Senior Consultant at Bunnyfoot, John Goodall, answers our judges’ questions…
Do you have a favourite app or website, in terms of the design and user experience?
I love Airbnb. The travel industry, in general, is well behind the curve in terms of what constitutes a good multichannel service but Airbnb has been a genuine disrupter – their model redresses the balance between service provider and customer. What’s more, you get to stay in interesting apartments, rather than a soulless, homogenised hotel room. We have way more weekends away from home as a direct result of Airbnb.
Which industries, in your opinion, tend to deliver the worst user experiences, and why do you think that is?
Event booking is still a depressing experience. Unless you have lightning reflexes – or a small fortune – there’s little point trying to get tickets for big name events. If you do find tickets, and you manage to convince the website that you’re not a robot by pointing out a bunch of road signs and shop fronts (because it’s well known that these are the two things that no robots can see), you then have to contend with the ticking time-bomb payment process.
What’s been the greatest game-changer in the UX and usability sectors over the past 10 years?
Education. Clients are becoming increasingly keen to know more about the UX methodologies we employ; they want to be involved in the process, not just receive a report after the event. We’ve always encouraged this – it really helps us to do good work. Knowledgeable clients are great at spreading the word of UX amongst their organisations; they’re also able to spot the good agencies from the charlatans – and there are some unscrupulous types out there whose claims to ‘do UX’ often extend to nothing more than A/B testing.
What do you think are the biggest challenges companies face utilising UX?
Amazingly, it’s still not uncommon for larger businesses to get dragged down by the boundaries between their operational silos. This can cause huge problems when trying to provide a seamless user experience, regardless of whether the user’s touch-point is in-store, online, on the phone. Anyone who’s been passed from pillar to post on a support call, having to recount the same details to each person they’ve spoken to, knows how frustrating this can be.
Do you have any UX-pet peeves?
Since GDPR, I have to concede to being tracked, monitored, analysed (and presumably neutralised at some point), before I’m allowed to read a recipe for lemongrass and coconut sauce. Just like the ubiquitous cookie notices, I know the intention behind data protection legislation was worthy but the execution is frequently just horrible. Remember when we used to watch DVDs and you had to sit through a 30-second copyright warning, that you couldn’t skip – every time you put the DVD in – before you could watch anything? And the film industry wondered why people started downloading films…
If you could have any super power what would it be, and why?
The power to dock a week’s wages every time anyone designs, codes or authors anything inaccessible. The number of sites I see that fail to consider the simplest of things – labels for form elements; headings; appropriate alt text; text-background contrast – is really disheartening in this day and age. Mobile apps tend to be even worse.