Karl Smith Experience Consultant human knowledge belongs to the world


Welcome to my blog

Karl A Smith

Karl Smith has over twenty years experience in user centred design based on academic studies in design and computing and experience of digital management, digital marketing, customer experience (big data) product design, service design, information architecture, usability and user experience. He has worked in creative agencies, consultancies and client side across most major sectors including Public, Tourism, FMCG, Defence, Education, Energy, Publishing, Retail and in recent years he has focused on Banking, Financial services and Wealth Management. Recent clients include Tesco Bank, RBS, Deutsche Bank, GE Money, Skandia and the Bank of Moscow working on diverse project streams including on boarding, self servicing, security, trading and research systems, back office risk and finance systems, executive and regulatory systems delivered in software, application and responsive web formats.

He is an active member of many communities of practice including the, ACM, UXPA, BCS, Scrum Alliance and has been honoured by the British Computer Society for his eminence and significant contribution to the fields of UCD and User Experience with a Fellowship.


Looking for my next adventure

Time for change

I'm looking for my next adventure, it may be an odd way to describe work, but for me I love what I do for a living.

Simply I solve complex people, business, product, process and engagement problems, I try to make the world a better place. I also create great jobs for other people and have started the careers of literally hundreds of people, who would otherwise have never got into commerce.

I currently looking for roles in digital leadership, start ups, M&A, business change, digital transformation, digital strategy, customer experience for FMCG, Banking, Telco or Government.

If your looking for an innovator, with the ability to really solve any problem please contact me?


Customer desire leads disruptive innovation

A great deal of effort is being spent on customer experience and user experience that misses the point, experience is about desire, not process or fulfilment.

Desire drives behaviour

Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) proposed the concept of psychological hedonism, which asserts that the "fundamental motivation of all human action is the desire for pleasure". Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1588–1679) claimed that "self-consciousness is desire." Psychologists often describe desires as different from emotions as they are mechanical and a response to chemical imbalance or lack, such as the stomach which needs food, the body needs oxygen, as opposed to, emotions that arise from a person's mental state. There is a huge study in this area but that not the focus here, if we can agree that desire is a key driver in behaviour how is customer experience and user experience meeting this central requirement? The image above is one key to desire but not the only one.

Reactive behaviour

In accepting the above we open the digital realm to a fundamental understanding that changes the paradigm from understood and herded users into a much wilder and complex behavioural model that explains why user experience and customer consultancy is not scaleable or easily globalised.

Desire affects the digital business paradigm

The constant attrition and expense of the current digital model is hugely frustrating for business, if they buy plant equipment there is a defined cost, depreciation, training model and risk factors, in digital much of what they are sold is hopeful. Key performance indicators are fudged and often refined later (as unattainable) however if desire is considered the starting point and an opportunity this disruptor can change the outcome and all the project outputs.

Understanding desire for disruptive innovation

Many of the current bunch of disruptive innovations are technology lead, where people have attributed their desires to the capabilities and experiences provided. This works with cutting edge or refocused technologies, how does it work with travel, banking, food shopping? Engaging customers in desire based research with a sub focus on a concept like banking as a counterpoint enables the target audience to create the disruption rather than be disaffected they become the leaders of product revolutions.

Delivering disruptive innovation in a consultancy

UCD Innovation Process Invested by Karl Smith in 2001, updated in 2003, 2008 Copyright 2001 Karl Smith

UCD Innovation Process Invested by Karl Smith in 2001, updated in 2003, 2008 Copyright 2001 Karl Smith

The exact method of delivering disruptive innovation is proprietary to Karl Smith.



Definition of UX

Philosophy of UX

User experience is about making people's lives better. A persons experience is based in their mind and their emotions and can be established by both interaction and reflective (upon biographical experience) inputs.

In UX we define inputs in digital or real world frameworks which enable the creation of solutions that have meaningful impact.

Overview of UX

The current approach to UX is that it is the practical implementation of audience drivers, cognitive acuity, usability standards and accessibility laws. And the integration of business context into user context, to facilitate alignment and communication.
Definition; A user is a representative of the target audience. They are not involved in the project in any way. They will use the final product or service either as a customer or as an internal business user.

The UX Process (Part 1)

We first try to 'Understand the Problem' from the user perspective (user research) so that we can create User Requirements, these combined with Business Requirements and Implicit Requirements create Project Requirements. This process often called Discovery and can find new requirements, challenge business requirements or redirect the entire project along a route that delivers the business or organisation what they want but in a totally different way.
To de-risk human error (needing to be right) we work from researched archetypes (persona modelling) which creates the opportunity to 'think like a user' a great support tool if users are not always available.