Forget the big idea – start with the user

Steve Jobs
We think of Apple as being the great modern-day innovators, but actually what they do is take an initial idea – more often than not one that a competitor has created – and then improve on it, based on customer needs.

Even in 2016, this is something that so many brands still fail to do.

In her book Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly, Bernadette Jiwa starts one chapter with this spot-on quote from Steve Jobs.

You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it … And as we have tried to come up with a strategy and a vision for Apple, it started with ‘What incredible benefits can we give to the customer, where can we take the customer?’ Not starting with ‘Let’s sit down with the engineers and figure out what awesome technology we have and then [ask] how are we going to market that?’

Steve Jobs

User testing can be an emotional experience


Anyone who’s spent any time working in digital will tell you the benefit of regular testing of your offering with real people.

They hopefully validate a number of theories, as well as piercing huge holes through long-held assumptions and occasionally throwing you curveballs you would never have foreseen under any circumstances.

But – for me – the most enduring part of user testing is to hear the personal stories of people who already do or are likely to use your product/site.

Working for a charity, you sometimes test with those who fit completely with your target user, but who may never have heard of you.

It’s at that point – occasionally – when your job seems completely worthwhile. Continue reading “User testing can be an emotional experience”

Why removing Brighton’s parking meters is failing society


This is becoming a common sight across Brighton – parking meters being removed and drivers instead being encouraged to pay by phone or app.

The positive view is that it’s encouraging use of digital – something at which Brighton tends at the forefront.

However, more concerning is the impact removal of parking meters has on the less able. Continue reading “Why removing Brighton’s parking meters is failing society”