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Why you should assume nothing when designing UX

Leeds, April 9th, 2018

British agency Enjoy Digital is an RAR recommended agency, Drum Digital Census Elite, BBC Digital Excellence finalist and Google Premier partner. Based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, the company has UK and international client to which it provides fully integrated digital marketing and solutions development since 2008.

Enjoy Digital has a team of 50 people working with a range of leading brands including Manheim, Costcutter and HESCO.

We talked to Sean Parker, Creative Director at Enjoy Digital, who highlights, “We put customer insight at the heart of multi-channel digital marketing campaigns, and pride ourselves on best in class technology integration.”

Sean started in the industry back in 1998 working as a Multimedia Designer. “It was pretty much my dream job,” he says, “CD-ROMs were the big thing, with web design starting to take over. What also drew me to the role was video graphics production, which was a big interest since school. The job was a real creative mixed bag where I developed a real appreciation for the bigger picture in marketing.”

In your opinion, what ingredients are key to create a successful UX design?

Simplicity:
If the user has to think about how to use a feature or function, or you need to explain it, then it’s too complicated. Don’t be afraid to rethink your ideas. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel either, small incremental improvements are equally as important as building something from scratch.

Insight:
We have a great insight team at Enjoy Digital who are always evaluating performance and customer behaviour. Everything we do is influenced by user data, customer insight and testing. I can’t stress how important it is to test your work with as many varied users you can. You really shouldn’t try to second guess customer behaviour either – even when you’re starting from scratch you can get valuable insights from prototyping, customer interviews and Interactive wireframes at the very least. Assume nothing.

Consistency:
Rarely a component or feature will exist on its own, it will have a relationship with the rest of your solution. It’s imperative that you develop a consistent experience and language that your users will understand.

What proportion of your current work is for mobile devices and what is for online?

I’d say 95% of the time we’re device agnostic, so we’ll develop work that will work well in a desktop browser, mobile device, tablet and anything else in-between. The other 5% covers a small percentage of our work where we create work for a specific platform or use.

To decide what’s right for your clients, could you share what methodologies you use more often and which ones give you a greater insight?

We find that user testing is very important, and having a list of KPIs we can measure our effectiveness against. A/B testing is also a very effective approach, which can yield quick results. It can be very satisfying making tiny tweaks and seeing the benefits for both the user and the client.

Can you give us some examples of your experience dealing with usability studies, eye-tracking study, field study, or focus groups?

Recently we undertook some pretty significant customer research to establish a clear functionality roadmap for one of our clients. We’ve been able to build on this research regularly by following up with user questionnaires and interviews that allowed us to continually evaluate their needs.

How do you imagine the UX concept to work in the future?

I’d hope to see a future where a streamlining of data insight gathering allows teams to focus on creating even better experiences. A future where UX isn’t just a specialism, but a process which is engrained into everyone in the industry, everyone has a valuable part to play.

Name a challenge your team is currently facing.

The team has expanded in all areas over the last 12 months, so we’re looking at the ways that we can promote close teamwork across bigger teams and further develop the inclusive culture we’ve worked hard to create over the last ten years.

What piece of advice would you give a recent grad looking to work in digital marketing?

Don’t worry about not having real-life examples of work when applying for roles. In addition to work you may have created at college or university, consider doing your own take on project concepts for other brands. If your work shows consideration and understanding it won’t matter who the work was for, your ability will stand out.

Start your career with the right attitude – keep on top of new approaches, trends and best practices. It’s a fast-moving industry, and what was once the de facto way of doing something can quickly change. Your learning never ends, remember that.

Are there online publications, professionals, industry leaders you follow?

It’s quite a varied mix really. Some of the sites I visit regularly are Brandnew for brand development case studies, Sidebar, pttrns, UI Movement and UX Planet for my daily fix of developments in the UX industry.

Digital design inspiration is really wide ranging, but the regulars for me are Awwwards, Creative Bloq and Creative Review.

Please list a few of your favourite digital brands:

Netflix, Spotify, Musical.ly, Slack, Deliveroo, Giphy.

What do you like doing in your free time?

I’m an obsessive film trivia buff so I spend an unhealthy amount of time reading about films and film production. I’m also a vintage Star Wars toy collector who’s massively into the box art and packaging design. My interest in design probably started as a kid there.

Thanks Sean!

By Geny Caloisi.
genyc@topinteractiveagencies.com

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