Through our Spotlight Series, we delve into the minds of our colleagues to find out more about their roles, what motivates them, who inspires them and much more.
What originally attracted you to BGL Group?
The Group appeared to be digital and led by technology, with an open and forward-thinking approach to work. Putting the customer first was also in BGL’s values, which appeals when working in User Experience (UX).
Tell us about your journey through BGL since you joined the Group
I first started in BGL Life (Beagle Street) in 2017 as a Senior Designer, leading a small design team on optimisation changes to the journey, usability improvements and developing the visual style of the Beagle Street brand. I then grew my role and team to include research alongside design. This allowed us to tackle larger UX challenges and move at a much quicker pace. Two months ago, I moved over to the UX team at comparethemarket.com, working across the Home, Life, Travel, Business and Digital products.
Tell us about your role as a Senior UX Designer
My time is spent understanding customer problems and coming up with creative solutions for them. This can vary from testing small tweaks on the journeys, to larger scale changes through collaboration on journey maps, customer research and usability testing. No two projects are the same and you have a genuine opportunity to help make people’s financial lives easier to manage.
Tell us something not many people know about you
My usual go-to for this question is that when I was young, I used to do Taekwondo training with one of the Gladiators from the 90’s TV show. I think a lot of my colleagues know this by now, so here’s something else…
I once made my big screen acting debut at the Odeon cinema in Lincoln, as part of a short film my now wife made at University. I don’t think I’ll be winning an Oscar for my acting anytime soon...
Your most used app and why?
That’s tricky, most used doesn’t always equal best. I’ll give my vote to Pocket Casts; they know their audience and have a great experience for solely listening to podcasts (compared with the likes of Spotify, which has added it into a music app). My stats say I’ve listened to 23 days’ worth of audio on there, so it must be one of my most used apps as well.
What does UX look like in the future?
Wow, big question. Ok, here goes:
5 years: roles will further specialise within their own subbranches of research, design and development. This will happen as UX returns becomes smaller with basic customer problems being solved. Specialisations will help find new and interesting ways to help improve people’s lives, rather than fixing already known ‘problems’.
10 years: UX will be less about specific teams ‘doing UX’ and instead be spread throughout a company’s ethos. Perhaps similar to how people used to view a brand as being a logo, but this has now evolved to include every aspect of a business. The team might instead sign-off on UX related issues.
20 years: more of a hope than a prediction, but I hope we have less of the walled gardens that we see in big tech companies today. Locking people in only leads to stagnation.
Who does UX well?
I’ll give a couple of specific examples. On my Google Pixel phone, any song it hears in the background is displayed on the lock screen with the song name and artist. It keeps a track of these in a list, so if you hear something in the background of a shop or on a trailer at the cinema (remember those?) you can refer back to it and add it to a playlist.
Second example goes to the NHS Blood Donation service; after you have donated you receive a text message telling you which hospital your blood went to, which is such a simple but brilliant idea to help connect you to those you want to help.
2020 highlights or lowlights
I’ll avoid the obvious lowlights for now and instead try and focus on any positives. I think it’s been great to see a big shift in people embracing technology to connect to each other. You have got distant (and not too distant) friends and families talking to each other in ways that would have taken years to become familiar. Even if it has brought about everyone’s favourite expression: “you’re on mute”.
Interested in joining BGL? Take a look at our current vacancies