The naming of parts

There have been months of roadworks. A complex junction has been remodelled to be friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists. The traffic has been rerouted this weekend, though there is still a lot of work to do to turn the old carriageway into the pleasant space envisaged by TfL’s artist (and nor do the fluffy white clouds and blue sky appear to be fully functioning yet).

Marginal changes and macro impacts

Fifteen years ago, I predicted the demise of the supermarket. Four years ago, I noted that that hadn’t turned out to be the greatest of predictions: I wasn’t quite daft enough to think that everybody was going to do their food shopping online.  My argument was slightly more subtle, though it has so far proved […]

Design integrity

Designing complex systems is complicated. Sometimes there are interactions between the pieces which don’t quite join up, customer journeys which turn out to have structural obstacles. Some of that can be obscured or avoided through good interface design, but sometimes the underlying ugliness just pokes through. This screen marks the successful end of a transaction. […]

Reading and doing

The team have released a new version of their home page. It’s now quite a long way from the simplicity of where they started – but kudos to them for respecting the discipline of user focused design. But looking at the page, one small thing struck me (well, one thing other than the other […]

It’s bad to talk

I phoned a bank today. It was a call I didn’t need to make and which created no value for me. The bank may or may not care about that. It was a call which the bank didn’t need to receive and which cost them money they didn’t need to spend to deal with. The bank really ought to care about that.

Game over

Some evenings on my way home from work, I play a small private game of chicken. Now I have played it for the last time. If there are too many people at the bus stop – and no, I don’t know how many makes too many – that’s a sign that the gap between buses […]

On track to nowhere

There has been a lot of work in recent years on ways of improving the process of public consultation. It’s not something about which I have any great expertise or direct involvement, but I am conscious of great efforts to produce consultation material in forms which are not just useful and accessible themselves, but which […]

Customer on a journey

Paul Clarke had been on a journey. Well two, actually. The first was to get a bit of routine business done with government, updating the photograph on his driving licence. He has written a blow by blow account of how that didn’t work the way it should have done. Follow the link and read it […]

Cloud burst

As services improve, merge and become virtual, they disappear into the cloud. Which is fine when it’s fine, but sometimes the cloud bursts. We are, we hope, creating better ways of getting things done, but we are also unintentionally and perhaps unavoidably creating new ways for systems and services to fail. Those potential failures need […]