I tend to think of myself as a futurist, I immediately see the possibilities of technologies as part of a much larger ecosystem than the one it is intended for. I look for ways to test and assess “How we might Live” with the technology and how it will adapt our lives, our cultures and move humanity onwards to greater things. Digital Living In our modern societies we have relieved ourselves of the burdens of the industrial age and are in the process of doing the same to the digital age. We had digitized the same old processes, making them easier to do, involving less time so weRead More →

Data, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence Clients don’t understand their customers, they just think they do! It’s not for the lack of trying or spending millions on developing and building huge data systems, the problems are many but can be traced back to one simple thing; “Data only describes part of the what is happening and almost nothing of the why, let alone what should be done to change the situation” Clients have been sold that data gives them the answers and that big data will close the loop for them to understand the upstream and downstream thinking of their customers, WRONG. Douglas Adams noticed the realRead More →

Thank you to everyone who attended our (Karl Smith and Thom Heslop) talk at SXSW, it’s the start of a long road into a really complex and contextual problem. But being silent in the crowd as the King walks by with no clothes on is not an option, peoples lives, futures and prosperity is at risk, not to mention the risk of multi-trillion dollar lawsuits that can follow by knowingly distracting people who are engaged in critical tasks. The IoT – Internet of Things (Ubiquity) is the next great opportunity for commerce to engage with business enterprises and customers. However, there is no unified approachRead More →

I’m speaking at SXSW Interactive 2016 on Cognition Clash in The Internet of Things, if your in Austin, TX let me know? The IoT is the next great opportunity for business enterprises to engage with customers. However there is no unified approach to the mental load between context of use, physical interaction, mental interaction and digital interaction. This cognitive landscape is inhabited by associated experiences that gel human behavior 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 defense technologies, where clear outcomes and prescribed mental modelsRead More →

I should say at the beginning this is one inception of the IoT, which may or may not be confirmed by products or more importantly by human adoption. The foundation for this thinking goes back to a notion of the ‘social life of things’. If things themselves exist and have a number of trajectories and states then those things also potentially have accessible and useful human touch points in the IoT. Much of the interactions we humans have become used to are in fact simple touch-points to hidden and complex interactions within dispersed and non-interlinked at the core technology systems. This simplification process of creatingRead More →

This song really touched my heart and made me think of all the friends who have not made it this far, especially the 18 who died on Pan Am Flight 103. Your never forgotten, hardly lived, but you were good people and you are remembered. And to Robert de Lorimier, who I had to tell what happened, then got him very, very drunk. I never really said much about this, but it changed me forever. Years later he visited me in Scotland and we both went to Lockerbie and paid our respects. He and another guy had decided to travel in Europe over Christmas orRead More →

UCD2015 Conference 23rd & 24th October, Deans Mews, 11-13 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0AN. We are delighted to confirm… [Keynote] The Joys and Sorrows of the Digital World: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Digital Landscapes Patrick Jordan, Consultant Business Psychologist [Keynote] Intelligence Everywhere: the Rise of Sympathetic Machines Susan Cook, Senior Designer, Native Design Steven Kelly, Electronic Engineer, Native Design [Keynote] Brainstruments – Adventures in Design, Cognition, and Musical Creativity Lee Sankey, Director, Designer, Innovator, Strategist | @leesankey [Keynote] Almost Everything I’ve Learned From 5 Years of Lean UX Jeff Gothelf, Author of Lean UX, Speaker, Organizational Designer | @jboogie Self-Presentation Online Aaron Parker, Senior UX Consultant, Nomensa | @AaronIRLRead More →

1. Play “Atari Breakout”(Google Images) Go to Google Images, type “Atari Breakout”, hit the Search button, wait for a second for the game to start. 2. Play Pacman Type “Pacman” and click Search. Click to start playing the game. 3. Play Zerg Rush Type “zerg rush” and click Search in Google Search to play this cheeky game. Your page is taken over by little o’s and you have to click on them destroy them, before they destroy your search results. 4. Input Handwriting for Translation Did you know that on Google translate, you can write input words you want to translate via handwriting? Go to Google Translator,Read More →

Description 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. Questions What isRead More →

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 you’re an H1b sponsor for the USA pleaseRead More →

MVP is all people talk about in development these days, like it’s the fix for every problem, unfortunately it creates a whole new set of problems and a certain amount of complacency that is often damaging the brands that deliver MVP’s. Minimum Viable Product MVP The minimum viable product (MVP) is a product which has just enough features to gather validated learning (often too slowly) about the product and its continued development. A minimum viable product has just those core features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. MVP Features A new feature in an application may be provided in an existing system orRead More →

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 inRead More →

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.Read More →

Every dollar spent on UX brings in between $2 and $100 dollars in return. This is gained by spending on UX not making things look pretty, it’s not graphics its making the product, service or information system meet the business KPI’s and the customers expectations, desires and needs. Forrester Research finds that “implementing a focus on customers’ experience increases their willingness to pay by 14.4 %, reduces their reluctance to switch brands by 15.8 %, and boosts their likelihood to recommend your product by 16.6 %”. Making things for Users/Customers makes the business relationship are real one rather than just some marketing hype.Read More →

How do you design the experience? You can design a framework or architecture but the experience is in someone’s mind and in their emotions. UX research or UX analysis all make lots of sense but UX design does not, but the real point here is the breaking of the UX process in to sections. The practice of breaking the process is clearly done by people who don’t understand it. I keep meeting UX researchers who are excited that I am recruiting UX people, but to me not being able to do the full process creates too many limitations on them as viable UX people. ApartRead More →

A UX portfolio shows the candidate is a thief and the interviewer opens a legal claim against them for viewing confidential information. The request for UX portfolios are what happens when graphic designers end up in charge of a UX department. In graphics, most things get published in the public domain so it’s completely fine to see a portfolio of their work. But in UX the wireframes contain critical business information regarding ‘How it Works’ and that belongs to the client, forever. It’s what the clients are paying for in UX, revealing it to a third party is a breach of contract which opens anRead More →

As with Agile, UX has suffered fools having a go and failing. Focusing on titles, roles, activities or outputs misses the essential process that has not been applied by qualified, able and intelligent people who are able to deliver. No amount of talking about wireframes without understanding that anyone can produce a wireframe, just like anyone can produce a presentation can reduce the risk of confusing a delivery mechanism with the deliverable itself. “Wireframes are not the deliverable in UX” The deliverables of UX are the user research, business research, domain research, usability, accessibility, site architecture, enterprise architecture, data architecture, control language, logic model, engagement model,Read More →

“UX and Development cannot exist in the same Agile workstream” might sound like an outlandish claim but if you fully understand, it’s obvious. Forcing things to work as with the picture above is not a good idea. Can UX be Agile yes, of course in so far that all the effort and artefacts required to deliver UX can exist in an Agile UX workstream. UX includes user research, user requirement, KPI’s, system-wide taskflows, concepts, concept testing, persona definition, user roles, user journeys, usability and accessibility standards, sitemaps, key pathway wireframes. Development can also be Agile, but not all of it, infrastructure and front end needRead More →

I remember being in the discussion at a state owned investment bank when the discussion was being had about which front-end language should be used on their new system interfaces and they choose Silverlight. This choice was known with the full knowledge that Microsoft was going to drop it as it was not in their new architecture. We discussed HTML5 but Silverlight was chosen, over objections. So now 3 years on I still see them recruiting Silverlight people. I have to ask at what point before Microsoft stops supporting Silverlight in 2021 will someone work out that they need to stop building new interfaces andRead More →

It’s just the most embarrassing thing to hear intelligent people say UI/UX. It makes professional people cringe because your left wondering should you care that they are exposing ignorance or just let them get on with sounding like an idiot. I mean their ignorance is not your responsibility after all, or is it? So what’s so bad? Well not knowing that UI is a tiny subset of UX should not be that bad? It’s the total lack of knowledge that irks, I think. I mean when you first went to school there was always some kid who thought it was funny to pee in theRead More →

Best practice, puting the missing part in a puzzle

User Experience (UX) why is it important? User experience is so important because it enables client companies to get to the heart of their relationship with their customers without the marketing glamor that hides how they really feel and what they really experience. Client companies spend a great deal of money creating myths about what they do and their relationship to their customers but they also need the reality that user experience research brings. Ultimately user experience is about the ability to make decisions based upon re-creatable rigorous scientific research (avoiding one person’s view) involving real customers to create actionable information for design and theRead More →

The UX point of view is we have no point of view, that’s the point of UX (in fact it’s been created that way) any person who can offer a UX point of view (without actual user and business perspective) is not a UX practitioner. I get really concerned when I’m asked for my opinion by people who say they understand user experience, my opinion is of no importance in regard of delivering my clients a system designed to engaged with their target audience. The target audiences and individual users expectations, experience, desires, tasks, objectives, capabilities are of the utmost importance, but to assume IRead More →

UX afinity diagram

What is a User in Professional UX? Below is a simple guide to find out if you have users involved in your project. A person who is part (employed or service team) of a contracted consultancy – IS NOT A USER A person who is part (employed or service team) of a client company project team including sponsors and stakeholders – IS NOT A USER A person who does not represent the primary targeted audience (based upon user screening protocols) – IS NOT A USER A person who does not provide an independent non partisan (providing both positive and negative experiences) view – IS NOT A USER If your user falls into any one of the above groupsRead More →

Best practice, puting the missing part in a puzzle

User Experience (UX) looks pretty simple can anyone do it? No it’s a skill and knowledge based activity, I look for communicators with formal science qualifications (BSc, MSc or PhD), standards knowledge, creativity and genius level intelligence. Wow you need to be a genius to do User Experience (UX)? Not exactly, but it helps. User Experience is a complex translation process, requirements are tested with users and transformed. These user requirements are then filtered through standards and then transformed again into concepts. The concepts are then transformed into functional and non functional specification (mostly as user stories) which are transformed again into wireframes, annotations andRead More →

After a year and a half of planning and work UCD2012 is almost due to start. It started as a conversation on Linkedin for me, then for a while between contacts became all consuming to make it happen. As a contractor myself I argued for an event that would also be available on a Saturday as I know how hard it is to motivate someone to lose a day’s rate and then pay for a conference on top of that. To my knowledge UCD2012 is the only United Kingdom conference to focus on it’s users in this way. It’s totally appropriate for a user centredRead More →