Judge’s Q&A: Richard Lewis

Judge’s Q&A: Richard Lewis

Design Director at Sainsbury’s, Richard Lewis, takes our Judge’s Q&A next. He’ll share what he thinks has been the biggest game-changer of the past 10 years, and what he wishes his superpower was…

Do you have a favourite app or website, in terms of the design and user experience?

I’ve been using Monzo for a couple of years and it still provides a refreshing experience when it comes to managing your money day-to-day and making payments, compared to traditional banking apps. Transaction information is thoughtfully designed in the app and I really appreciate the openness of the community and how Monzo make their product roadmap transparent. The one time I lost my card, the ability to freeze and re-order a new card in the app was great.

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

HR systems within companies can be extremely frustrating for a people-focused service. As more HR is shifting to self-service, there is an overhead for employees to struggle through third-party systems to carry out day to day tasks like manage their personal details, performance management and recruitment. These tools have been previously niche and intended for internal HR teams, so user experience was not a priority. New companies are now delivering products which do this much better by taking a consumer-centric approach to UX.

What has been the greatest game-changer in the UX and usability sectors over the past 10 years?

The mass adoption of smartphones has meant the expectation levels of consumers using digital services throughout their day is as high as the best last experience they had on their phone. There are no excuses for bad UX anymore.

What do you think are the biggest challenges companies face utilising UX?

Creating a culture and environment where designers feel welcomed, valued and inspired. This is improving in many organisations but is not in the DNA of many companies that now really need UX. Additionally, embracing agile ways of working to get products delivered to customers quickly so the UX process of iteration can show its true value.

Do you have any UX-pet peeves?

Designers using animations when they don’t add anything meaningful to the experience or context!

If you could have any super power what would it be, and why?

Teleportation would be amazing! So much of our lives we spend commuting and travelling along the same routes and distances… time that could be better spent!