Judge’s Q&A: Antonia Barton

Judge’s Q&A: Antonia Barton

In our final Judge’s Q&A for 2018, Antonia Barton, Director of Marketing and Digital at BT, tells us what her favourite app is, what she thinks are the biggest challenges facing brands when it comes to UX, and the biggest game-changer of the last 10 years…

Do you have a favourite app or website, in terms of the design and user experience?

My favourite app, by far, is Amazon.  Despite the fact they are the biggest retailer in the world surfacing the most products, they still manage to make the app simple to use and provide a great customer experience.  I particularly like the recommendation engine which continually serves up desirable options that I regularly buy.  Considering the complexity of the organisation, they get the gold star from me for brilliant usability.

Which industries, in your opinion, tend to deliver the worst user experiences, and why?

I still struggle with the supermarket apps.  Whilst I’m a regular weekly online food shopper, I find the experience clunky and far removed from the shop experience.  Alongside the reduced stock list, I find it frustrating that even after you place an order it still doesn’t guarantee you will receive that item as they may have ‘run out’.  Surely, if they know there is demand, they can manage warehouse stock accordingly?

Also, because of the nature of needing to know what you want when you online food shop, you miss that feeling of adding random new products to try. I’d like to see the supermarkets recreate their websites so I can browse an aisle visually, just as if I was in-store.  Give me the opportunity to window shop.

What has been the greatest game-changer in the UX and usability sectors over the past 10 years?

For me, it’s the ability to buy tickets online – whether it be concerts, airline or trains.  I love the fact you can do this whole process through a phone, easily and the ticket will arrive in your hand.

What do you think are the biggest challenges companies face utilising UX?

Companies still need to think harder about the customer and put themselves in their shoes. So often the business priorities rise to the surface and, as a result, the UX isn’t optimised for the end user’s needs.

In order to succeed in this digital world, a fully optimised user experience is paramount and companies must not be so naive to think otherwise.

Do you have any UX-pet peeves?

Don’t ask me several times if I want to buy – just do it!

If you could have any super power what would it be, and why?

At this moment in time, I would like to have the power to dissolve plastic.  I’ve always been conscious of how much waste there is: nappies, wipes, food packaging (I could go on), and wondered just where does it all go. The recent programmes and publicity have highlighted what an enormous problem plastic is for our environment, so if I could eradicate waste with my superpower that would be a great thing!