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Judges’ Q&A: Daniel Harvey

Judge: Daniel Harvey
Role: Head of Digital Capability at SapientNitro

  1. Do you have a favourite app & website in terms of the design and user experience?
    I dig SoundCloud. The way they’ve made the song’s waveform central to the experience is memorable. If Spotify or Apple Music tried to lift and shift it to their services it’d fail. Creating something unique and ownable is what we should all strive for. That’s good branding. That’s good design. Add to that they’ve made it social by atomizing songs to beats and riffs. it’s pretty amazing.

  1. Which industries, in your opinion, tend to deliver the worst user experiences, and why?
    Without a doubt, I’d say financial services. There’s been a lot of progress in the space recently but on the whole there’s still miles to go. I’m hopeful that my colleagues and clients have helped improve things. And a lot of vibrant startups are doing great work too. Let’s keep pushing!
  2. What has been the greatest game changer in the UX and usability sectors over the past 10 years?
    Our ascendancy in business. We’ve gone from being terribly misunderstood to in-demand in a short timeframe. That intense demand for good UX talent has created a seller’s market. Our ability to pick assignments, demand high wages, etc. has never been greater.
  3. What do you think are the biggest challenges companies face utilising UX?
    We’re still vaguely misunderstood by business. The issue now is that many companies are familiar enough with UX that they have an institutionalized view of it. That can lead to siloing, strict specializations, etc. We’re a big tent community. We need our best practitioners to be able to get their hands dirty still doing a little bit of everything. Everyone should be able to do research, sketch, wireframe, diagram maps, etc. Our skills need to stay sharp.
  4. Do you have any UX pet peeves?
    UX people that can’t work from their gut. UX people that are afraid of pencils. UX people that don’t get brand.
  5. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
    The ability to cloud people’s minds so no one ever asks that question again. 🙂