Agile Business

I was recently contacted about a project where a company in London intends on becoming Agile at a business level. I was somewhat taken a back at the concept as I know several other companies had tried and expensively failed to dramatically change how a business works. So I asked the critical question who is saying this can be done The answer not unsurprisingly top experts from the USA The term experts from out of town always concerns me, because its a throw away for don’t worry your pretty little head, its all taken care of My supposed role would have been digital transformation, IRead More →

In the same way that digital downloads has crippled the mass market of vinyl and CD’s does Blockchain means the end of financial services and banking straight through processing and the accountancy service model? By reviewing the cost reduction culture of recent years it is understandable why the banking industry has become ripe for Lean Straight Through Processing (STP) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Accountancy. But like other change and transformation activities embedding irrelevant processes in technologies, STP and then BPO accountancy is missing the essential point, they are no longer required if Blockchain is deployed. instead of building Blockchain in the image of Banks,Read More →

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 →

Humanity in Digital Landscapes

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 →

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 →

Investor High Level Processes

There are several types of on boarding that relate to both business and investors structure and size, their specific purpose for investing and their local regulatory constraints. The Main Participants I will be focusing on four main participants in this post financial advisers (FA) and investors (I), either or both of these may be constituted by companies, funds or individuals and para planners (PP), local office administrators (external or internal) (AD), company back office administrators (AD). Other participants are traders, local regulation, international treaties, company regulation, regulatory reporting, trustees, product managers and the security services. Financial Adviser The role of the financial adviser is shapedRead More →

Ever since transformation and change were linked to technology some of the worst parts of both have been combined on a national level and within major companies. Giving users less functionality than they currently have and telling them it’s a great leap forward. It is astonishing but this is the most common failing in projects, for some reason senior stakeholders appear to be convinced that technology is good and experience is bad. And if they concentrate on a new end state, all that is bad will go away. In a sad way all that is experience and knowledge are the things that go away oftenRead More →

reach and richness in analytics

Analytics for e-Commerce can be split between two contrasting and not necessarily companion aspects. analytics of success in terms of market development, profile or response through hit or link ratings analytics of sales or revenue Dependant upon the purpose of a company’s e-commerce deployment one or other but rarely both of these analytics will seek to prove the status of the investment and allow informed strategic decision making. According to the United Kingdoms Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2002 “e-commerce is likely to have a huge impact on the way we do business. It has the potential to lead to dramatic growth in trade, increase markets, improveRead More →

Design thinking in User Experience

1. Anyone can do user experience, nope! I meet a lot of people claiming to do user experience, process and deliverables aside, they don’t have a usability background so they cannot do real user experience. User experience is a personal capability (not all usability people can do user experience) based upon the experience of conducting usability testing and user research. Usability testing and user research provides the standards and experience of the user that is needed to understand their perspective, illicit the correct (there are wrong ones) requirements in workshops or testing and represent them in projects. I met (in 2006) a UX expert, I’mRead More →

Information Systems

Given the response from the last post I’m going to take the educational publishing example a bit further, if I have time before my next contract I will also create an investment banking example. I am also being asked for diagrams that explain these relationships, again if I have time I will do these also. Educational publishing Information Architecture (IA) The last point in the previous post was describing multiple audiences looking at the same content from different perspectives. The example in educational publishing the audiences often include; Distributors Sellers Institution Teachers Pupils Parents Each one of these groups will have a very specific contextRead More →

Requirements gathering in Banking change programs are over detailed, over long and for the most part undeliverable. There is and has been a huge requirement for change in British banking for several years as senior bankers have sought to lever the capabilities of technology and distributed workforces. This has in turn a great opportunity for IT consultancies to enforce their business models on the banks and make huge amounts of money without delivering anything. This has of course not gone unnoticed and forced many banks to increase their internal IT teams, but the problem remains, as the overall strategy is wrong. The current strategy forRead More →

Information Systems

IA is not another name for UX User experience (UX) and Information Architecture (IA) are very different and have separate skill sets, processes and outputs. I often talk to people who add IA on the their CV as if it’s some simple skill; IA is actually more complex and difficult than UX IA is also hundreds of years old as an activity while UX is less than twenty in it’s current form. Information architecture is involved in the classification and structure of information. User experience is involved in; defining who the audience is, what they can do, how they can do it and matching the aspirationRead More →

Design thinking in User Experience

UX is a highly complex set of research tools and outputs, the use of which is dependant upon time, cost and the clients willingness to accept them. Question 1, why are you there? If the client were to think in best practice terms which for them would deliver exactly what they require then everyone would have a great experience of the process. Unfortunately it is pretty much a given that clients want to prove themselves knowledgable about well everything, in control and this is one of the main problems. I often hear clients say “I understand our users” or “I built this company so IRead More →

An interview with a UX Guru

Like my last post How to Hire a Head of User Experience this post is not intended to supersede the experience of a really good HR or employment agency person but to bring clarity around the differences in the roles. A Director of User Experience is not really the next level on the business ladder for a Head of UX or a lead user experience or senior user experience person. The reason is that it’s a business role with little or no actual practical activity in the UX domain. A Director of UX is someone with an extra level of expertise related to management, financeRead More →

An interview with a UX Guru

Head of anything is evocative of responsibility, power and knowledge, but what does Head of User Experience (UX) really mean and how do you know if your getting one? User experience in its value and effectiveness is geographical and sector based, that is to say it means different things to different people by country, by business and by route to the role (in-house HR or agency service). With this many variants how can anyone be sure that they have hired a Head of User Experience? One of my colleagues in a recent contract described User Experience as turning the turd (poo) into a piece ofRead More →

There is a major problem with user experience as it evolves, many practitioners are not underwriting their output with recent ux research but are relying on past patterns. In turn this has caused the creation of streams or levels of UX capability and delivery; Subsistence, Resolution, Gain or Advantage UX.Read More →

I have worked with a number of banks and financial services companies mainly in user experience and team management, I have also been involved in the development of new business models. I keep being asked to provide structure information for various clients so feel it simpler to make the enclosed structural diagram available here as it may also help digital agencies and new start-ups understand the relationship between various roles. Author Links linkedin: profile references: business twitter: userexperienceuRead More →

The following is a paper I wrote in 2005. From WWW/Internet 2005 Proceedings Converting browsers to buyers: exploring what drives consumer choice in internet e-commerce Why do internet users behave as they do, are their activities solely determined by website design? Or do they create their own pathways as a response to designated systems. For many, internet design is about the imposition of schemas, predetermined flows and consumer motifs, allowing the shepherding of an understood and mapped user towards buying products and services. However if this were true then every browser would also be a buyer. The underlying concepts of current website design rely on a numberRead More →