How user experience (UX) can improve creativity

Natural Interaction help their clients design websites that succeed commercially, using research and testing to ensure that the customer experience is at the heart of all decisions. As the company’s User Experience Director, Adam is perfectly placed to explain how truly understanding user experience (UX) can improve creativity…


Natural Interaction


“Phoenix Wharf needed someone with UX expertise, to collaborate with on a project for The Consortium Education, the supplies company. They identified us as the right partner and it’s progressed from there. We work with our clients to ensure that their websites are easy for customers to interact with. Typically, our service will improve customer satisfaction and ultimately lead to increased revenue. UX allows us to understand how the market will respond to certain design decisions. This means the customer’s only limitations are creativity and technology, rather than anything artificial.


“There are brilliant developers who can deliver great things, and creativity is what PW are exceptional at, but often clients will still be worried about taking certain decisions. Some website designs are quite risky from their point of view, but we help eliminate that risk through testing things early and often. For example, if a client has an existing website, we can do usability testing in order to understand how people currently use it and identify potential improvements. We also interview customers to learn about their experience. By providing this mechanism, we can ensure that great ideas aren’t neutered by internal assumptions about how customers will perceive things.


“Natural Interaction and PW will work collaboratively from the start of the project, defining the structure, producing wireframes, designs and a clickable prototype. Both teams bring different expertise and this diversity of experience delivers more robust design. Together, we deliver work in two-week sprints, frequently providing clients with evidence of how they – or their current customers – perceive the design work. The advantage is that, if PW came up with a really brave strategy and people were concerned that it might not resonate well with customers, we can test that very early. We can then share that evidence directly with the client, to help them justify decisions and remove any risk from going in a braver design direction.


“We’ve had a lot of success by pushing the boundaries of design. Our clients are trying to compete with their competitors, and the speed in which they can learn what is working dictates their success. If you look at any market, there tends to be a couple of players who are really ahead in terms of market share and customer acquisition, and often there’s a propensity for similar companies to copy them. At best you’ll only end up with something that is equally as good; if you want to better your competitors, you need to innovate and we help to unlock that innovation.


“Design is very much an evolutionary process. Everyone will start a new project with assumptions around what their customers want, what their business needs and how to achieve those things. Some of those assumptions will be correct and some won’t be. Certain features, that they don’t think customers will use, may prove to be really popular throughout the design process and that’s the advantage of working in smaller batch sizes, where we spend two weeks testing each stage. Often when a website – or specific feature on a website – feels clunky, that’s because people haven’t really thought about UX properly. We always consider every stage and every function, and are prepared to fail often as we go through the process. Sometimes the word ‘fail’ can put people off, but actually we help people to fail in a controlled environment, so that when they actually go to market they don’t just succeed, they thrive.”

Adam Babajee-PycroftAdam Babajee-Pycroft co-owns Bristol-based UX specialists, Natural Interaction – a lean user experience consultancy that helps companies to define, design and validate ideas, using information architecture, UX workshops, user research and usability testing. PW work closely with Adam and his company, to help clients make decisions based on research and expertise – not just because ‘it looks nice’.


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