Judge’s Q&A 2017: Paul Cooper

Judge’s Q&A 2017: Paul Cooper

Judge: Paul Cooper
Role: UX Lead Vitality Insurance

Do you have a favourite app & website in terms of the design and user experience?
I love productivity apps and websites such as Dropbox and Trello – anything that makes my life easier. But my favourite is Marvel – it enables me to build awesome prototypes that help test ideas with our users really quickly.

Which industries, in your opinion, tend to deliver the worst user experiences, and why?
Magazine publishers have really struggled with the transition from print to digital. Too many think that a page designed for print will translate to the screen without making any consideration for the differences between the two mediums. I worked for one publisher who insisted on simply putting PDFS of their magazines into an app which was an awful user experience. Though another publisher I worked for understood that responsive design was a good approach to ensure content was readable whatever the screen size.

What has been the greatest game changer in the UX and usability sectors over the past 10 years?
It’s easy to say mobile, or faster download speeds or responsive design but I believe that data is the biggest game changer. Ever more integrated services enable companies to create highly personalised digital experiences and give them the means to learn more and more about us. That’s both exciting and a little scary.

What do you think are the biggest challenges companies face utilising UX?
The investment that large companies like Google, Apple and Facebook have made in UX means that users have come to expect the same quality of experience from every other brand they interact with online. That’s not easy when your budget doesn’t run into millions of pounds and the challenge to meet user’s expectations on a tighter budget is immense.

Do you have any UX pet peeves?
Bland design is a pet peeve of mine. UX doesn’t have to mean following rigid design patterns or copying everyone else. Creativity doesn’t have to be compromised for usability.

If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
Time travel. So I can see  the cool stuff my great-great-great-great-great grandkids get to play with and witness mankind colonise another planet.