Head of Digital Products at EE, James Salmon, takes our judge’s Q&A. James oversees a portfolio of apps and websites for both EE and BT brands.
Do you have a favourite app or website, in terms of the design and user experience?
Given the Rugby World Cup has just kicked off in Japan, I’ve been using the RWC 2019 app to keep up to date on who’s playing when and who beat who. I like the personalisation, the archive content and the simplicity. It also lets you import your teams play schedule in to your calendar. Good luck England!
Which industries, in your opinion, tend to deliver the worst user experiences, and why?
Most of the worst experiences I’ve seen are internal enterprise software tools, expense systems, HR tools, learning guides – some of them are truly shocking with zero consideration for the end user. The good news is this space has been getting attention from start-ups and disruptors who are using the end user focus as a pillar of differentiation. Hopefully the availability of alternatives will apply pressure on the incumbents to improve the user experience.
What has been the greatest game changer within UX and usability over the past 10 years
The rise of the Smart Phone has been the biggest game changer – its changed consumption, behaviours and our environment (good and bad) and brought about a myriad of new opportunities to simplify and reduce friction in everyday experiences. From transport to finance and health to communications, it’s changed everything.
What do you think are the biggest challenges companies face utilising UX?
I think there’s more to do to get companies to understand and prioritise the importance of discovery – it still feels like a lot of discovery is happening after the ‘what’ decision and not being used to help inform the ‘what’. I appreciate it varies across industries, but I think there’s a lot more value that could be captured early on by leaning more on the discovery process and using the output to inform the problem statements that need addressing.
Do you have any UX-pet peeves?
Year pickers for DOB where the scroll start value defaults to 2019 and errors showing on form fields before I’ve finished completing them (…deep breath!)
And finally, if you could have any superpower what would it be – and why?
Aha – well, it would have to be to go back in time. I’ve been reading a lot of history books recently and I’d love to go back and witness some of things I’ve read about.
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