Boris bikes to turn red

It’s been announced that Boris bikes, London’s hire bicycles, will be rebranded in red when Santander take over the corporate sponsorship of the scheme in April, after Barclays pulled out in 2013.

Do you think red will make the bikes more noticeable? Do they need a corporate sponsor? Will you be calling them the rather multisyllabic “Santander Cycles”?

Good design is an investment

How much money you’ve spent and how much more money you’ve made as a result is not the only, or even the most important, way to gauge return on your investment. Making things great is not just about delighting peoples’ senses, but can produce a measurable gain.

  • A reduction in the time a business process takes is a return on your investment: you’ve saved time, and we all know that equals money.
  • Making processes easier for people to complete, reducing their required energy or commitment adds business value whether those people are staff or customers.
  • Artists make something look better, designers make it work better: making something look better is only half the battle. UX is about improving the feeling you have at the end of an interaction so it has to look good, and work well too.
  • In a world where there are lots of choices that all achieve much the same thing in the same amount of time, to look and behave exceptionally is a differentiator that counts.

At T&T, we believe that people are at the heart of most businesses and therefore, if you can make them feel delighted by using your product or service, you’ll do well. We design things to add value not only to your balance sheet, but your reputation too.

Defensive experience design

By making our environment more hostile, we become more hostile within it.

In cities across the UK, homelessness is a often problem that we choose not to see. It’s on the increase, as people struggle to make ends meet in austere times. Homelessness is not necessarily the fate of those who have made poor choices, but can simply be due to rapidly changing circumstances. The author of this piece in the Guardian tells us that he went from a six figure salary to homelessness in less than twelve months.

Architecture is user experience design in the most physical way: the structure should please our bodies and our minds. When it is deliberately designed to prevent people from stopping in those places, there is a greater effect than simply discouraging ‘loitering’.

Continue reading Defensive experience design

Bupa launches GLIDHE initiative

Bupa and UCL launched the Global Institute for Digital Health Excellence (GLIDHE), a global initiative to support digital innovation in health at UCL’s Centre for Behaviour Change conference in London. T&T have been involved in the design and development, and we were bowled over by the opportunities in the sector at the conference.

The institute is a joint endeavour between Bupa and UCL’s Centre for Behaviour Change and Computer Science department.

Continue reading Bupa launches GLIDHE initiative

Being a catalyst to customer satisfaction, not a blocker!

In our day-to-day lives we often encounter challenges in getting to our desired and often essential goal, especially when dealing with service providers. You may have a choice but in the end you have to do it somehow, e.g. choosing a pension provider or paying your council tax. In both cases you go on a ‘customer journey’.

The feeling you are left with can range from real satisfaction (“well that was cheaper and easier than I thought it would be!”) to outright frustration (“but I updated my address with you, and you’ve billed us – why don’t you have a record?”).

Just as we’ve talked about in another post recently it is still essential to provide several methods of going on this customer journey: face-to-face, over the phone and online. Doing it online can be the quickest and most empowering experience. Continue reading Being a catalyst to customer satisfaction, not a blocker!

Royal Wail

Public services in the UK have suffered continuous cuts over the last decade. An area where this has been increasingly visible to the general public is Royal Mail delivery offices, where you go to collect post that could not be delivered.

Royal Mail was established in the 16th century and has existed continuously since. For the majority of this time it has been run as a public service, and as such is required to meet publicly-monitored service standards. However, everyone I’ve spoken to about them has a story about poor service, tatty buildings or antiquated systems.

The whole service could do with a customer experience overhaul. I recently used my local delivery office, and was faced with several major issues that could be resolved without the need for extra investment, but simply a review of systems and approach.

Continue reading Royal Wail

Cockney Rebels

12 Bar Club
Image by Mel Pressmen
Seeing this article in the Guardian today about the eviction of the squatters on Denmark Street in Soho, London made me think a bit. A few years back the 12 Bar Club was one of my regular haunts. It was a chaotic and dirty, but personal and charming in a rock ‘n’ roll kind of way. Its demise is indeed indicative of what for me is a ‘paradigm shift’ (horrible phrase) in how we live now in London.

Continue reading Cockney Rebels

How to Cheat/ Draw

Learning to draw starts with understanding and observing the world around us in order to translate it to paper. Drawing is essentially cheating! We are cheating the eye by creating the illusion of three dimensional space on a two dimensional surface.

We had a drawing workshop organised by Olga on Friday. Olga wanted us to walk away equipped with skills for any kind of sketching or drawing.

The workshop focused on what everybody thinks is the most difficult thing to draw: hands! We design more and more for handheld and wearable devices so knowing how to sketch hands quickly and confidently can help anyone to communicate ideas!

As well as practical exercises, Olga taught a little art history, anatomy and look at examples of how famous masters did it.

‘Access to services via mobile will be game-changers’ – Bill Gates

The poor have traditionally used financial services that are extremely inefficient, such as cash and commodities that lose value… But the mobile revolution will give these people more control over their assets.

Bill Gates, January 2015

Just as the availability of mobile phones made a huge difference to the lives of the poor by providing access to specialist knowledge like healthcare where it was not previously possible, Microsoft founder Bill Gates predicts that mobile payment technology will change the lives of the very poorest in the next 15 years.

Continue reading ‘Access to services via mobile will be game-changers’ – Bill Gates