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. Karl Smith is a Founder and the Chairperson of The User Centred Design Society.


SXSW Submission Cognition Clash in The Internet of Things


The Internet of Things is the next great opportunity for commerce to engage with business enterprises. However there is no unified approach to the mental load between physical interaction, mental interaction and digital interaction. This cognitive landscape is inhabited by associated experiences that gel human behaviour and machine interfaces through, touch, mouse and keyboard. The usage of sight, voice and thought create new complexities and risks which have until recently been the subject of defence technologies, where clear outcomes and prescribed mental models exist. The diversification of these touch points and multi-point human logic models clash and derail human thinking patterns.


What is the problem, its simple enough for machine to machine communication why is there an issue with humans in this machine landscape?

If humans are enabled by digital, do we still need attributed thinking to understand interactive artefacts, can they just be something new?

If human multi-tasking in a machine landscape desirable if each system operates differently what impact is there in the real world?





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.