Formulate hypotheses and test your thinking directly on users!

Tuesday 17th November 2020

We live in stories and beliefs about the world around us. Sometimes our beliefs become deeply entrenched in our identity. The more strongly we hold beliefs the harder they are to change. This is sometimes referred to as fixed thinking, whereby we perceive some of our beliefs as facts; facts that should not be challenged or questioned. Change through design requires a more agile mindset. We need to be able to question the status quo before we can effectively explore new possibilities. Introducing hypotheses encourages us to explore relationships and question outcomes. Think of a hypothesis as an educated guess of a likely answer or a prediction of what research…

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BT and what they put their customers through - could this be you?

Thursday 29th October 2020

For whom it may concern - please (please, please) take sympathy on your customers who have no idea how to find what they need from online "help", filter through arrays of contradictory instructions, find someone (anyone) who can help resolve an issue ... it doesn't help that your front-line teams seem to be as confused as their customers! #BT #BT_uk #BT_support

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Focus on executing rather than planning so you can learn, learn and learn (Continuous Feedback Loops)

Friday 14th August 2020

Lots of upfront detailed planning is not always the best approach when you are trying to innovate. This short video explains how focusing on learning so you can continually iterate your design may get you better results. Connect with me on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter

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Is your power getting in the way of truth?

Friday 7th August 2020

If you are, then you're now alone. In fact you may well be in good company. Truth is the first casualty of power. The level of truth, brutal honest truth, you receive on a regular basis may be more to do with your social standing, formal or otherwise, than the amount of prevailing facts or the level of awareness of people around you. Knowing the truth is one thing, but sharing that truth, difficult truths, truths that challenge the status quo, that's very difficult, particularly when this truth is in conflict with power. As a child I was told - tell the truth and shame the devil. As an adult…

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5 steps to creating insights for action

Saturday 25th July 2020

We are in the age of BIG data. Organisations are often good at gathering data, but pip-pointing insights and effectively prioritising action can be challenging. Watch this 2 minute explainer video for tips on how to create customer insights for action.

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I want to know what you don't know (rather than rely on what you think you know!)

Wednesday 15th July 2020

A staggering 95% of human experiences are unconscious. According to, just one of the sources that quoted this, numerous cognitive neuroscientists have conducted studies that have revealed that only 5% of our cognitive activities are conscious. That means a mere 5% of what you do or experience are conscious or inside of your awareness. No surprise then that it's incredibly difficult to describe everyday activities or experiences. That does not necessarily cause people problems. For the large part this can help us lead productive lives; washing our teeth, boiling the kettle, making a slice of toast does not require any cognitive overload. Sometime automatic pilot works in our favour.…

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Language for change - what to say to encourage innovation

Monday 18th May 2020

From discovery to delivery, identifying opportunities, sharing findings, proposing ideas and testing with users; we encounter all sorts of blockers to change. The technical revolution may have unlocked the key to new digital opportunities. Changes to service delivery models often require changes to how people interact with customers and work in general. This is a different type of change. We can control technical elements (once we've worked it out) but if we want to change hearts and minds - critical for behaviour change - we can only hope to influence them and nudge them towards the desired behaviours. Many blockers to change can go unnoticed as they seem so 'reasonable'…

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Users vs Systems – what do you really need to understand?

Monday 11th May 2020

I like to solve problems from a human-centred perspective. I'm curious about who has the problem, why it's a problem for them, how much pain does it cause them and when. That's why user experience research is a great starting point. I can dig deep into underlying concerns, probe needs at the key moments that matter most to them and explore the ideal scenarios that would improve their lives. So why the interest in systems thinking? When you apply user-focused, think deep dive. User-centred research is like putting a magnifying glass on a particular user (or user type). You can probe, observe and analyse and really 'get under the skin' of…

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Are your innovations having the right impact?

Wednesday 4th May 2016

Many innovations fail. In fact some research suggests that nearly 80% of innovations do not deliver as expected. This maybe because innovations are not strongly aligned with what really matters to customers. One solution is to link customer experience (CX) with innovation for a more cohesive strategic alignment. CX is sometimes confused with customer service or support, but this is only one part of the customer journey. CX is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services over the duration of their relationship. A strong CX strategy looks at the whole customer journey, identifies what really matters to their customers, and then creates the ideal…

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What experiences do your customers remember?

Wednesday 4th May 2016

Why do we remember some experiences and not others? What makes some experiences memorable, sometimes months or even years later, while we can barely recall other events that happened yesterday? Most people do not have much difficulty remembering their wedding day, the day they graduated, or even something about their first day at school. That's because there is a strong link between emotionally charged moments or events and what we remember. This is the same for our customers; they will remember events that they have high emotional investment over other transactions. And these memories will have the biggest impact their behaviours down the line. These events are often referred to as…

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