Judge: Matt Lindop
Role: Head of Experience Design at Whitbread Hotels
Do you have a favourite app & website in terms of the design and user experience?
CityMapper is hard to beat: powerful functionality combined with a delightful experience. There’s hardly a week that goes by when I don’t rely on it, and no other service comes close to it as utility – but it’s also fun.
Which industries, in your opinion, tend to deliver the worst user experiences, and why?
Mainstream banking is still a UX nightmare, with legacy systems and corporate lethargy still all too apparent. Loving the disruptive newcomers in this space: Atom, Mondo.
I’m personally not a fan of aggregators, both in the finance and travel sectors. The race to the bottom (on price) is at the expense of almost everything else.
What has been the greatest game changer in the UX and usability sectors over the past 10 years?
Google. Even a few years ago other search engines were still trying to vie for attention, but the impact of this dominance on digital shouldn’t be underestimated. From a consumer perspective this has simplified the job of finding content – for brands it has got very complex (and expensive) very quickly.
The application of Material Design is an interesting extension of the Google environment, with a clear desire to envelop the consumer in one consistent experience. Still work in progress!
What do you think are the biggest challenges companies face utilising UX?Moving to a post-digital mindset where UX rather than being something that someone/a team does, is something inherent in many parts of the organisation. Design Thinking has been helpful here, bringing basic concepts such as customer empathy and behavioural research into the mainstream, and the boardroom.
Do you have any UX pet peeves?
I’m really struggling with some specific elements within Material Design: the floating action button, the vertical dots button – both behave inconsistently at the moment, and regularly confuse my simple mind.
If you could have any super power what would it be and why?The ability to replace the emotion, fear with hope. Fear is too often an obstacle to brilliant design.