Judge’s Q&A: Gavin Harris from Dyson

Judge’s Q&A: Gavin Harris from Dyson

First in the hot seat for our Judge’s Q&A this year is Gavin Harris, Lead UX Designer at Dyson. Gavin leads a talented team of UX designers with the aim of ensuring the digital touchpoints are as world class as the engineering.

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

I have been using the Monzo app for a year now and very much enjoy the experience. The designers have clearly focused on the entire journey from top up to spending management. The clever design touches and features makes it my favourite app at the moment.

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

For me the restaurant / takeaway industry delivers a very poor experience. Trying to access an accessible menu, opening times and contact details is almost always difficult and yet quite often these websites are filled with flashy imagery and video. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve not booked a table or ordered food because of a poor user experience.

What’s been the greatest game-changer in the user experience and usability sectors over the past 10 years?

I’d say voice technology such as Amazon’s Alexa has transformed user experience both in terms of ease of use (well at times my Welsh accent causes some confusion!) and accessibility. With so many skills, from language translation to purchasing, it has been embraced by everyone from children to people with visual and physical impairments. For me it’s a game changer and will continue to grow rapidly in the coming years.

What do you think are the biggest challenges companies face when it comes to user experience?

For global companies it’s understanding your users in key markets so your website content strategy reflects their goals and culture. Quite often this level of understanding is missing so global websites are created using a single viewpoint. Take time to understand what users want, what technology they use and work closely with content teams to ensure it’s reflect in your designs.
Another key challenge is implementing an information architecture strategy so it does not grow organically and is effectively managed. If you do not, key content can become hard to find and website performance can be become poor very quickly.

Do you have any UX-pet peeves?

Usability testing dropped or not undertaken because it “takes too long” or “costs too much”. This is simply not the case.

And finally, if you could have any superpower what would it be – and why?

I’ve been lucky enough to live in places around the world including Sydney and Melbourne so I’d choose teleporting. I could have a coffee in New York, dive in the Great Barrier Reef or watch some sport in Melbourne at the flick of my fingers. How good would that be!


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