Judges

Steve ‘Buzz’ Pearce

Executive Design Leader at Skyscanner

Steve has the mind of an engineer, and the heart of an artist.Since the dawn of internet economy companies, he has led teams that have lovingly crafted products and services, that people actually use and enjoy on a daily basis.

Steve (or Buzz as many know him) is a Design Leader and knows what it takes to create products and brands with soul. He’s had the fortune of working with some of the best designers, engineers and marketeers around. Together they’ve built some of the most loved products and brands on the planet, including Skype, BBC, Lonely Planet, Lego, Alexander McQueen, and Jamie Oliver.

He also serves on the board of the Design Council, working with government and policy makers on design’s contribution to national economy and alround improvements to society.

Buzz leads the wonderful design and research team at Skyscanner.

The Skyscanner mission:
“Everything we do is for you, the traveller. Your trust and happiness is sacred to us. We believe in eliminating the pain of travel and make it ecologically sustainable. It’s a wonderful world out there, and you have access to all of it on Skyscanner.
PS, We’re about 1% done.”

Saswati Saha Mitra

Head of Driver and Money Research at Uber

Saswati Saha Mitra leads Uber’s Driver and Risk and Payments UX Research team. Spread across 3 continents, her teams keep Uber accountable to its global user base and their financial wellbeing. In her day to day life, she sets the vision behind Uber’s product research roadmap, focuses on building a diverse and positive work culture and supports building scalable processes that allow Uber research to flourish in an agile environment. Some of the work her team is proud to own include the redesign of the driver app, launching a loyalty program for gig economy workers, lite apps and being able to pay for an Uber experience in cash around the world.

Saswati’s passion for international product development results from conducting research in 25+ countries for some of the world’s most innovative companies – Google, Vodafone, Intel, Nokia, Whirlpool and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In her free time, she mentors children of immigrant background, helping them integrate in society on behalf of Family Action. She also advises startups on good user experience as a USP and keeps herself curious by documenting her learnings on Medium.

John Goodall

Senior UX Consultant at Bunnyfoot

John has over 15 years’ experience in usability, e-Commerce, digital marketing and user-centred design, and is a Senior Consultant at Bunnyfoot.

Prior to working at Bunnyfoot, he was Head of e-Commerce at RM Education where he employed a plethora of user-centred approaches in transforming and optimising their online channel.

John has a BA(Ed) in Music from Reading University, a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the IDM and is CPUX qualified. He has studied and practised a number of principles of UX including designing for persuasion, emotion and trust, and is a keen advocate for inclusive design.

Read his Q&A.

Olga Generozova

Strategic Design Lead at Shell

Olga is a Principal Service Designer at Shell, where her focus is on delivering a unified approach to solve business problems at a global scale using customer-centred design, data science, lean innovation and agile methods.

Olga is passionate about initiating and implementing change in global organisations using service design. She loves looking at companies as complex ecosystems and understanding how organisational structures, incentives, behaviours, mindset and culture influence creation of products and services.

Olga is working with innovation teams across Shell and external consultancies to develop, test and continuously improve a unified methodology for delivering products and services at Shell and champion it within the organisation.

Olga has worked in private and public sector, on projects ranging from large business transformation and cultural change to defining new product and service propositions from scratch. She has worked for global organisations and fast growing startups in a wide variety of industries, her clients include Sky, Vodafone, Virgin Media, Citrix, NHS Digital, Just Eat, Waitrose, Tesco Clubcard, Barclays Capital, HSBC, VISA, GSK, Tate Modern, University College of London and Department of Health.

Rob Lowe

Head of Value Creation at Lego Ventures

Rob Lowe is in the senior leadership team for LEGO Ventures, a part of the wider LEGO Brand Group that is responsible for seeking out and investing in strategically relevant and innovative startups & entrepreneurs, specifically those that share the LEGO Group’s mission for becoming a force in helping children learn through play. Prior to that he was Senior Director for Digital Consumer Engagement, focused around building the strategy and driving the development of their kids’ engagement experiences. Key initiatives included continued development of LEGO.com, the new content-focused app LEGO TV – and LEGO® Life, the new creative, social and safe digital experience for kids. LEGO Life allows LEGO builders of all levels and interests to connect with a community of like-minded peers to express their creativity, share their LEGO creations, interact with LEGO characters and inspire one another in a super-safe, creative space.

Prior to joining the LEGO Group, Rob was Marketing & Product Development Director for BBC Worldwide Consumer Products and was also a senior marketer at Nintendo of Europe for several years, where he helped launch the Wii and the Nintendo DS in the UK market.

Claire Dracott

Head of UX & Design at News UK

As the Head of UX&D at News UK, Claire works on some of the countries largest media and audio publications; The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times and Wireless. Claire manages a large team of UX designers, UI designers and researchers who focus on optimising the news reading experience, keeping on top of readers behaviours and looks at acquisition ensuring to continue growing audiences.

Claire has been at News UK for eight years and has experience in how best to set up a team from scratch and finding a voice in a large corporation. Claire led the redesign of multiple new products which include The Sun’s smartphone app, The Times and The Sunday Times smartphone app and responsive website which have all seen great successes.

Passionate about user centred design and the role research plays in influencing roadmaps and iterating concepts.

Caspar Below

Head of Digital at Shelter

Caspar Below is Head of Digital at Shelter, an organisation which helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness. He leads Shelter’s ongoing journey towards user centric products and services through technology.

As a lean practitioner and agilist, he builds and supports cross-functional product and service teams and helps organisations to use digital and lean innovation to meet the challenges of change. He supports teams to leverage design thinking, putting user research and service design at the heart of innovation.

Recognising that none of those things are achieved by any individual alone, he is passionate about self-organising teams, peer support, lifelong learning and safe work environments.

Caspar has been developing and managing digital products and services for the not for profit and private sector for over 15 years.

Matthew Hanlon

Director Digital Direct at Nike

Fortunate to have experienced working with some of the worlds most iconic Brands. A creative problem solver who loves applying analytical approaches, whilst leveraging a firm grasp of industry leading digital techniques and new methodologies to collaboratively embed complex solutions within corporations. Currently in my third year at Nike, leading Nike Direct Digital in EMEA West, focused on editorial content & membership / CRM strategy transformation across Nike digital platforms (.com, apps, social, email) and in Nike Direct Stores.

I am a Rugby obsessed Brit, who having lived in the USA has an unhealthy penchant for American sports but my life now revolves around my beautiful wife and two crazy boys.

Elliot Olivestone

UX Visual Design Manager at Marks and Spencer

After graduating with a fine arts degree, Elliot ventured into the world of digital product design. Starting out at agencies in London and Tel Aviv he have since worked stints at Rolls Royce, British Gas, TUI travel and currently Marks and Spencer. During his career, he had the privilege to lead teams of talented designers and been involved in three major digital rebrands.

Being passionate about all things design and creating engaging digital products that help solve problems for users and businesses alike is the driving force.

Elliot’s current position at M&S has allowed him to set the design direction across a variety of digital product including: M&S.COM both in the UK and internationally in over 30 countries. He works as part of a wider digital product ownership team throughout all aspects of the design process, adopting agile and lean workflows. Continuously reviewing and improving design operations, He is passionate about creating scalable design systems which helps to stream-line work flows between design and development and keeps the wider business abreast of developments.

He is always looking to keep the creative juices flowing and is a keen musician, painter and martial artist.

James Salmon

Head of Digital Products at EE

James is Head if Digital Products at BT Consumer, overseeing a portfolio of apps and websites for both EE and BT brands. Prior to his role at EE/BT, he has led product initiatives in start-ups and multinationals and has been fortunate to experience stints living and working abroad in Europe and Asia.

Gavin Harris

Lead UX Designer at Dyson

As Lead UX Designer at Dyson, Gavin leads a talented team of UX designers with the aim of ensuring the digital touchpoints are as world class as the engineering. Working closely with creative and insight teams at Dyson and markets around the World, from China to the US, to ensure users are at the heart of Dyson’s design strategy.

Gavin has been working as a UX Designer since 2005 and during that time has worked with brands such as Virgin, Orange, Unilever, Kia Motors and Land Rover as well both the UK and Welsh Government.

In his spare time, Gavin enjoys travelling, cooking, following Rugby, Football and making the most of the beautiful Welsh coastline with his family.

Read his Q&A.

Jenny Southwell

Global Head of Digital Customer Experience at HSBC

Jenny Southwell is Global Head of Digital Customer Engagement responsible for setting and governing the digital design and brand standards for the HSBC across all business lines. She is a Digital Customer Experience professional with over 20 years Digital experience.

She began her career at first direct where she was Head of Digital Marketing and launched text message banking, WAP banking, mobile marketing, aggregation and developed their e sales capabilities leading to 50% of total sales through e channels.

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