As we were the principal sponsor and worked closely with the organisers, we were proud as punch that it attracted attention from such high profile companies and really showcased some of the amazing work people are doing in the UK.
Winner of Best Touch Experience and Best Entertainment Experience
The interface is too often the least exciting part of any music app but Bloom.fm makes a change from some of the other big players on the market.
Bloom.fm’s research techniques also impressed the judges, building on the learnings from a previous music app project in combination with talking to users to identify the true need which the app needs to fulfill. A year long beta testing program with over 1,000 users further helped the team finesse the overall experience and usability of the app.
Jarnail: This music app is fun, engaging, and invited us to play with it – this is an innovative concept rendered in a unique and charming way. We talk about delight a lot in UX but I think that ‘charm’ is an equally important attribute to capture.
Morag: This app provides a thoroughly engaging experience, completely re-envisioning the existing online music radio / streaming music experience. A stunningly stylish user interface draws the user in, encouraging discovery and exploration. Animations add elements of delight and surprise. The app is highly responsive to touch and performs well.
Manchester City Council
Best Not-for-Profit/Public Sector
Manchester City Council’s website is designed to guide users through completing key tasks in the simplest ways possible. An overall aim was to reduce in–person enquiries for the completion of common tasks that can easily be performed online.
Morag: A great example of GDS principles being intelligently interpreted and applied to create a site of which the people of Manchester can be proud. It takes a user-centred, task-driven approach, clearly signposting core local government services. The site’s usability does not sacrifice style – this is an extremely good-looking website which remains very usable. Content has been well structured and is written in Plain English.
Jarnail: On first impressions it showed they had taken the effort to not produce another ‘me too’ design for a public sector application. In turn they have demonstrated how important a role UX has in changing perceptions and reaching out to a broader audience.
Natwest/RBS “Get Cash” App
Best Transactional Experience
RBS/NatWest built this emergency cash function to meet the needs of customers who may find themselves without their wallets or cards but are always assumed to have their mobile phones on them.
Jarnail: A very clever idea based on real insight garnered from ethnographic research. I loved the traceability from the research, the identification of the gap, the sizing of the opportunity, and the ultimate development of the app itself. By basing it on real insight RBS have stolen a march on their competitors, thereby showing the value of investing in research done well.
Best Effect on Business / Organisational Goals
Oxfam were facing a serious shortfall in funding over the recession and looking at having to withdraw from 6-8 countries and 1 region. They had an average potential donor drop out rate of 47% who were finding the online journey unintuitive and un-engaging.
Oxfam, working with Bunnyfoot, focused on their form design, emergency promotions and emergency journey pages and through a combination of prototyping and constant testing against a control page they added persuasive elements and guiding psychological predictors.
These individual page updates resulted in a 15%, 32% and 64% increase in conversion rate and the final design had a 55.94% lift in single gifts and higher value donations which is conservatively estimated to have an impact on income of £100,000 pa.
Jarnail: The rigorous process the team went through to determine the most effective information design to improve a bottom-line metric was impressive; the end-result while not massively different from the previous site showed how with small improvements it is possible… if they are backed up with evidence.. to have a big effect on the bottom line. This work shows the Importance of incremental improvements.
Barclay’s talking ATMs and high visibility personalised debit cards have been created to improve UX for blind, partially sighted people as well as those who struggle with English. They carried out research and testing in conjunction with the Royal Institute for Blind People and the British Dyslexia Association.
After meeting a number of banks around the world and carrying out user testing with Barclay’s customers using audio jacks in existing ATMs, Barlcay’s in 2012 became the first UK bank to roll out audio capability to over 3,500 cash machines (84%) across the UK, catering to its estimated 750,000 customers with visual impairment.
Jarnail: Not a digital app per se but this entry showed the breadth of UX in terms of looking at the whole experience. Innovative, impactful design with a wonderful story to boot. Showing how it is possible in large and complex organisations to take an idea from the ‘shop floor’ and see it through to completion.
It shows the Importance of inclusive or universal design, illustrating how by tackling a tough challenge in an elegant and intuitive way it leads to direct benefits and potential for everyone.
Morag: An inspiring story of a financial provider realising that it has a huge responsibility to meet the needs of the whole of their user base. This card innovation sets a new standard of inclusivity for financial services and will prompt the whole industry to rethink their service offering.
Transport for London ‘Journey Planner’
Best User Experience, Best Information
Currently used by 75% of Londoners, the current site receives over 250M visits a year. TfL started by thinking about the mobile experience of their journey planner and building from there. Their approach was design fast, test fast, fail fast and learn fast. They started with paper prototypes, progressed to high fidelity prototypes, testing at each step of the process.
Jarnail: Never easy to improve and enhance an already successful application, but that’s what they did. They demonstrated that with a strong process and an intent to improve, the opportunity to make things not just marginally better but step-wise better is there; a lesson in not resting on our laurels!
Morag: The TfL beta site works magic in taking masses of complex data and rendering it in a beautifully simple, well-structured way. The clean layouts, strong colours, and judicial use of iconography make this an incredibly accessible yet information-rich experience.
This project was a huge and very public challenge. The process followed by TfL was incredibly thorough, from customer research to iterative design and prototyping, and has paid dividends in creating an experience which understands its users’ needs and behaviours.