Episode 249: Talking UX Design
In this podcast, Rob Cairns sits down with Piccia Neri and they talk about UX Design.
- What is UX?
- What type of colors should you use?
- Should you use Google Fonts?
- How to test your website
Hey everybody, Rob Cairns here.
Today we’re gonna talk about UX and I have my friend Piccia Neri Noori with me.
I hope I got that right picture.
You got it perfect Rob.
Thank you very much.
And thank you for joining me today.
So you are a UX expert before we get to talking about UX.
Could you talk a little bit about how you got into WordPress and how you got into UI?
So it kind of happened around the same time because I was a.
I’m a designer, but I started as an editorial designer because I had my own little arts publishing company with friends.
Then I became.
Then I wanted to sort of branch out and become what I considered a proper designer.
And then by and then I’d be.
I worked with lots of London agencies.
I worked for The Sunday Times and I did a lot of design for Cultural Institute.
Oceans and four.
Uh film for film festivals.
For the British Film Institute, so I and then at that point I was doing like proper full on creative design as well as photography and other things.
And so I needed a vehicle for that.
I need it too.
I wanted a website for my sketches.
I was doing one sketch a day at the time.
And it was before Instagram, so that’s a while ago.
I can’t remember when Instagram came out, but it’s been a while already anyway, so I thought, OK, WordPress ’cause I eat hated blocks, but I just do.
It just wasn’t for me and I.
We set up my first WordPress website which actually looked lovely because it had a lovely tile.
And grid for my sketches on the home page and.
Uh, I got really stuck into trying to understand how it worked because being a designer I was really fixated on typefaces and I hated the typeface that the that blog that theme came with.
And so I started trying to understand how I could change that.
And of course I found out that at the time I can’t be sure, but I think it was around 22,000 and eight at the time that.
Isn’t that much?
I’m going to get a sip of water, sorry.
At that time, there wasn’t a huge variety of typefaces to choose from, but the CS at CSS for upload.
You know getting the funds from the servers you know at Font face, I think.
Was already available, I think.
So I learned how to do that and I fell.
Felt so empowered because I had never done anything with code before and as many other graphic designers will be more sort of traditional upbringing, so to speak, so to speak.
I was really scared of code.
I thought that code was impossible for me ’cause I had a lot of developer friends.
That would say, oh, you can’t know, don’t worry darling.
You can’t learn code ’cause you haven’t got the head for it.
You’re a creative and.
They were trying to keep me small.
That’s what they were trying to do so.
I started getting really, really into WordPress and because I like to understand the bigger picture, which actually is a good link into UX.
I started learning coding a bit HTML, a bit of CSS and then I I.
But then the UX side of it came up because I was working at the time for the British Film Institute in London.
And the I was leading the design team and the web team was separate from us, but we were working.
I was still doing all their visuals and their BFI because it’s a big institution.
It has a research department so the web team and the digital team.
Actually the digital team.
Didn’t even exist at the time, but the web team, let’s say.
Used research a lot and the venue used research a lot and researches their heart of UX.
So that’s when I started understanding what that did because no other design agency in London I’d ever worked with had ever ever mentioned research and I worked with really big.
Once, but it’s just a completely different mindset.
It’s really typically a digital mindset and.
Yeah, at least at the time, because now there’s a many more integrated agencies.
I mean, you can’t be in a design agency and not really do some web.
It’s impossible, but at the time it was really quite separate.
And so to me was such a such a an epiphany.
To work with user personas I was like.
What is this?
And I understood what it was ’cause.
Also because the the British Film Institute is also venue.
So there was, and they had a membership.
So of course, knowing their audience was so fundamental and the design department kind of unfortunate.
Unfortunately, in some ways, but it was part of the marketing department, so we had to do with audience research and things like that a lot so.
That’s how I came into contact with it, then my issue over the following years was how to translate all that I had learned working for a really big organization.
Into information that was helpful for me as a lone wolf or as a small agency, and that I think where UX education fails.
And that’s what I offer because I saw the need for myself and I see that there is a need in general because UX training.
In general, is aimed at creating UX professional.
’cause it never considers the point of view of a an existing agency that builds digital products but doesn’t necessarily do it with a UX mindset.
Because now everybody is talking about UX.
But really it’s much less.
Widely spread than you would think, but the point is that it should be because when you’re building anything, whether you want it or not, the people using it will have an experience they will.
I mean, it’s.
It’s just it’s inevitable you use something, you have an experience of it therefore.
Learning about how to.
Mold and shape and create that experience in the best possible way, which is finding the sweet spot between what the user wants and what you want them to do.
Who has that?
It’s it’s in your interest, because that’s the way that you build products that convert because they truly serve the audience.
They truly serve the people that use it and why.
Why do they serve?
They serve because you’ve asked them because you’ve done the research you have found out and it’s.
Really astonishing to me.
How many many businesses still don’t think of that they you get clients that come to you and they say, yeah, I want this because I like it or because they think that that’s the best.
But when you probe when you go into the why they only give you their own vision.
Which may not always coin often doesn’t coincide with that of the people that use their product.
So true, and I think.
A lot of people when they do design work, they think about what they want instead of actually looking at what their customer clients or potential customers and clients want.
And that’s one of the biggest mistakes they make.
Is they design for themselves and not their viewers.
And that’s a bit of a prop.
That’s typical, though that’s really, really typical.
But another thing that UX, the UX process does, is that it empowers you.
If you’re aware of it and you have a process, it empowers you to actually prove to the client that says, oh, that’s my I.
I want it because of personal preference.
An actual reason that it empowers you to be able to say OK, you may want to do that, but are you aware of the fact that?
It’s going to be a non accessible and therefore might get you find this is a nice question answer that you can give and if you hit them in the wallet often clients will reconsider or with the possibility of a fine or things like.
I find that that helps.
So let’s talk about.
What actually is UX?
Because I think a lot of people, unlike you and I, who have been doing this for a long time, don’t understand what it really means.
So what does it mean to you?
What a good question, Rob.
I, I think it’s always useful to revise what it is so UX stands for user experience.
So in fact uax happens even in a site as as I was saying earlier.
Even a website that has been built without any thought provides an experience to the people who use it.
So user experience is there, that’s it.
What user experience is from a.
General point of view, because actually I think that user experience involves every single aspect, so it’s branding.
It’s marketing, it’s everything.
So user experience involves every single point of contact that.
That the people who use your products have with your product.
So that means also not just the website.
’cause people tend to think that user experience only takes place on a website or on an app, no?
It’s every single e-mail that people receive from you.
It’s every single little bit of copy that appears on a website.
It’s your onboarding process.
If you have also physical venue which many clients have.
It’s also how the venue is organized, how how you treat people in general.
That’s what user experience is, so that’s what it is then.
What the UX process?
Is it’s a way of?
Building this experience that’s founded on certain principles and on a process.
So when an agency has a UX approach and a UX mindset, that means that they approach their project with it from a different point of view and with a very specific process which is not set in stone because design isn’t set in stone.
You can, you can say.
OK, this is the process.
It starts here and it finishes here and then.
It’s incredibly messy in between it.
It’s never a straight line, it’s it’s definitely not a linear process.
And, uh, if it were a thread, it would probably be all knotted up.
So I’m not saying that there’s there is a recipe there isn’t.
Because, you know when people tell me, oh, you should sell, you know templates to do things and I I can’t do that.
I’m not a themeforest theme.
You can, but it’s actually quite misleading to think that there is a template.
I I have a course that I called.
I call it the UX blueprint because there is a little bit of a blueprint, but just as long as you’re happy to change plans all the way through and to keep testing because.
Testing is very important.
In fact, if I had to point out one thing about UX is that.
It’s based on research and it’s based on testing out your ideas.
So if there’s one thing that applies to UX, the UX process is true is that?
There is no right or wrong.
There just isn’t because.
Even when you find a solution and it works now, on March the 2nd, which is when.
Were recording it may not work on March the 25th because circumstances have changed for any reason. So I it’s a great thing that it it has taught me that there’s no possibility or perfect.
And that actually getting things wrong is only ever a learning moment, so I love that because yeah, coming from print.
You know, if you if you print out 1000 catalogs with error with a typo on the cover, you are lost, whereas you know it’s the concept of.
Making mistakes, being actually a good thing is one that I really love.
Yeah, it’s so it’s so true and I and I think the problem, especially if we focus just on the digital party UX for a minute that people think is digital is all set it and forget it.
They create a website and they’re done so they think.
And you know, having been in that game?
For a long time I always say websites are a experience that keeps changing and keeps evolving and it’s not about creating a website in being done.
That’s the first problem, and I think that’s a that’s a mistake because I think.
A lot of especially small businesses don’t always factor in ongoing website budget into their marketing budget, and I’ve had this discussion with a lot of people lately, and really it’s a cost of doing business in today’s world.
The second problem we’ve got with things like.
Design right now and it’s a subject I kind of wanted to touch on a bit is we’ve now got the EU, the European Economic Community, fighting with Google over Google fonts and a lot of a lot of UX designers use Google Fonts.
Do you have any?
Feeling on what’s going on with that or what’s best practice?
So, interestingly enough, I was on Nathan Wrigley week in WordPress program and when this was brought up and I am not an expert in in in analytics and in what constitutes.
In privacy rules and so and so on, I’m just not very good at that.
But it’s it’s interesting because remkus.
The race was on the call and he knows about these things and he basically demonstrated to us that the way that the funds are served.
Is in fact a privacy breach, so that there it’s not just a crazy thing that the EU is saying that there is actually that they have a good point.
Don’t ask me to explain how or why, because like I said, it’s not my area.
I’m not good at at it.
But that apparently it’s it’s a proper privacy breach and we should care because it’s, uh, if it provides a further way of you being tracked somehow.
But there is a solution because Google Fonts are free, so just download them and upload them to the server.
I I don’t know how because The thing is that Google.
Also provides tracking, so that’s the point, so I don’t, usually.
Funnily enough, I don’t use Google Fonts because whenever I use Google for a Google font on a website, then I always regret it because I am a typography.
The end I just love typography so much and even though some of the fonts are are really great and very well designed and so on, there’s always something missing for me or even just the fact that everyone is using them.
And so I I only used Google fonts once and that.
I was like, ah.
Why, why and I I I have?
A Typekit subscription anyway, so.
I’m in, I’m in the same ballpark.
I try to avoid using Google fonts.
Uh, all day long to Sunday like I just I can’t do it, so I I that.
Yeah, so let’s jump onto navigation on a website because I think that’s big part of the user experience.
What’s to me?
The two biggest reasons people go to your website is how do I get ahold of you quickly?
And I can’t stress enough how many people don’t put an e-mail address or a phone number at the top of their website.
Big mistake and then how do I navigate the website quickly and we all know many good designers do not know how to design navigation.
I agree I had to study it because.
It’s information architecture basically, and it’s all down to how you have organized your content and another big thing about the UX process is that when done correctly, it always starts with content first, so the content first approach to me is extremely, extremely important and I like.
I said I have this UX course called the York Blueprint.
That does that that you know, talks a lot about how content first is.
A A solution, it’s not, it’s just a way of of reaching good UX, much faster.
The thing about navigation is that.
So what is navigation?
It’s the organization of all the functional elements.
The functional elements should also, and it provides.
It provides navigation to the person that lands on your site.
Now there’s a book that I mentioned very often and and that.
Uhm is by Steve Krug Krug and it’s called don’t make me think. And if anyone reads one book about web design it should be that one.
Now navigation is also where the sitemap meets the design, which is, and it’s actually the navigation is not just the menu, it’s not just your your.
Had, uh, where you you have all your your pages?
You know the menu.
It’s actually any part of the interface that allows people to go anywhere on this site can be called navigation.
So even a button is provides navigation.
Anyway, I digress.
Back to the example that I was talking about.
From the uh, don’t make me think book by Steve Krug.
He talks about the trunk test.
So the trunk test is.
That you have to imagine that you bundle you get bundled, you get blindfolded and bundled and put in the trunk of a car and so you driven around and you can’t see where you’re going and then you.
Uh, get taken somewhere and finally they open the trunk and you, uh, or the boot for English people and you, you get out and you they take the blindfold off and you need to be able to know exactly where you are in.
This is the principle with which you have to build every single page of your site.
So people need to know how to find you where they are, where to go back from there, so you know, for instance, bread crumbs are really important, so you need to offer all that because.
You need to be.
As helpful and as usable as possible, so anything that.
Cryptic won’t work, uhm so.
It you so this is what this is, the basic rule.
One of the basic rules of navigation.
Good, good navigation, UX.
So and these are the questions.
For instance you have that what?
If you if you want to.
Not fail the trunk test you have to your page has to tell you what site this is.
So the site ID, the page that you’re on, so the page name, the major sections of the site, the options at this level.
So is there any local navigation?
So for instance if it’s a page that has.
Many sub units sub pages they need to be there.
Uh, where I am so you know, for instance, the current.
Uh, current page needs to be highlighted on a menu or the end.
How can I search if I want to?
That’s why I say, you know when marketers.
I mean, you’re a marketer as well, aren’t you Rob, would you consider yourself a marketer?
I sure am no question.
Yeah, there you go.
So sales pages and landing pages that have absolutely no other indication other than the sales message that it does not pass the trunk test and it’s ultimately unhelpful.
Because if I land on a sales page
From someone that I don’t know personally.
I want to find out more about what they do, where they’re coming from, and so on.
And I always try and find out a site well, so if you don’t have a website, but if you just have a sales page, I’m not going to trust you.
I want to see your brand and when I find out more about you and if I can’t find that I won’t buy ’cause it doesn’t pass the the the trunk test.
So that’s, uh, that’s my my take on it.
And then every page.
Because we, we can’t.
When you’re in.
When the web we constantly scan for signals, but even not on the web even.
In real life we scan for signal, we try and find what is called information sent.
All the clues that we need so and that’s your navigation structure, that’s the page titles and the headings.
That’s how by the way, headings and good HTML structure.
Of your content is fundamental for good UX fundamental so.
I agree, I agree.
People should learn the structure to pages right and personally stop writing for Google and search engines because at the end of the day.
If they don’t structure those pages right, people aren’t gonna stay on them, so I I mean I I so agree with that.
Uhm, let’s talk a bit about colors, which is an awful debate that comes up every time some people like dark colors.
Some people like bright colors.
I have some theories on what colors work.
What do you think about colors, bright colors, dark colors?
What you prefer from a user experience stand?
Right, so a fact that may not be that well known is that, uh, bikala.
Fanatic and I also have a.
There’s a there is it must be on WordPress TV.
I have a talk on color that I gave for sure.
Yeah, it was a work on Brighton 2018. The point that I’m making that talk is basically there’s one main point which is that color is an opinion.
Personal preference on color is worth nothing.
Especially on the web because.
Color is totally relative to the viewpoint.
No color opinion is more valid than another, and I prove that in there it’s quite fun to do that.
Talk with a live audience and I’ve done it in a few languages.
I did it in Spanish couple times as well here in Spain because.
I show a few photos that are very famous and I’m sure everyone has seen it was the famous blue black dress.
That, to me, is absolutely blueblack and I and you know, the.
Do you remember that dress, Rob?
Yeah I do.
Yes, it was quite the IT was quite the discussion on social media for a long time.
So funny and when you do it, you know in a room with lots of people it’s incredible because you get at least seven different opinions and it’s not the only photo, it’s there’s.
Also, there’s a a pink trainer, and I mean I say pink because to me looks pink, but it actually isn’t.
And and so on.
And so it’s really easy to prove that color is an opinion.
However, on the web beyond that.
So beyond the fact that your personal preference doesn’t come for anything.
But yes, there are rules.
There are rules.
For instance, you should not use colors that are too bright on the web because they may vibrate on the screen and in order to find out.
What is right and what isn’t right? There are lots of. There are lots of tools, for instance, UM coolers.co coolers with two O’s is a great palette and.
Color tool and it tells you if a color is 100. Has 100% brightness and 100% saturation.
In the HBS settings, which are hueb writers in saturation, hue, brightness and saturation are?
The features of a color hue is the color.
Brightness is how much light it has in it and saturation is how intense the hue is.
Hue is what bothers.
Color blind people color blindness depends on issue, but it doesn’t.
So a color may look green to me, but read to you.
But if we all see we both see the brightness and the saturation in the same way.
So when you want to create a color palette you should use you should slide.
You should use a brightness and saturation to change that color.
Never hue, also, uh, I I actually digressed a little bit, but was I what I was about to say, is that bright?
Very bright colors are not good on the web, but because when you have 100% brightness and 100% saturation.
They may look too vibrant to certain people, they’re just too contrasty on the screen.
I have this weird thing with my vision.
Which is called a high persistency in the retina.
It’s something that I thought everybody had, but I found out it.
It isn’t basically anytime I look at anything and then I look away, I see the reflection, you know when that people other people only get this effect when they got a very bright light.
Shine shining in their eyes and then you look away and you.
See the the the.
Yeah, the reflection in your eye you see of the of the light but I get it with everything, anything, any objects that I look at if I look away I see it reproduced elsewhere and I thought this was normal and it isn’t.
And I live in a weird world because of that, but I’m used to.
It’s the only thing I know so very bright colors which are my preference in terms of preference in their real work.
Cold really bother me online, so if you have a 100%.
A yellow, you know super bright yellow FFFF 000 with black on in big blocks or even not big blocks, it vibrates like nothing else for me.
So you need to you.
You don’t have to change the hue, so if that’s a brand color.
You can keep.
It just take the saturation and the brightness down a notch and you will have catered for people that have visual problems, but you should always check your colors.
Color blindness issues.
Because there’s no guarantee, and then how do you guarantee that every you know how many different devices do we have?
I mean, I, I see different color Chrome colors in Chrome are completely different from colors in Firefox for instance.
Yep, let alone different screens and devices.
The best thing I can suggest there is to test and test again and try and test your digital stuff on different devices.
Look at it on a smartphone.
Look at it on a tablet.
Look at it in Chrome.
Look at it in Firefox.
Bring up Edge if you’re running Microsoft and test it in edge and and test it in multiple places.
And then have a couple people test it for you because they might see stuff that you’re not seeing, and I think that’s really important, especially when we get.
Like design considerations, so let’s jump back to fonts for a minute, we.
Talked about Google.
Fonts earlier, but one of the biggest complaints.
I have both websites.
Is people like to use 12 inch fonts on websites and I don’t know why we’re all in aging.
Population I don’t know about you, but I wear progressive lenses so you know there you go and we’re all having because we’ve all spent more time as people on screens than ever before.
I sites aren’t what they were 30 years ago and.
I sometimes think bigger fonts are better.
Do you have any thoughts about font sizes in that?
I totally agree with you Rob.
I it’s one of my bugbears as well.
’cause also typography is so important if you think about it you could take all the videos and all their images off a website but you would still have a website.
Because you have the copy.
I mean if you look at Facebook, for instance, it’s there’s so much copy everywhere, so it should be the most important thing.
And it’s the one thing that people just completely.
Ignore mostly and you say the aging population, but don’t think that you need to be that old to have eyesight problems as you were saying, everybody’s eyesight is is worse, but.
The I don’t have this stats at hand, but I know that the stats are much.
Uh, more skewed towards a very even range of people that have eyesight problems.
It’s not just age related.
And so it’s not as it’s not demographic demographic, it just and also bigger fonts can be seen.
But people who got who have good eyesight, so why not make them bigger or use accessibility tools that allow you to make to make them bigger?
Or even just that.
You know one.
Accessibility criteria is that.
You should be able to, uhm, magnify any website up to 400% and still be able to to use it.
Yeah, so in that case then you can. You can do that, but like for instance I I wear glasses like you and I use LinkedIn at 120.
And Facebook 120 magnification always.
I do too, Yep.
So so I can do that and I yeah.
Yeah, it’s it’s funny when.
It’s funny when you talk about that. I my mom who’s 76 was having of all things and it was having problems with e-mail the other day and I was showing her how in outlook you can take it and increase the sizing of it. So I think you know we’re we all gotta find that comfort zone.
Of what works for us and as web designers, I think more people need to take that into consideration and and realize that.
Maybe using a small font is not such a good idea.
No, it just it really, really isn’t.
It really isn’t, but that’s why design education is so important and thinking about your audience is so important.
Because if you think about your audience first, then you don’t think, ooh, I like this font, tiny.
Because it looks cooler.
Which often it does, it’s more stylish if it’s smaller.
Uh, you think you?
You think about your your audience first and therefore you just don’t even do it?
You don’t think about it, or if you know that your audience is a certain.
Demographic then it doesn’t even occur to you to have a small font.
Yeah, so true?
Uh, it’s a big consideration and before couple days ago you and I had a a really great discussion around the one thing everybody forgets in UX and neither one of us are an expert, but I think it’s worth mentioning is accessibility.
And people assume accessibility means.
How do I make a website for blind people and I and I’m gonna cut to chase them?
We all know there’s so many other visible and non visible illnesses that impact the way people use a website and I think.
Accessibility is so key.
What is your thoughts on accessibility?
Thanks for asking this Rob, because accessibility is one thing that I am concentrating on at the moment.
I know a bit about it but I am working on knowing.
A lot about it.
Because I think that accessibility is now what?
Responsiveness was many years ago when you would build a mobile site after you’d build the main site.
Now you wouldn’t even dream of doing that.
You just build a site that’s responsive, full stop.
It’s not an extra item in your budget or in your.
In your proposal, it’s something that is inbuilt in the site and this is exactly what it should be.
Accessibility should be in built in built in a site and it’s not just for blind people.
I know it’s the most obvious thing for Web users that the most difficult thing.
Obviously seems to be that it’s blindness, but as you say, what about people who can’t use a mouse that’s and?
There, that’s another type of and also don’t think that the only people who can’t use a mouse are people who are paralyzed or lack limbs because.
It’s also you you sometimes can’t use a mouse mouse, and I mean you as in anybody a young parent can’t use a mouse, so we all suffer from.
Maybe they have.
Maybe they have tendonitis in in the wrist and that impacts eaves of a mouse.
Exactly, so we all have temporary disabilities.
Only to identify as fully disabled.
To have a disability that impedes you from.
Accessing a website.
One thing that.
Is to me is I can’t even believe that there are people that don’t.
Still don’t do it is for instance, it’s captions in videos, because that’s for.
Uh, that’s for deaf people.
There are people who can’t hear so well so that there’s also.
There’s also that, but captions in a video help everyone.
I mean, I’m not deaf and I need captions in videos for so many reasons and and there is so much that.
Uh, that falls within the accessibility umbrella that.
We need to consider and once again once again as with everything.
When you follow best practices, best design and development practices, you already are probably getting a pretty good result with accessibility.
It’s really interesting.
We were talking earlier about.
The importance of structure or good HTML structure.
It’s it’s an accessibility issue because with good SEO structure is screen reader finds it much easier to to read a page because they can scan through it and with a screen.
If you use a screen reader it will compile a list.
Of all the headings, and if you’ve structures structured your content properly with the right.
Heading hierarchy than someone who can’t read that page visually will be able to skim through the content.
And if you’re selling something on that page, you’re crazy to not do that, because do you think that you’re not selling to blind people, you are, but also you may be selling to someone who is.
I’m blind, but right now can’t use.
The the screen and needs to to use the screen reader you know could be someone in a car, and that’s not even starting to.
You know, talking about, uh.
With tools such as Alexa, you know voice tools, so there’s there’s so much that involves accessibility, and that ultimately leads you to convert more.
And for instance, I’m now things that I find slightly annoying sometimes.
Says I do come every Monday at 4:30 at UTC, so that’s 5:30 for me in Europe.
GMT plus one.
So four thoughts, 30 GMT.
I do a uh creativity and designer UX chat.
In a Twitter space which is hosted by my friend Meg Fen, I’m very is defined on Twitter on PICCIA so.
Uh, feature my name so, and anyway it’s I hesitate to.
Uh, sending people to my to the to the link to the recording link after it’s done because it’s not accessible.
Twitter spaces same as clubhouse are not accessible because deaf people can’t.
Can’t can’t enjoy them there kind is no way.
So I was thinking, OK?
Until Twitter gives us it transcription tool, I don’t actually have the bandwidth to upload it to Otter or another you know, or Rev or whatever and get the get their captions.
When I’m rich and famous, I’ll have a team that will do.
That so I will also.
Make my Twitter spaces available, but right now I’d rather not.
I think it’s offensive to people that for any reason can’t listen to it to to send a link that they can’t use.
Yep, and and frankly if you’re a non profit, if you’re a government agency, certainly in Canada.
The law is your website must be accessible, and there’s been major lawsuits. Even with major companies in Canada and US over accessibility, so it’s not, you know, just.
Right, you should think about doing it.
It’s also a bit of the law as well, and people need to realize that too.
There’s a legal implication to that side of it.
Absolutely, people do need to realize that.
But how I I usually prefer to.
Not lead with a threat.
No me either.
Just say look you is gonna make you a better human being and he will make you sell more.
I use that tack but that you know that angle but.
But yes, it is definitely something that is a real danger.
And for instance, one of the things that.
I do is I provide coaching for agencies.
They get seats on my on my course so that which provides.
Uh, a reference for their teams, which is really good.
So whenever the team have a doubt, they for instance how to build an A navigation structure, they can go to my course and check it out.
And we also have coaching sessions where where they ask me questions or so on and and they these sessions can be tailored.
And one of my clients is sotik.
They are a.
I think they’re the biggest digital agency for sports in the UK.
They they do loads but also you know they do.
Really they’re really great.
Global clients like their global sailing, the World Sailing Association like really great stuff and they asked me to to run a session specifically on accessibility because they have.
Their clients are now asking to rebuild the sites.
From an accessible point of view, because they’re getting pushback.
Promise, so why not see it as an opportunity?
And when we did the session, the designers were so excited because they actually found that many of the design things that they didn’t like and that they had to accept from the clients they can.
Now they now can say no, you can’t have that.
Because it’s not accessible.
A little bit offline about your coaching course for agencies and how excited you are about it.
Do you want to tell the listeners a little bit about it in case they want to get some help with UX?
Yes, thank you very much for this opportunity Rob.
So it’s a coaching program for agencies that is around built around my UX blueprint course.
This course is a comprehensive UX course that also touches on the design aspects of the user interface and so on.
It’s not just.
The UX principles.
It’s kind of quite comprehensive.
And, uh, what I offer to agencies is a coaching module to go with it, which you can do in two ways.
You can either get 5 coaching sessions over the course of a year, so one per quarter or the way I’m doing it with, uh.
An agency that’s coming on board is because they would really like me to lead their team.
Through the course, so we’re going to meet five times over the course of eight to 12 weeks so that I can.
Lead them through it and there’s no drop off and they feel motivated to actually.
Watch all the course, then they can ask me any questions at the time and it’s I’ve run the pilot with a few agencies and it’s going so well.
It’s so rewarding.
I mean, one of the things that can happen is what I just described with sotik that the team.
Has something comes up they the clients start requiring accessibility they don’t feel prepared.
I mean like I said I’m not I know that accessibility is a very specific.
Uh, specialization and but I I definitely know more than the team.
So it’s an especially on the on the design aspect.
But anyway, this was just to say that there may be a specific aspect that comes up because.
It’s a a need that comes from there.
Work with existing clients and they can come to me and I can tailor the coaching specifically to that.
What’s really interesting that happens is that so many issues come up regularly.
I always end up calling the director afterwards and saying, look, this has emerged.
I think this is.
An aspect that you should consider and she’s so grateful because my.
Perspective is external and therefore I don’t suffer from proximity blindness and I’m able to assess and advise much better.
But another thing that this does, I mean I created it because one thing that I’ve noticed and correct me if I’m wrong, but in our, especially in the WordPress environment there are a lot of.
Build great products.
I’m not saying that they don’t, but they often don’t have.
A design lead process and this.
Leads to many problems because it means that initial decisions are made without any designer in the room and it can lead.
For instance, you mentioned navigation earlier if.
If a client decides on a site structure on a site map with the account manager without any designer or developer ’cause the developers are very important as well, they need to be in the process from the begin.
Then it may lead to accessibility issue because they may have built a site structure that leads to a very difficult navigation to navigate, so you know one that can’t be navigated through with a tab.
You know things like.
That with a with a.
Keyboard things like that so.
Uh, so many agencies don’t think that design comes at the end, but it really comes at.
The beginning and often even agencies that do have a design team.
They have a very small design team and one that doesn’t have a a leader.
A really a senior person whose role is to lead the design.
Often their junior designers may be super talented, but they don’t.
Have the experience to stand up to clients or to to.
I’m saying impose, but yeah, you sometimes have to impose the process and design is is an afterthought.
Instead of being seen as a process.
And this is what UX is really.
It’s a process, and when you apply the UX process to your projects, your business.
Improves no end, not just because it gives clarity and it gives structure, but also because.
As another side effect is that you will realize there are so many more services that you can offer and one of them, for instance, is is one of them is accessibility you can do.
Optimize website optimization, for instance, and you’ll find that when you start from thinking about experiences, you are unlikely to build a site that is just a brochure.
You you start thinking OK?
How can I take my customer by the end and you start really by the hand, sorry not by the end and you start realizing things, for instance how important UX writing is, how UX writing leads to conversions.
And so on. I mean, the list is literally endless, and it’s particularly I mean after the course to individuals as well, and ioffer it with a coaching module or without it.
But I have to say that the the agency offering is the one that is giving me the the highest level of satisfaction because.
It is so incredibly useful and I tell you more.
The interesting thing is that this course.
Works even better for non designers as it does for designers because it’s doesn’t presuppose presuppose any necessary design knowledge and is super useful for even for developers.
And any account manager or marketer that’s on the team because it’s simply I’ve.
I’ve used this word before a few times and that’s exactly what it does.
It empowers them with knowledge, understanding, and a new mindset.
I know, I know.
It was a long rant.
Now that’s OK.
That was so true.
And and frankly, in my opinion, if somebody is looking for a good way to learn for their agency.
Pizza is probably the best person I know out there.
So like reach out to her and ask her about her course and how can people get ahold E on the Internet pizza.
First of all, let me thank you for being so kind.
So these days the best place for me is LinkedIn.
Twitter, – @piccia
I’m on on Mondays you’ll find me or in this Twitter space.
It will be done, but I have a.
My website isdesignedforconversions.com.
If you’re looking for a good UX designer, reach out to Peter, she’ll be glad to help you.
She’s always approachable as far as I’m concerned, and thanks for joining me today and have a wonderful day.
Thank you so much for having.
Me, thank you.