Last month, UserZoom brought together some of the brightest UX talent and dazzling UX innovators together in one room for our biggest BetterUX London event so far.

Not only did we celebrate the increasing interweaving of quantitative and qualitative research disciplines through our speaker-programme of UX industry figures, but also the bringing together of UserZoom and WhatUsersDo to push the future of remote testing. Just like when David Bowie teamed up with Mick Jagger to create the greatest duet of the mid-80s.

Which one of us gets to wear the aquamarine silk blouse and which one of us gets the PJs and trenchcoat, I guess we’ll toss a coin to decide.

Our speakers shared their triumphs, challenges and innovations in this increasingly experience-led economy. Our delegates learned from a variety of different perspectives across a wide range of sectors, who all have one goal in common: to improve the user experience.

If you’d like to watch every presentation in full, visit our BetterUX event page and fill in your details to receive access to the speaker videos.

In the meantime, here’s a brief overview of the speakers and a few of their highlights…

UserZoom CEO and Co-Founder, Alfonso de la Nuez, kicked off the day with an overview of the current and future direction of both UserZoom and the UX landscape.

Latest research shows that global ecommerce companies will leave a staggering $1.5 trillion on the table due to bad UX. Staggering, yes. But hopeless? No chance! Experience-led companies outperform the S&P 500 Index by 228% so it’s clear that customers are desperately seeking a better experience.

Luckily along with the democratisation and consumerization of UX, comes the launch of a new and improved UserZoom – one that allows you to build studies more easily, source test participants across the US and EMEA, and turn your analysis into easily consumable, actionable insights – all from a blend of quantitative AND qualitative research.


Next, Jamie Lord, Head of UX at O2 took to the stage to talk through the process of updating the O2 homepage from a dated, sales-focused, ‘cookie-cutter’ page to one with a more differentiated experience – personalised to the wants and needs of any given visitor.

Through user testing, Jamie and the team discovered a few truths about their customers – they lead pressurised lives, they have high expectations, are dependent on mobile – and began prioritising these needs on the homepage using a simple mantra of ’Stop. Look. Listen. Keep evolving’.

Warren De Villiers, Product Manager at Currencies Direct, followed with a look at how they evolved their approach from stakeholder-opinion-driven product development to user-centric design. The new approach drew together a number of facets, including adopting proven design patterns, using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative feedback and saying NO to internal stakeholder opinion.

This led to a ‘conversational design’, which could deliver easy-to-use UI, and reflected their friendly yet professional approach to customer engagement.

Our expert UX panel for the day included Lee Cooper (VP of Professional Services, UserZoom), Sally Graham (Director of Sourcing Services EMEA, UserZoom) and Lee Duddell (Founder of WhatUsersDo). Between them they have 30+ years of experience in UX and they fielded a variety of questions that dealt with getting the right balance between qual and quant, how to find representative users and ensuring your testers aren’t too ‘professional’.

Following the panel we heard from Kathryn McDonnell, User Experience Specialist at Elsevier. The information and analytics company went from only having one UX researcher, no documentation on the state of usability and only running the occasional focus group, to building their own UX metrics and scores based on both qual and quant insight.

Later, Daniel Ingamells, Digital Optimisation Specialist at Direct Line and Mike Fawcett, CRO Specialist at esure teamed up to deliver a high-energy presentation on their six tips to hack your digital optimisation program. This included fighting the hippo (“even if your qual and quant are saying the same thing – the hippo can ruin it like a home wrecker, so you definitely need data to back up EVERY decision”), the value of A/B testing if you don’t have any IT support, and that even the ‘losing’ test has value.

To round off the day with verve, we welcomed Paul Boag, a leader in Digital Strategy and User Experience Design, who inspired our delegates to Start a User Experience Revolution! Paul reiterated how the need to become more user-centric may be obvious to us – but not to the people, clients or companies we work with. However there is hope – if you are willing to play the long game.

His advice included: find like-minded people – the people who care about UX and can sympathise with bad customer experience. Talk to them. Create a manifesto. Write down how things need to be different. Set out a list of design principles – like the US government’s Digital Service playbook.

Then, using these sources, raise the customer profile throughout the organisation through whatever guerrilla means necessary. Paul even suggested replacing all of the artwork in your office (including the portraits of senior management and any tasteful photos of the company buildings) with real-life pictures of your personas – whatever it takes to keep the customer as your primary focus.

And with that, BetterUX London 2018 came to an end, and our delegates left with a fire in their hearts and, more importantly – a plan to execute while sneaking into their offices in the middle of the night with a hammer and some nails.