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Rising above mediocrity: why we invest in stand-out UX talent

14.03.24InsightPeople & Culture
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It's fair to say that good UX isn't just about slick design and award-winning aesthetics; it's also about creating meaningful, seamless interactions that resonate with your audience. It's about anticipating their needs, simplifying their journey, and ultimately, delighting them at every touchpoint. 

In today's hyper-competitive landscape, where attention spans are dwindling and alternatives are just a click away, investing in exceptional UX isn't a choice — it's a necessity. By prioritising user experience, we're not just enhancing the usability of our clients websites; we're helping them build trust, foster loyalty and brand affinity, and drive business results.

That's why we've invested heavily in bringing in and developing outstanding UX talent at Freestyle, and as we have recently bolstered our UX team with the addition of accessibility-focused, UX Researcher Cynthia Sipes, it felt appropriate to shine a light on the power of human-centred UX specialists in agencies like ours. 

Cynthia joins our team of UX specialists and will work closely with UX Strategist Becki Hemming, who has been pivotal in evolving our UX offering over the last few years. Becki steers our offering to balance audience needs with business needs;

"Your audiences are never expert in the solution, they're expert in their needs. Equally, you need to be investing in the solutions that will move the dial for the business. So while many emphasise being user-centric, we uncover your sweet spots between both audience need and business need. Our research, insight consolidation, solutions and measurement always map back to audience tasks and digital objectives."

Collaborating for Continuous Improvement

In light of the current economic challenges, we understand that organisations are increasingly focused on maximising the value of their existing digital assets. They aim to ensure that these assets not only serve their business goals and objectives effectively but also meet the evolving needs of their users, it's also why we work closely and in partnership with our clients to develop continuous improvement plans that facilitate growth and evolution beyond the initial launch of any product, tool, or site we develop with them. 

Of course there are also organisations out there whose existing solutions are simply no longer fit for purpose, as well as those who have identified new business needs and opportunities. Whatever their circumstances, our focus is always on finding that sweet spot between audience and business, creating experiences that are intuitive, memorable and drive results. 

There are a whole bunch of tools, research methodologies and frameworks that move you closer to actionable insight, and at Freestyle, we have highly experienced and adaptable UX experts who take the strongest components of each to structure audience intelligence around your business needs, to steer measurement and design for success. 

Transforming Data into Insight

Our team of UX specialists are equipped with the expertise and knowledge to convert data into actionable insights. Through a comprehensive array of research activities, including audience interviews, user testing, surveys, digital behaviour data analysis (e.g Google Analytics), competitor profiling, journey mapping, and persona consolidation, we gain a deep understanding of your audience's needs, behaviours, and beliefs.

Anyone can do this data capture, but it's how you make it actionable - our methods make sure it's the right method, at the right time, in the right way (eg. using JTBD, not asking the audience to judge the execution, but can they achieve what they needed to).

By employing a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, our specialists provide not just numbers and reports, but rich context, insightful analysis, and future-oriented outcomes. Our empathetic approach, sophisticated research techniques, and thematic analysis ensure that the insights we deliver are meaningful and impactful.

Understanding Your Audience's 'Jobs To Be Done'

Traditionally, businesses tend to focus solely on the tasks customers perform, often overlooking unmet needs and potential improvements. Our UX specialists leverage the 'Jobs To Be Done' (JTBD) framework, which shifts the focus to the outcomes your audience seeks to achieve. This framework uncovers valuable insights into audience contexts, behaviours, competition, and future opportunities or risks. For example, consider the difference between Blockbuster, which focused on the task of providing DVD rental services, and Netflix, which addressed the outcome of convenient, on-demand entertainment.

Crafting User Flows

Our specialists meticulously align content types with audience expectations and usage patterns, ensuring intuitive navigation, task conversions, and suitability across different devices. 

User flow diagrams are like wireframes, but better…they help visualise the journey users take through a digital product. They allow us to zoom out from specific pages or screens and expand to show the overall messaging, interactions and content across an entire scenario. These diagrams map out things like what messages are important, the content users see, how they navigate, and what actions they take. By doing this, we can plan for different user scenarios and set the stage for personalisation. By tracking user engagement and small actions that show intent, we can use this data to show users content that's more relevant to them, making their experience better overall.

Defining Experience Guidelines

Lastly, our UX specialists articulate comprehensive experience guidelines that capture the essence of your brand, meet the diverse needs of your audience, and embody the UX vision. This is how we ensure the brand is lived out and strengthened through the digital experience and micro interactions, not just the visual identity.

I might be biased (ok I definitely am), but our UX specialists are pretty awesome - they play a pivotal role in deciphering data, understanding audience needs and crafting seamless experiences that resonate with your audience and ensure you're achieving your business needs, goals and objectives. Beyond that, they're also really fantastic human beings who bring a whole load of positivity, insight and problem solving to the table - meaning our clients love working with them and often refer to them (as they do the rest of our specialists) as an extension to their team.

So, if you're looking for a digital partner to help you get the most from your existing digital assets, or if you are indeed looking to define and build a new solution that brings together the needs of the business with the wants of your audience, ​​then why not join forces with our fantastic, skilled team and enjoy both the process and the outstanding outcomes we'll achieve together. 


Emma Simkiss Managing Director at Freestyle

Emma Simkiss

Managing Director Freestyle

Contact us:

+44 1926 652 832

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