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Friday 14, July 2017

Judge’s Q&A: Lara Burns

Judge: Lara Burns
Role: Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Age UK

  1. Do you have a favourite app & website in terms of the design and user experience?

    It sounds really boring – but I love Tesco’s mobile app. It does what it should do, in a really easy way. As a busy working mother, I get to do my weekly shop in 15 minutes on my way home from work. What’s not to love? 

Tuesday 4, July 2017

The 2017 UXUK Awards officially open for entries

The UXUK Awards, the national awards for best customer centred design, is officially open. Entries are now being accepted for all categories including free student entries. There is currently an Early Bird offer with 40% off the entry price until Thursday, August 17th.

Last year, the awards received an overwhelming response ranging from blue chip brands like Sony Entertainment, to the BBC, to booming start ups like Monzo bank. Students from universities all across the UK also entered the awards under the free entry scheme. Some of whom have gone on to start their own UX agency or design for leading brands like John Lewis, easyJet and much more.

Over 200 UX and Marketing seniors from well known brands attended the ceremony which provided an excellent networking opportunity, with plenty of food, drinks and entertainment on hand.

Best student winners taking the award from the gracious 2015 winner

Best student winners taking the award from the gracious 2015 winner

The awards attracts organisations from all sectors and includes categories:

  • Best User Experience
  • Best Entertainment and Leisure
  • Best Not-For-Profit
  • Best Public Sector
  • Best Transactional Experience
  • Best Effect on Business Ggoals
  • Best Innovation
  • Best Student Project
  • Best Information Experience
  • Best Education or Learning Experience
  • Best Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality / Internet of Things

Go here for more photos and videos of the past awards.

The UXUK Awards has recognised top talent from students to big brands including The BBC, easyJet and NatWest. User Experience, or UX, has become a mainstream remit for all organisations as it consistently and directly converts customer satisfaction and bottom line results at a significant level.

The awards is now running into it’s 5th year. The winners will be announced at the ceremony at the Crypt on the Green, Clerkenwell on the 9th of November. Spaces for the UXUK Awards event are limited and therefore primacy is given to entrants, with those shortlisted being priority attendees. However, non-entrants are welcome to apply for the free tickets to attend. 

Monday 10, April 2017

UXUK 2017: Launching soon!

We are currently finalising our preparation for the 2017 UXUK Awards. Exact dates will be announced shortly on this site, Twitter and Facebook.

At this stage we can tell you that entries will be opening early July and closing in early September. The ceremony will be held once again in central London in early November.

Thank you for the overwhelming enquiries for the 2017 UXUK Awards. We endeavour to make this year even bigger and better!

Tuesday 6, December 2016

Full Video: The UXUK Awards 2016 evening

Watch all the winners take out the awards as presented by the judges of the UXUK Awards 2016

Friday 11, November 2016

The UXUK Awards 2016 round up

Thank you, everyone, for making this year’s UXUK Awards the best ever. We are humbled by all the love coming through.

Well, 2016 has been another year of growth and expansion for UX. More UX related events and conferences, more UX jobs and courses and with the resurgence of virtual reality, more areas in need of design. Most of all, we’ve been more variety and quality of entries for 2016.

Of course, the most notable being the triple prize winning, SH:24 – the service that allows you to anonymously complete an STI test by mail and text you the results within a week. SH:24 took Best Innovation, Best Public Sector and of course, the grand prize, Best User Experience. Clearly a stand out winner. Though that wasn’t all from the awards this year.

Combined to celebrate with World Usability Day 2016 and attracting high profile industry involvement, the UXUK Awards offers the opportunity to promote major achievements and celebrate success. The winners in each category underwent rigorous analysis by the judging panel and all entries were reviewed and deliberated upon by a number of top-ranking UX specialists and digital experts.

“Those shortlisted and the eventual winners of what were hotly-contested categories can congratulate themselves for producing entries of the highest calibre. Each entry went through a meticulous judging process and it took my fellow judges and I a great deal of time to make our final decisions,” explained Jon Dodd, CEO of Bunnyfoot and part of the judging panel.

Making the most of the celebration were brands including Revolut, which netted the top spot in the Best Transactional Experience; Blue Cross, which came top of the Best Not-for-Profit category; BBC iPlayer Kids, which seized Best Entertainment and Leisure; Royal Navy Graduates, which won the Best Information Experience; the Best Effect on Business Goals award went to RBS DigiDocs; the trophy for Best Student Project was taken away by the four students from City, University London: Agnieszka Prusik, Nathan Harris, Judith Scheiderer and Florencia Döuek.

Others seen to be enjoying the entertainment on the night included teams from The Financial Times, Monzo Bank, Sony, BBC, The National Archives, Nationwide, Sky, ITV, EDF Energy, Lebara, Sainsbury’s,UXPA, Loughborough University, Deloitte and many more.

The hard-fought Best Overall User Experience award has previously been won by FutureLearn last year and BBC Sport in 2014, so SH:24 are amongst very good company.

Boasting a splendid turn-out, a top-rated keynote speaker in Rolf Molich, and entries of the highest calibre, the success of the fourth UXUK Awards serves to firmly establish the event as the highlight of the UX industry calendar.

Making sure all attendees did not leave empty-handed, organisers and sponsors of the UXUK Awards 2016 offered discounts on leading industry software, and handed out luxury goodie bags containing some serious swag.

Jon Dodd, CEO of Bunnyfoot and a judge of UXUK Awards 2016 concluded:

“The UXUK Awards has once again uncovered some seriously impressive examples of user experience, reaffirming our belief that the UK continues to be a hub for UX innovation. The evening itself was the culmination of a lot of very hard work and generosity and we thank everyone for their support. Here’s to next year’s awards!”

To become a sponsor of the UXUK Awards 2017, please contact Jo Hutton at and find out more at


List of Finalists and Winners

Best Not-for-Profit

  • Winner: Blue Cross (Numiko)
  • Finalists: WaterAid’s Height Calculator (Forward action), Informi (Vivid creative)

Best Entertainment & Leisure Experience

  • Winner: BBC iPlayer Kids
  • Finalists: The ITV Hub, HTC Mood Player (SapientNitro)

Best Public Sector

  • Winner: SH:24
  • Finalists: Direct2inmate Usability Testing (Core systems), Royal Navy Graduates (e3 Media), Information Commissioner’s Office: Report your nuisance calls and messages

Best Transactional Experience

  • Winner: Revolut
  • Finalists: Monzo Bank, EDF Energy Home Move (Bunnyfoot), RBS DigiDocs (SapientNitro), Turnbull & Asser (POKE London), Next Generation Banking App: Nationwide Building Society, (Webcredible)

Best Effect on Business Goals

  • Winner: RBS DigiDocs (SapientNitro)
  • Finalists: HomeLet – Designing a user-led customer journey (Experience solutions), Clear Channel Direct (Access advertising), Screwfix, Charity Challenge (Huddle creative), CrossCountry Trains (McCann)

Best Innovation

  • Winner: SH:24
  • Finalists: Chop Chop iOS App (Pivotal labs), Dulux Amazing Space (MRM Meteorite), Cambridge Core (Cambridge university press), Allianz (Numiko), Sony – The Curtain Menu

Best Student Project

  • Winner: Nuts About The Park (City, University of London)
  • Finalists: Child safety in the home (Loughborough University), Be part of the culture (Loughborough University)

Best Information Experience

  • Winner: Royal Navy Graduates (e3 Media)
  • Finalists: Cancer Research UK, Digitising IT Support: Computacenter and Hays (Octopus group), EDF Energy Digital Appointment Booking (Bunnyfoot), Histropedia (Geeks Ltd), The Financial Times

Best User Experience 2016

  • Winner: SH:24
  • Finalist: Revolut
Friday 11, November 2016

Revolutionising sexual health testing: SH:24 walks off with UXUK award for its 5-star service


SH:24 was the clear winner for best user experience in 2016’s UXUK Awards. The social enterprise took a vital health service – testing and treating people for sexually transmitted infections – and brought it into the 21st century.

SH:24 stood out as an organisation that really understands its users and their lifestyles. The new service gets rid of the frustration of having to wait for up to 4 hours to get tested at a walk-in clinic. So instead of having to take a morning off work, people can order a self testing kit to use at home – and post back a sample. People get their results by text message 3 days later.

Designer at SH:24 Mollie Courtenay described the organisation’s user-centred approach: “User Centred Design (UCD) is absolutely what we’re about. Our offices are near a clinic so whenever we produced a new paper prototype, we walked down the road to test it on real users.”

One of the challenges of the project was educating people on how to use the home kits – many users were struggling to take a blood sample. Testing with real users, SH:24 found that people were more likely to succeed if they first watched a ‘how to’ video. The organisation then promoted the video: “In the instructions for using the kit we added a link to the video and also added a top tips card to the kit. The video gives people the confidence to do it,” explained Mollie.

Feedback from surveys tells SH:24 that their new service is in tune with users: “It’s brilliant that you can order home tests online and avoid the judgement and shame of going to a clinic. It’s super easy to do and you’ve really thought through the confidential aspects.”

The DIY kits take the pressure off clinicians, allowing them to focus on treating complex cases, in an area of the UK that has one of the highest rates of STIs: the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark.

In future, online ordering and home kits will be rolled out to rural areas, where lack of public transport makes it hard to access STI testing services.

SH:24 sets a new standard for public sector service design and is a deserved winner of the 2016 UXUK Best User Experience award. The UCD approach taken by the team has helped them provide a seamless experience across digital and physical channels.” John Goodall, UXUK Moderator and Bunnyfoot Consultant


The stats

  • Since 2015 more than 30,000 people have ordered a home kit from SH:24
  • In 2015 there were around 435,000 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England.
  • The most commonly diagnosed STI is chlamydia, with 200,288 diagnoses in 2015.

Find out more about SH:24 here:


Tuesday 1, November 2016

Announcing the secret guest speaker: Rolf Molich


He said yes! Rolf Molich, UX Godfather and co-creator of the original Usability Heuristics, has agreed to join us on the evening of the awards ceremony and give the opening keynote.

Here’s a quick Q&A so you can get to know him a bit better. Thanks Rolf 😀

What was the most challenging UX project that you’ve ever worked on?

Selling a UI-styleguide internally in a large insurance company that I worked for 20 years ago. An interesting challenge to write and debug the UI-standard and to make it usable, but a harder and unexpected challenge to sell it to the users – that is, make the developers pay attention and understand why it was helpful. I learned the hard way that you must never, NEVER police developers.

What has been the biggest UX game changer you have seen in the last 20 years

Actually, I have been surprised to see that the basics are to a large extent unchanged over the past 20 years (“the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”).  The basic rules of thumb for design (heuristics) are still the same regardless of technology: Provide useful feedback, speak the users’ language, write constructive and comprehensible error messages, etc.

The basic methods (interview, observation, usability test, usability review) are basically unchanged, Of course, our theoretical knowledge of how to do things right and what not to do has increased tremendously. I am still intrigued by the number of UX Professionals who make basic mistakes in interviews, usability test, usability review and in using basic heuristics.

Which industry has the most potential for improving its UX?

The medical industry.

In your view, which sector is leading the way in usability

Banking. Some banks are doing an amazing job in providing useful and usable apps and websites. They have understood that profit and usability go hand in hand.

How do you see UX shaping up in the next 5 years? What will it look like?

I hope we will see more rigour, less improvisation and less innovation for innovation’s own sake. I would like UX to become an industrial discipline with fixed procedures for standard activities like interviews, usability reviews and usability testing.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?

This will be one of the key subjects of my keynote: Get experience. Learn and master the proven methods. Be careful with “wonderful” new, unproven methods. Sell your results well to your users (the product teams), your colleagues and your management. Last, but not least: Be curious, humble and always willing to learn.

What prompted you to develop the certification in UX? Why is it important?

In accordance with my previous answers, I think we have a need for a common language, so everyone has the same understanding of key concepts in our profession like usability testing, interviews, stakeholders, UX, use cases, storyboards, wireframes etc.

The CPUX certification system has two cornerstones: The curricula that define many of these terms with some rigour; and the certification process that ensures people have actually understood the concepts and have not just been physically present during a training course.

Thank you Rolf Molich! Look forward to hearing more insightful things from you on the night!

You can get more information of the evening here.

Friday 7, October 2016

Shortlist announced for 2016!!


It’s been a big year for entries at UXUK Awards. The judges have been busy going through over 120 entries and to come up with this year’s shortlist and it wasn’t easy with such compelling entries all round. We have been thoroughly impress with designers and organisations continuing to raise the bar to new levels, and above all design around the user!

Congratulations to the shortlisted entries! We look forward to celebrating on the official awards night Thursday 10th of November when the winners will be announced.

See the full list here.

Get more information about free tickets here.

Wednesday 21, September 2016

Entries have officially closed

We have now officially closed entries for the 2016 UXUK Awards.

Thank you to overwhelming number of entries this year. We have been seeing many great names, sites, apps and more. Shortlisting will begin very soon, so stayed tuned on Twitter and this site for announcements.

If you’d like to attend the event, you can apply for tickets.

Read more about our judges here.

Wednesday 14, September 2016

We’ve extended the deadline by 1 week

We have decided to extend the entry deadline by 1 week to 1600 hrs, Wednesday 21st September.

This is due to the overwhelming requests to allow more time. That’s fine. It’s summer and we’ve all been benefiting from a warm September. A deadline was the only natural option. But we can’t extend it any further. It’ll annoy the judges and everything else that works to the timeline of the awards.

If you have not yet entered, this is your chance. It takes minutes to enter and a lifetime to enjoy!