Shortlisted at UX UK Awards 2018

To be shortlisted at last week’s UX UK Awards 2018 made me so proud. Our Charities Aid Foundation website was in the categories Best User Experience and Best Effect On Business Goals, which is about impact on business as a result of improved user experience. As we know, a great customer experience often results in a great return on investment, so the winner of this award will have shown the most successful effect on costs and organisational goals.

For the submission we needed to give evidence of a few things:

  • Impact on KPIs – evidence included within the submission that key performance indicators (conversion, profit, turnover, number of help requests, returned item, waiting times, etc) of the business/service has been improved as a result of the site/app/service
  • Role of research – evidence that a better understanding of users (goals, needs, motivations, anxieties, etc) through research has led to this impact on business goals

On the night we were also told they’d received more submissions than ever before and the calibre of work submitted was extremely high.

Our journey

When I joined CAF in 2016 the site was dated and wasn’t responsive across devices. Since then I’ve been working alongside UX agency Webcredible to overhaul CAF’s website and I’ve loved every minute working with them. This work has involved UX design, information architecture and thorough user testing of all new elements. Together we devised and tested how each section and the new homepage should look whilst keeping in mind the key business objectives the pages should fulfil such as helping convey CAF as a brand, a story and a service, and navigating visitors to relevant areas of the site whether it’s products, campaigns, CAF Bank or news.

Fast forward today and more people are visiting our site than ever before (15% increase), there’s been a 25% increase in new visitors, mobile traffic is up 88% year-on-year and the average page load is 26% faster.

Richard Lewis, Head of UX @ Sainsbury’s, presenting the award for Best Effect on Business Goals. Sadly we just missed out to the AA, but to see our logo up there showed just how far we have progressed this year.

Last year’s winner James Nation, Head of Design & UX @ Beano Studios, announcing the award for Best User Experience.

Me and my colleague Dennis at the awards.

Core criteria for all submissions

We needed to meet the following criteria to ensure we adhered to a common, usable standard and were told that entries that failed to meet the majority of these criteria were unlikely to be shortlisted.

  • Accessible – (minimal) accessibility requirements have been addressed
  • Actionable – it should be clear how to achieve tasks/goals that the app/site/service is designed for; functionality should be clear (it is obvious what to press and what not to, etc.)
  • Consistent – consistency of information architecture (IA), visual and interaction design throughout the site/app/service
  • Content – good, engaging content, appropriate for the web/apps/service and its target audience
  • Cross-Platform – works well across multiple platforms (unless specifically designed not to be multi-platform); windows/mac, iOS/Android/WinMo, etc.
  • Evidence – there should be ample evidence of a good research process that has gone into the development of the product
  • Flow – does the user know where to start on the page? Is the path from start to finish clearly defined?
  • Functional – it works, ideally quickly (low loading times), no bugs, no dead links, HTML5 videos, not reliant on flash or third-party plugins, browser independent
  • Information Architecture – the app/site/service should have a clear navigation, understandable labelling, well-defined iconography, orientation within the app/service/site is clear, links and CTAs are obvious, well-labelled and consistently presented
  • Interface – the interface doesn’t get in the way of the content, unless the interface is deliberately designed to be engaging and something fun to interact with and, to some extent, is the content – e.g. a game, or even Bloom
  • Purpose – it should be clear what the app/site/service is supposed to let you achieve and/or what problem it is designed to solve
  • Visual  – the app/site/service should have an aesthetically pleasing visual design

The aim for next year has to be to maintain the standards we have now set and keep pushing, keep improving, and never stand still.

About This Site

Currently Senior UX Designer at Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), one of the UK’s largest charities. I’m passionate about all things design and  thrive in a fast paced, collaborative, agile environment.