Derisking trading

Risk has become a topic for constant discussion and assessment in investment banking. In an environment where instant messaging, process automation software and recording voice instructions increasingly via direct instruction from investors are just some of the methods by which orders are placed, good user experience design presents an opportunity to reduce risk for fund managers, traders, institutions, intermediaries and the end investor.

Creating an intuitive, usable and pleasing product using cognitive science and design thinking reduces the risk of errors made by end users, high training costs, user frustration and potential project failure, not even taking into consideration the business risk associated with the changing systems.

Continue reading Derisking trading

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

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!

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

Dark Patterns Banned By EU

Dark Patterns are user interfaces (UIs) that are intended to trick people. We’ve probably all seen them, and likely been victims of them. Ever booked a Ryanair flight? You’ll have seen dark patterns, and likely screamed at your screen trying to remove the added insurance and speedy boarding(!) from your basket. Continue reading Dark Patterns Banned By EU

Things off the Internet, and the Internet of Things

We are always keen to try out the latest stuff here at T&T. This week, I’ve been showing anyone and everyone a few bits of circuitry and a couple of resistors.
Metawear
It’s actually a lot more exciting than it looks: this is Metawear, the kickstarter-funded DIY wearable technology. For about $40, they post you this little kit, which includes a board with a microUSB for charging, battery, vibrate button, temperator detector, push button, an LED, and a 3-axis accelerometer.

From this, you can build a host of wearable devices, like activity bands, interactive household items and alarms. Some of the ideas that have been floating around the office have been remarkably everyday: automatic texts to your wife “so she knows you’re thinking of her”, location-based alerts that warn you if your bike has moved from where you locked it, notifications to tell you if your kids switch the light on in their room after bedtime. Others were focused on capital markets and energy systems: flash if you’ve not read a message within half an hour, switch the light off in a room after you leave it for more than two minutes, or vibrate if a certain change in the market occurs.

What do you think we should build?
Tell us on Twitter.

Learning about Taxonomy in Web Design

Having started at T&T in June I found myself getting to grips with new people, approaches, tools and technology but there was one standout moment in one of the early design meetings I attended which raised alarm bells. A word that was mentioned several times which I thought I understood but as the meeting unfolded it became apparent I didn’t really, and it has led me to writing this blog. The word in question was taxonomy. Continue reading Learning about Taxonomy in Web Design

Affecting Relationships with Alcohol Using Behavioural Design

Improving your relationship with alcohol is a difficult and stigmatised area. Our Sydney office worked with Hello Sunday Morning (HSM), an Australian charity aimed at guiding people to better lives by taking a break from alcohol.

The brief was to help them improve their online platform. They wanted to help people share their stories to create an atmosphere of support and camaraderie. We were chosen for our expertise in behaviour design. HSM had already done academic work with the University of Queensland, QUT, the University of Newcastle and The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education in the past, so we had rigorous scientific research already available to use. Continue reading Affecting Relationships with Alcohol Using Behavioural Design