An interview with Cennydd Bowles

About Cennydd Bowles

Cennydd Bowles is a digital product designer and writer based in Brighton, UK.
Cennydd has a decade of experience advising clients large and small on the benefits of customer-focused design. He speaks at design and user experience conferences across the globe and is a regular mentor of new design talent.

He writes for his popular blog and influential design publications, and is author of the book Undercover User Experience Design. His second book, Designing the Wider Web, will be published in 2012.


Main points

  • UX research is perceived as a hard sell because people try to do things too big too fast.
  • UX people are not very good at explaining the benefits of design research compared to market research.
  • Design research is perceived as expensive and slow.
  • There is no point in talking with stakeholders about the details of research methodology. They couldn’t care less.
  • Frame research in terms of benefits to the business.
  • We, UX people, rely too much on the big report and formal documentation of our work.
  • Disruptive research should be communicated disruptively.
  • Get stakeholders involved in research right from the start.
  • Undercover UX research methodologies: usability testing, phone interviews, remote testing, Website analytics, search analytics, and competitor analysis.
  • To identify research opportunities, look for your stakeholders’ process pain points.
  • Look at Analytics, CRM, customer service reports, and customer complaints.
  • Talk with your sales team.
  • Keep gently asking questions about customers.
  • Study what you’re asked to as well as what you think you should. Gently present those results.
  • Cennydd’s #1 deliverable is not creating one.