Ux vs design

Joe Sayer is Senior Digital Designer at Verb and will be leading the upcoming LEARN: UX and Conversion Rate Optimisation workshop. Joe has been the lead designer on many incredible projects and site launches such as Beulah, The Wolseley and Hanro of Switzerland.

Joe, how did you first get into design and User Experience (UX)?

I first got into digital design whilst working in a ski resort in the French Alps. The chalet company I was working for were crying out for a website overhaul. The one they had was outdated, failing to convert users into customers and struggling to compete against its competitors. I taught myself how to do everything from design through to coding and SEO and was hooked straight away. I immediately preferred the design element of the process the most, particularly creating user experiences which are enjoyable for users as well as effective business conversion tools.

How has User Experience design evolved since you started?

Over the past few years, I have seen the design field evolve enormously. When I started out, design was about standalone product experiences that looked good. However, there is now an increased emphasis placed not only on how a design should look, but how the design works to achieve a certain goal. From this, design saw the emergence and necessity of great UX. With this change saw a brand new set of challenges for the designer. Everything needed to come together to drive seamless high conversion experiences that maintain their effectiveness across multiple screen devices. UX has become a challenge in the ever-shifting digital landscape but one that is incredibly exciting.

Tell us about your role at Verb, what does a typical day look like?

Without fail, I have to start the day with a cup of coffee! I also always like to have a discussion with the design team and make sure everyone is set up for the day. We will discuss what projects we are working on, key priorities to be achieved and any problem-solving for current clients projects. From this point onwards there is no typical day as the role offers so much variety. I could be planning and designing ideas for an upcoming pitch, giving a talk to students on how to best optimise a website or app, or pitching a new digital concept alongside the Verb directors to a client.

What changes will we see in UX in the next 5 years?

I think that over the next 5 years UX will evolve beyond a brands website or app. Whilst websites and apps will, of course, maintain importance, it will be as a component of the overall experience a user has with a brand. We can see this starting at Amazon with their Echo. This product relies little on visual design but puts user experience stand alone in the spotlight. Voice design has already witnessed incredible growth and is becoming an increasingly large factor in online retail.

Tell us about the main challenge luxury brands face in terms of UX and conversion rate?

Based on my experience, it is often the case that luxury brands focus too much on being stylish and take little care of the user experience and functionality of their online platform. Whilst it is important for these brands to have a stylish design, on its own, it will never be enough to optimise the sites conversion rate. It is essential that luxury brands invest in creating an intuitive and well-designed user experience as a priority. Both Gucci and Burberry are excellent examples of brands that have created sites that combined are visually stunning whilst also being very easy to use and highly functional.

You’re going to be speaking at the next LEARN workshop, can you give us a short overview of the session and what attendees will be able to take away from the event?

This workshop will instruct brands on how to enhance the way they connect with their online customers. The workshop will start with an introduction to UX before focussing on the best ways to optimise your website to create a stronger brand presence that will create impressive conversion results. It will be interactive and I’ll be showcasing before and after results of real case studies. The second half will include a skills workshop that covers a basic to intermediate level understanding around UX, web design and CRO. Attendees will not only be able to take away tangible suggestions to improve their brand’s websites but also enjoy a delicious Shoreditch House breakfast so it’s not to be missed!

There’s only a few places left for LEARN: UX and Conversion Rate Optimisation, so if you’d like to take part in this interactive workshop, register now. If you have any questions contact Alice Beaden (alice@verbbrands.com).