Back markebjones

UX Technologist

Currently heading up an Experience Studio of 25, a UX enthusiast who values lean and agile practices by continually focusing on what really matters. By seeking continuous improvement through experimentation, I strive to make the latest technologies deliver provably brilliant experiences for our users to drive business outcomes. I encourage innovation through collaboration, so my team challenge themselves and each other to always seek to be the best they can be.

Experiment to perfection.

I work to deliver brilliant user experiences via continuous improvement through experimentation. It’s difficult to predict the future. So I validate my ideas straight away. I gauge my users’ happiness to direct my ideation. I build. I measure. I learn.

  • Building research, design or development artefacts.
  • Measuring quantifcations and qualifications.
  • Learning what I need to evolve.
Build Measure Learn
Discover, Define, Ideate, Build, & Validate

Natural project management.

By working in an iterative and experimental approach, project progression follows naturally from Discovering the business problem we want to resolve right through to the strategy to transition to it once it's deployed.

  • Discover & Define the problem we're trying to resolve.
  • Ideate solutions to our problems.
  • Build & Transition with our users.

Combining methodologies.

I work to deliver brilliant user experiences via continuous improvement through experimentation. It’s difficult to predict the future. So I validate my ideas straight away. I gauge my users’ happiness to direct my ideation. I build. I measure. I learn.

  • Agile delivery with continual iterations.
  • Design Think for problem exploration and solution ideation.
  • Lean to maximise work not done.
Design Think, Lean, & Agile
MVP

Delivering MVPs and MVSs.

By focusing on what's important, I deliver Minimum Viable Products and Services. This means big problems are broken up into the smaller ones so that we can delivering continuous and regular improvements.

  • Service Design for complete end-to-end solutions.
  • Delivering against provable outcomes, not outputs.
  • Experimentation is key to innovation.

My Tools

My Projects

Brand Guardianship

May 2017 - July 2018

Discover Phase

From customer feedback, BT learnt that their numerous brands and identities left people confused, not least because they had different styles: BT Fleet, BT Global Services, BT Italia, etc. As a result, a brand consolidation programme was put into place: one just called BT with a consistent look-and-feel. This required governing - and a new system would be required to do so.

Define Phase

I formed a team to drive the User Experience of this system, to govern the use and application of BT Brand. This required new user journeys, new personas, and indeed new scenarios.

Ideate Phase

The team and I then moved into a design mindset, taking the insight gathered from the research phase into paper prototypes, low-fidelity, and high-fidelity interactive prototypes to help validate our ideas.

Build Phase

We delivered our designs to the developers - who we collaborated with throughout to ensure our designs were compatible with the chosen technology stack: based on Oracle’s AEM.

The work your team did was hugely influential on the outcome of our Brand Guardianship System experience design. Had we not worked with The Experience Studio we wouldn’t have been aware of and rectified many UX pitfalls.

Gregor Young, BT Digital Brand General Manager, and principle customer, 9th July 2018

Transition Phase

The impact of this engagement should be vast as everyone who wants to deliver something customer-facing will have to come through this system before getting the sign-off. It is therefore crucial that the UX does not inhibit them!

A/B Testing Affinity Mapping API Coaching Information Architecture Prototyping UI Design User Interviewing UX Strategy UX Transformation Wireframing

Land Rover BAR Tactical Aids

January 2016 - July 2017

Discover Phase

Land Rover BAR, a racing team competing in the America’s Cup sailing competition, were seeking support as they embarked on their mission to “bring the cup home”. This support would come in the form of tactical aids equipment.

Define Phase

Being part of such a dynamic environment meant that time during a race was at a premium and thus required the need of a good User Experience.

The 2017 iteration of the competition introduced a few complications to the rules, which would require a new way to interpret data, and indeed, how it was presented and utilised during a race. I ran a few discovery workshops with the team (and stakeholders) to identify the opportunities and define the problem we were trying to resolve. I worked with the very best in the industry - including many multi- world and Olympic champions!

Ideate Phase

Through multiple iterations of effectively A/B testing, I devised a new abstract representation of the course. Although possibly considered counter-intuitive at first, it was quick and easy to use - as stated by principle user, and Olympic gold medalist, Giles Scott:

The tactical app is a really important aid to the decision making process during the racing, providing Ben [Ainslie] and myself with the data that we need.

Giles Scott, Olympic Champion, MBE, and principle user, 24th April 2017

To deliver this experience I led a UX team (8) consisting of researchers, designers and developers. I ran workshops, ethnographic research, initiated ideation through paper-prototyping, and worked with the users to identify improvements.

Build Phase

I then fed this back to the developers where I took the role of SCRUM master. We worked in fortnightly sprints, constantly delivering small iteative improvements, from which we could continue to learn.

Transition Phase

One of the more interesting challenges was to retrain the sailors with how they sail - moving away from what they’ve been doing the past to using the app to complement their expert sailing skills. It was really interesting to observe.

More information of this project can be found on the LandRoverBAR archive site.

A/B Testing Affinity Mapping Ethnography Information Architecture Mobile Design Personas Prototyping SCRUM Master UI Design Wireframing

BT Business SME Sales

January 2017 - June 2017

Discover Phase

BT Retail were reviewing their NPS feedback and were consequentially seeking to make some improvements to improve their CX. During their initial investigation, they discovered that call centre agents were unable to respond as quickly as they’d like due to system inefficiencies. I volunteered to investigate further.

Define Phase

I conducted a series of interviews alongside ethnographic research to understand the extend of the problem. I spent a week up in Scotland, visiting various call centres and stakeholders.

Ideate Phase

I took this research back and drew upon additional resource from the team to extrapolate the insight and subsequently design, and validate, solutions.

We produced a series of ideas ranging from Information Architecture, new User Journeys, and dashboard layouts.

Build Phase

We worked directly with the developers to ensure that our designs were implemented as smoothly as possible whilst working under the Agile framework.

Transition Phase

We worked closely with a subset of call-centre agents who had volunteered to join in with this activity. They were the principle users of this new experience, in the first instance, and helped us iterate and evolve our ideas further.

We also introduced Splunk to give us better insight of user activities from the data collected in the log files.

A/B Testing Affinity Mapping Analytics Card Sorting Ethnography Information Architecture Wireframing

Connected Car

October 2016 - May 2017

Discover Phase

EE, a mobile telecommunications firm, were looking for UX support for their new vehicle-monitoring capability. Their target audience was for SME organisations that had between several and dozens of vehicles to manage. It had been established through primary research that, typically, vehicle data was collected manually. With the support of EE’s mobile network and this new capability, this could now be automated.

Define Phase

The ask from EE was to support the UX of this capability. I led a team of 2 researchers and designers to first discover the problems these SMEs were exhibiting. I ran some primary and secondary research as we started to learn how SME fleet management was conducted. We started to build up personas, common problems, user journeys and use cases.

Ideate Phase

From here it was a case of iterating the designs, from simple journey maps, through low-fidelity paper prototyping, up to high-fidelity brand compliant designs.

Build Phase

Interestingly, here we were not starting from scratch; EE had partnered with trakm8, who provided the core capability, and they already had a suite of apps available. However, these apps were tailored for insurances customers, rather than fleet managers. So it was our responsibility to transform the experiences of these apps accordingly.

Transition Phase

We planned a phased transition from the existing app to the EE tailored one. This allowed us to get the app out to real users sooner, and subsequently able to start learning earlier.

A/B Testing Coaching Personas UI Design User Interviewing UX Transformation Wireframing

Intellact

January 2014 - January 2016

Discover Phase

Intellact is an internal BT News Client. It pulls in various articles from various news sources such as Gartner and Forrester.

The Intellact product owners had observed a decline of readership and came to us to help them identify the reasons behind this decline and for recommendations of what changes would rectify this.

Define Phase

We undertook a series of user interviews to assess how they used the service and the issues they experienced.

It was clear that there was an Information Architecture problem with the way the site was constructed and that users tended to use it as a search site, rather than one to browse like one would a magazine.

Ideate Phase

We used this insight to reposition the site to revolve around search. We came up with a series of options, which we tested with our users to help evolve and define our MVP.

Build Phase

Interesting, the search facility was provided by HP. So we spent some time collaborating with HP to evolve the search capability into one more tailored to the need of our users, and indeed the metadata provided in association with the various articles. This required us to write some of the frontend code using jQuery, HTML, and CSS.

Transition Phase

We delivered this as a complete upgrade. Not ideal in most situations (where probably a phased approach would be more suited), here we didn’t have that luxury given the technology platforms available. We mitigated this though by developing an experience not too dissimilar to the existing one to minmise disruption in the users’ learned experiences.

A/B Testing Analytics Gradle User Interviewing Wireframing

Aperture Business Process

August 2014 - April 2015

Discover Phase

BT Research developed a process mining application. It was based on underlying technical and mathematical principles, which allowed the user to identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies with their business processes. Although the application was technically sound, it required a significant amount of upfront training for users to be able to work independently.

Define Phase

I led a team of four to transform the UX into a more intuitive flow of activities; one that allows users to operate it independently. Do do so, we performed a series of user interviews, to understand the functions they found useful - and not quite so useful. We also used it as an opportunity to understand their workflows.

Ideate Phase

We delivered a set of insight to the customer, and some low-fidelity interactive prototypes using Axure. These were then validated with the users, which we iterated on accordingly.

Build Phase

These were then handed to the developers to implement. The result allowed more people to use the tool as there was less demand from the trainers, and indeed, fewer issues were raised as it was easier to understand.

Transition Phase

We planned to introduce the changes as a beta version as the changes were quite substantial with a new User Experience. This would allow us to test with real users under real conditions without upsetting those who did not want to use the beta in the first instance.

Coaching Information Architecture Personas User Interviewing

ComSpec

June 2013 - May 2014

Discover Phase

BT provide IP connectivity for businesses to connect their various offices around the world without having to rely on the public Internet. In order to connect to BT’s network, customers need to connect their router. This router needs specific configuration to allow them to communicate through the network, but also special configuration for the offices to communicate together. These configurations were made from a system called ComSpec.

Define Phase

As the Lead Designer for ComSpec, it was my responsibility to gather requirements from stakeholders and (technically) design a solution that we could incorporate into ComSpec.

Build Phase

We worked in an agile manner, by iteratively adding more features to the application as demand arose from users. This would require new PHP module definitions; updated HTML, CSS and JavaScript; Database schema upgrades; and automated test integration. It was my responsibility to ensure that the developers had everything they needed to be able to implement the solution.

Transition Phase

As this was a technical application it had been built under the premise that users would need to be trained. In many situations this is not ideal as it negatively affects adoption but we continued in this vein to ensure our users were competent in the changes we made.

To help reduce the adoption constraints, I tested our changes with users first to see how clear and unambiguous they were to understand the level of intuitiveness. This would allow us to iterate to minimise the level of training needed over time.

API Bash Linux PHP PHPUnit Twig UI Design

BT Volunteering

January 2014 - January 2014

Discover Phase

BT supports their employees in many different guises when it comes to volunteering. BT have their own internal volunteering website to outline the processes and policies of BT Volunteering and how employees are supported. This website was barely used and as a result key features were not being used - such as volunteering hours being logged. This is important as it’s a key success metric to identify how many of BT’s employees are volunteering and how successful they’re being supported.

Define Phase

I started by trying to understand the scope of the problem by interviewing those who volunteered and those who didn’t. It was important to understand if people where aware of the support BT gave, and to investigate why the website wasn’t used.

Ideate Phase

We had multiple ideation sessions trying to determine which solution offers the most value. We started with paper prototyping and iterated based on user feedback. We then moved to Axure and added layers of fidelity as we learnt more and more from our users to ultimately define our MVP.

Build Phase

Once the design was fairly stable and mature, we moved to a development phase where we developed the solution based on the MEAN.JS framework. It worked really well as we were able to iterate quickly based on feedback.

Transition Phase

In order to get the word out, we added entries to widely distributed newsletters, and articles to the BT Intranet homepage. I also worked with senior managers to come in and raise the volunteering profile on their All Hands meetings.

A/B Testing API Information Architecture Java jQuery Mark Down UI Design Wireframing

OpenReach Portal

January 2014 - January 2014

Discover Phase

BT OpenReach are mandated, by regulatory bodies, to treat all telecommunication companies fairly. This is particularly important as BT OpenReach are responsible for physically installing telephone lines. As a result, BT OpenReach provide a portal, where telecommunication call centre agents can create, read, update, and delete orders such that when one of their customers calls up, the agent is able to give an update.

Define Phase

Through general feedback, BT OpenReach identified that users experienced issues with the portal, and so commissioned an initial investigation into understanding the severity and scope of these issues. I led this investigation - as a pure UX Research activity - with ethnographic and desktop research.

I spent time visiting call centres from around the industry for some ethnographic research. I spent a day with each of BT, plusnet, and Sky to understand their experiences with The Open Reach Portal.

It was interesting to learn that the users were primarily interested in the quality of the data displayed on the screen, and the architecture around it’s navigation. The stakeholders came into the the investigation with the hypothesis that it was a UI look-and-feel issue.

Ideate Phase

So we ideated with a few options to introduce a better clarity of information collected, and how it’s presented on the screen to the users. Ultimately though, it wasn’t the presentation of the information that was causing experience issues; it was the information itself.

Build Phase

So we built a few recommendations, which spanned how information was collected. We looked at reducing the amount of information required and introducing select fields rather than free-text to help reduce entry errors.

Transition Phase

We also had to ensure that engineers were trained so that they were aware of what good looks like - what a good answer to the question is that can be used later.

Ethnography User Interviewing UX Transformation

Open API

January 2014 - January 2014

Discover Phase

BT were looking to transform their company-wide infrastructure from monolithic, bloated and convoluted systems into a set of streamlined and strategic APIs, from which computation and operations can be reused.

Define Phase

As part of this, I campaigned for a standard way for these APIs to be consumed, configured and provisioned. This led me to research these areas and indeed validate this hypothesis. I spent time speaking with all personas, ranging from users (software engineers, consumers, providers and administrators), stakeholders, and surveying the common trends in the industry.

Ideate Phase

From all this insight, I then moved to ideate various options, which I subsequently tested with all usertypes. I iterated through various ideas, conducting A/B testing with from paper-prototyping and a low-fidelity, interactive prototype.

Build Phase

Going forward, this will move into development, as a customised version of Swagger after a phase of desktop and experimental research.

Transition Phase

This gained a lot of traction, culminating with an opportunity to present to a whole range of senior stakeholders at events such as Hot Houses.

Affinity Mapping API Personas User Interviewing UX Strategy UX Transformation Wireframing

(i)Vserve

September 2011 - September 2013

Discover Phase

BT provide IP connectivity for businesses to connect their various offices around the world without having to rely on the public Internet. In order to connect to BT’s network, customers need to connect their router to a special BT router. This special BT router needs specific configuration to allow multiple customers to communicate through the network. These configurations were made from a system called (i)Vserve.

Define Phase

As a Developer for (i)Vserve, it was my responsibility to implement requirements drawn up by stakeholders and designers to add various enhancements to the application - depending on user, customer, and business needs.

Ideate Phase

As part of this, I worked on a side-project to investigate if there were added layers of automation we could use to improve the way we worked.

I ideated and built a Proof-of-Concept application as a means of automating an otherwise intensively manually process of converting Microsoft Visio into application code, to one that would effectively auto-generate the code from the diagram.

I primarily worked with Java, Oracle, and Gradle.

Build Phase

My PoC was integrated into the main application in addition to my BAU Agile story implementations.

Transition Phase

We phased in the use of my PoC into the BAU processes by starting on small use cases and introducing more as we learnt more from use in real situations.

API Gradle Java Jenkins JUnit XML XSLT

AthleteAPI

January 2010 -

Discover Phase

As a keen runner, I used to track my races on a spreadsheet: positions, gradings, distances, and a whole load of other information. As I bought myself a more comprehensive watch, I started to gather more and more data, which made maintaining a spreadsheet more difficult.

Define Phase

I signed up to Strava, so that all my runs were automatically syned from my watch but it did not include race-specific information, so I decided to write my own script to merge the two sources of data.

Ideate Phase

I built myself a playground website using Yii where I could experiment pulling information from various sources into one data store, and then present them on the screen.

Build Phase

I then evolved the website to allow anyone to use it by registering and linking their Strava account. It’s now got league tables, fixtures, training schedules, pace calculators and a whole host of other cool features.

I wrote this from scratch, which was pretty fun in itself, but also now my comprehensive record of all my races!

Transition Phase

I now don’t have a spreadsheet at all although the website does allow you to export the data as a spreadsheet. This means I can always have a my race data with me even when I don’t Internet access.

API Fedora Information Architecture Linux Mobile Design MySQL PHP PHPUnit Prototyping Ubuntu UI Design