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UX Bites #6 ‘The cost of bad design’ – Video and Q+A

UX Bites #6 ‘The cost of bad design’ – Video and Q+A

“If you think that good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” 

– Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO Jaguar Land Rover

In the sixth instalment of our UX Bites webinars, we examined the personal, monetary, organisational, customer and reputation costs that can come with bad design. Watch the full webinar now to learn why user–centred design is the best approach for your website, product or service, resulting in more customer loyalty, internal efficiency and brand advocacy.

The cost of bad design

Video: UX Bites by Fathom webinar 6 ‘The cost of bad design’. Find this webinar and more on Fathom’s YouTube channel.


Q1. How do designers expose these pitfalls (of subjective design decision–making)?

A1. Regular readers of Fathom’s blog and social content will know that UX impacts not just the interface, but also process and culture. We have written extensively on the science of persuading colleagues and making design a strategic discipline in your organisation. In short, speak the language of those you seek to persuade, highlight the impact of negative experience, assure them that better experience means better business, seek to talk about design in commercial language, represent the user through data and insight, and play the long game.

Q2. For a solo designer in a small product team, what tools would you recommend to use data analytics to analyse research insights? As sometimes, during qualitative interviews, the result might not be the same from the results generated from exit surveys.

A2. Statistically robust quantitative data is essential to make best sense of qualitative insight and to calibrate what is learned. In structured interviews, focus groups and surveys there is a lot of silt – but there is also gold. Data is the sifting device which helps the researcher separate the gold from the silt. We tackled this very topic in our first webinar – Getting UX research right.

Q3. How could those optimisations be used on enterprise products? Where there is no one main user journey but multiple tasks and journeys that the users will have to fulfil.

A3. The principles of deconstructing user journeys are identical whether the platform needs to support one journey (such as the buying journey on an e–commerce website) or hundreds (such as the 600+ public services available online through Design performance needs to be deconstructed based on user needs, with navigation and flow constructed accordingly. Each element of the flow can then be tested against the user needs related to that part of the flow.

Q4. How does diversity factor when using a/b testing to optimise a product or a service? Is it better to niche an audience down as personalised as possible or is it better to let randomness come into play when doing research?

A4. I have merged these questions because the answer to them both is the same – your approach to this type of research depends on what you are wanting to learn and the criteria you might use to assess design performance based on user needs. If user needs are different across customer segments, or demographic categorisation, then that will need to be built into the research methodology and resultant learning plan.

Find us on YouTube

You can watch more of our webinars and talks about UX and service design on our YouTube channel.

By Andy Robinson

Andy was a UX Researcher with Fathom until July 2021, when he moved on to take up a role at Rapid7.

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