Definition of a great user experience? No one notices it…

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital, Tech | Posted on 05-03-2015

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I’ve been using a range of different content management systems and data management engines over the last few years (well, actually over 10) and have a pretty good eye for a good user interface vs a bad one.  I think the one thing that really differentiates a good one is the ability for the user to use the system without having to really think about what they are doing.  The best uses of technology are the ones where the user experience is so good that the user is almost unaware of them having an experience, they are purely focused on what they are doing.  Take a mouse or a keyboard, or Photoshop, these user interfaces are so good, that they are ubiquitous and rarely questioned as being the best.  It’s a bit like where film producers choose to put Computer Generated Imagery Animation in films; this is another good example where, if done right, the viewer will not be aware of the vast amounts of technological expertise and hours of rendering that were required to make the scene of a dinosaur chasing a jeep through a forest or a building collapsing, they will just be immersed in the experience.  If you are looking to define the best user experience from the perspective of the user, then unfortunately, you should make it so good that they don’t even notice it is there…

The web carousel image

Web Project success carousel

Above is a diagram i put together which i thought i would share with everyone, it’s just a carousel of some of the key things to take into consideration when undertaking digital projects.  It’s a diagram, not a board game btw… :-)

Kite surfing – SuperSaturated.tv

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Sports | Posted on 16-04-2010

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I am really into watersports. I learned to sail at school and then sailed faster and then i got into windsurfing. I now really want to have a go at Kite Surfing. One of my friends from my first job at the Press Association in London has just set up a company that does high quality HD professional action sports video production.  They specialise in Kite Surfing, Windsurfing, Surfing and are based in the South West.  If you need some HiDef file production, get in touch with them.

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Go and check them out at SuperSaturated.tv.  Check out one of their films here: http://www.vimeo.com/9985931

Running a web agency is very much like…

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital, Tech | Posted on 23-03-2010

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I was in the gym the other day, watching James Martin making a very tasty looking plate of food, and i thought to myself that running a web agency is very much like running a fine restaurant.  You have to use the finest ingredients and the finest talent to tailor exquisite creations that keep a highly discerning and critical audience satisfied.  All of this to a budget and in a very defined timescale.  Take too long with your starter and the client might disappear.  The finest ingredients are the right technologies, the right kitchen talent is the right designers/ development team and the chef in charge of it all is the Client Services Director.  If the chef doesn’t rate the food then he shouldn’t let it out of the door, same with Client Services Directors.  The highly discerning audiences will sign off the design and user research/ information architecture in the same way as you consume a good starter.   The delivery of templates and prototypes are the main course where the user gets into the meat and 2 veg and is reassured that the presentation is excellent and that the meat is of good standard.  Then it’s onto the dessert, which is the build, and the User Acceptance testing is the coffee and the mint.  Next time you go to a restaurant or commission a website, think about the similarities…

Next time you talk to your web agency, try to work out if they are Michelin starred.

Campaign for a Waitrose in Reigate

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Prestige | Posted on 10-03-2010

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I love Waitrose.  If you’re not familiar, Waitrose is a food store that does quality and service.  If you’re in the US, think of Wholefoods without the american-ness of everything, and genuine friendliness and helpfulness.  I have always been a fan, even when i was studying at University and probably should have been shopping elsewhere.  I now live in Surrey amongst loads of other well off London City Commuter belt types with loads of cash, and yet we lack one thing… A Waitrose.  Rather than doing the classically english thing and whinging about it but not doing anything, i have decided to do both of those things at once.  I have started a campaign on facebook to get people interested in the idea of pressuring Waitrose into opening a branch here.  You can view my group here…

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=354714653174&ref=nf

Please feel free to join, and tell your Reigate based friends!!