In preparation for (R)Evolution 2015 we caught up with Joe Leech.
What do you do, day-to-day?
I’m a freelance UX and product consultant. I make digital stuff better. I ask users what they want and help businesses meet those needs.
How did you get where you are?
I did and MSc in Human Computer Interaction about 12 years ago and got my first job in what was called usability and is now UX. I’ve been working with agencies and freelance ever since with clients like Glenfiddich, eBay, Marriott, University of Bristol, theTrainline and many others.
If you could shape the future of your specialism, what are the first changes you’d make to the industry?
UX is a process and is about getting results. Understanding what people want and designing to meet those needs. Where previously this has meant the design of the interface it needs to grow to be the design of the product and even the company or organisation behind that interface.
Creating a truly user focused company will make that company more successful. Basing a company on ideas dreamt up by by a bunch of men in a room is rather 1950s.
Start-ups and companies should be looking for unmet user needs and designing products to meet them rather than spending vast amounts of time and money marketing average products to people.
What single project are you most proud of?
My work over the years with the Trainline. Some of the basic design changes to the digital services meant we reduced waiting times to collect tickets at the station. Lots of other small changes like indicating busy trains, helping find cheaper tickets and just making train travel a little bit better.
If you could work on any project, for any company, anywhere in the world; what would it be?
I’d love to redesign the full customer experience for UK trains. Ticketing through to journey, online and on the train. It’s such an important service and it could be made so much better with very little investment.
Buying a train ticket on your phone on the bus on the way to the station. No need to collect a bit of paper, a seat reserved for you, a coffee ordered an brought to you in your seat. Simple changes that make the experience a little bit better.
Do you have a favourite B-Movie / Sci-fi tv show or film? if so, what?
It would be Starfleet, (or Go Nagai in it’s original Japanese incarnation) a wonderfully complex kids sc-fi show from the 80s. Huge robots, nasty baddies and a synth soundtrack to die for.
How to Design with Science without Loosing the Magic: We’ve all had that experience, that feeling when we poured our heart and soul into some UX or design work only for it to be not taken seriously, criticised or worse, ignored. How telling stories, understanding business, talking data & numbers and psychology can all be used together to get good design done. All the time making sure we don’t loose that magic inherent in great design.
You can see Joe’s talk at (R)Evolution on Friday 25th September at The Walker Theatre, Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased from the dedicated conference website here: http://2015.shropgeek-revolution.co.uk/