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Author: Danny Bluestone

Danny Bluestone

Danny Bluestone is the founder and Managing Director of Cyber-Duck, a digital agency based in leafy Hertfordshire.

Danny is a self-taught designer and created Cyber-Duck in 2005 out of his love for his favorite rubber duck and passion to fuse design, usability and technology into a superior user experience.  Cyber-Duck work internationally with consortiums like Eurofighter Typhoon, UK tech start-ups like AnyVan and corporations like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Since 2005, Danny has been heavily investing in perfecting Cyber-Duck’s user centred design (UCD) and management processes. During 2013 and 2014, Danny was voted by BIMA as one of the UK’s hot 100 digital professionals. He works with young communities such as the Code Club and Young Rewired State (YRS) on initiatives to help educate the young. Danny also works with the University of Hertfordshire to drive forward lean project management as a core syllabus. Danny obtained an MA in Design for Interactive Media in 2003 from Middlesex University in London.

Key trends in online identity verification (so everybody knows you're a dog)

The Internet was once a more anonymous space. People hid their real identities, coming up with unique and sometimes bizarre pseudonyms to represent themselves on specific websites.

As services and socialising shifted online, identifying each other digitally has become increasingly important. 

How can we do this securely, without impacting users’ experience? I’ll explore the trends in online identity verification, looking at the key solutions and implications for businesses and users. 


Agile development: what do marketers need to know?

How your website, app or software is produced will have a significant impact over how quickly it's built and its quality. 

The technicalities of development methodologies can be intimidating, and appear irrelevant to marketers. But, which approach is used is a critical decision.

It can't be left to your production team, whether in-house or outsourced.  


Need for speed: how to optimise website performance

Website performance radically impacts our success, 64% of smartphone users expect websites to load in under four seconds.

However, average page weights are still on the rise. 

As marketers, website performance can seem utterly beyond our control. Here’s how to change that...


How can technology boost the youth vote?

The UK’s upcoming election is the closest contest in living memory.

Reversing low turnout trends, research reveals 75% of young people intend to vote, but 44% haven’t decided who to support. 

This demographic has a real opportunity to make an impact on election night, if politics can reach them through digital channels.

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Improving the multichannel customer experience

Whether you realise it or not, your company is in the user experience business.

Putting users at the centre of your strategy is key to a successful multichannel approach.

Here are five guiding principles to help you get it right.

iPhone - Native Apps

Is there a future for native apps?

Recent research seems to casts doubt on the future growth of the once-thriving app economy.

According to Deloitte, almost a third of UK-based smartphone users no longer download new apps in a typical month. This finding has been replicated by Comscore in the US.

Worryingly, Deloitte also reported that nine out of ten users never spend money on apps. Even the seemingly infallible Candy Crush Saga profits are slumping much faster than expected. 

So, has the notoriously short digital attention span already moved on? What are the reasons behind this 'app fatigue', and are there any implications for the place of native apps in future business models?

Web design across generations - WIkipedia

Web design across different generations

For a website or digital product to be truly ‘user-centric’, we need to determine who the ‘user’ is.

Each person will approach a website, system or app through their own, unique mental model, applying how they think it will be organised to each new one they encounter. 

Although each individual’s mental model is unique, users can be ‘grouped’ to determine their digital (dis)abilities.

Generations share key aspects of their mental models, as people who live in the same period are influenced by societal values and culture, the emergence of new technologies, and experience similar events to some degree.

Similarly, they share age-related elements, such as physical or cognitive (dis)abilities. 

Interaction Design - Tab Bar

Interaction design: three important innovations

Interaction design (IxD) is all about shaping the customer’s digital experience, with new research and design trends constantly inspiring technologists and designers to invent better user interfaces and widgets.

So, what are some of the exciting new trends in Interaction Design and how can they create a positive impact on customer experience?

In my opinion, there are three important innovations set to make waves.

Pinterest logo, ecommerce

Four points of Pinterest in ecommerce‏

The pinboard-style website is on the rise, aspiring to become the visual search engine of the internet.

With the novel arrival of the newest batch of pins that this social media channel has recently created for today’s modern digital consumers, will it be taking retailers by storm, or just bring a drizzle of rain into the world of ecommerce?

benefits of qualitative research in UX - workshop at UX London

The top three benefits of qualitative research in UX

Qualitative research ensures customer validation, clarity and a process when producing the products of tomorrow. It is possible to use qualitative techniques via a user centred design process to truly innovate whilst remaining agile.

The time and cost of qualitative research is often very small in the 'grand scheme' of product development.

Yet it is able to answer the 'how' and 'why' of which products should be created as opposed to just 'how much' attained from quantitative data, therefore yielding highly creative outcomes.