to clear? 2 days for a payment to be delivered? Why every time I go into a branch am I stood at a counter whilst the person on the other side seems to be typing out a war and peace novel for the simplest of transactions? Of course there are many reasons why all these things happen and the excuse of ‘oh but it’s a bank so that’s acceptable’ isn’t going to last much longer.

    Finance startups are springing up every day, consumers will only put up with the big banks inefficiencies for so long. We’re about to embark on a new era of banking, strap yourselves in.

  2. What has been the greatest game changer in the UX and usability sectors over the past 10 years?
    3G Cellular data. For a long time we knew mobile was going to be big and we were a bit scared of it. But it never really took off. SMS services never really caught on. WAP and the like didn’t really go anywhere, everyone was saying mobile would take over the world, but it just wasn’t. Then reliable, fast, cellular data become widely available, and boom all the analysts were right. It’s the trigger that introduced the mass market to being connected whenever and wherever.
  3. What do you think are the biggest challenges companies face utilising UX?
    Getting UX represented at a strategic level within organisations. Budgets and strategies are too often set without proper consultation with the people inheriting those decisions as tricky technical limitations or requirements that serve no real user benefit. I look forward to the day every organisation has a chief experience officer, and those that don’t will die out because of it.
  4. Do you have any UX pet peeves?
    Form labels in form inputs. They’re like oil and water, the two shouldn’t ever mix. Put the label above the field, or go nuts and put it beside the field but don’t put the label in the field. Hours and hours of watching users not be able to check their forms before submission because now the label has vanished, skip over a field because they thought it was already complete and just have unnecessary difficulties because of that poor design decision which has no rationale justification drives me crazy.
  5. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
    Omnipotence because it basically gives you every power you could ever think of.