Peter Ramsey is the founder of Built for Mars, a UX consultancy with the simple goal of helping people build better product experiences. He is known for publishing detailed teardowns of the user experience for known brands such as Disney+, MailChimp, and many more. His latest project was a detailed evaluation of common processes at a dozen traditional and challenger banks and fintech firms.
An entrepreneur and expert in user experience, Peter joins the show today to discuss the metrics that can be measured to evaluate your company’s user experience, as well as the steps that can be taken to improve these results. Listen in to learn the benefits of using a site search on your website, why companies rely too much on data, and more.
Learn how to evaluate and improve user experience with @builtformars, entrepreneur and founder of BUILT FOR MARS. #ux #customerexperience #banking Click To Tweet
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On Today’s Episode We’ll Learn:
- The similarities between user experience and customer experience.
- How to improve your user experience.
- The importance of making your “site search” easier to navigate.
- Which metrics Peter measures to compare the user experience for companies.
- Why companies rely too much on data.
- The benefits of user reviews.
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Video of Peter Ramsey UX Episode
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome to Brainfluence, where author and international keynote speaker Roger Dooley has weekly conversations with thought leaders and world class experts. Every episode shows you how to improve your business with advice based on science or data.
Roger’s new book, Friction, is published by McGraw Hill and is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and bookstores everywhere. Dr Robert Cialdini described the book as, “Blinding insight,” and Nobel winner Dr. Richard Claimer said, “Reading Friction will arm any manager with a mental can of WD40.”
To learn more, go to RogerDooley.com/Friction, or just visit the book seller of your choice.
Now, here’s Roger.
Roger Dooley: Welcome to Brainfluence. I’m Roger Dooley. Today joining me is my virtual friend from the UK, Peter Ramsey. Peter is an entrepreneur and user experience expert. While still in college he founded Movem, the software platform that dramatically simplified the process of reference checking for housing rentals. A couple of years ago, a big insurance company acquired Movem and these days Peter is focused on his consultancy with the unusual name Built for Mars, where he helps large and small brands improve their user experience. Welcome to the show, Peter.
Peter Ramsey: Hey, thanks for having me.
Roger Dooley: So Peter, I guess this is something that you answer constantly, but let’s start with the name of your company, Built for Mars, because it actually sort of ties into the theme of what you do. Explain that.
Peter Ramsey: Yeah, so I’ve been running, as I say, like a consultancy for a couple of years. Built for Mars is I basically had to come up with a brand for it to get it published and stuff online. I didn’t want it just to be my name. And the concept of Built for Mars was really that people build products in offices and they work on Macs and iPhones, but then when you take that out in the real world, you take the out of the office and put it in the real world, they sometimes break. And so the concept was product should be built to work on Mars as just like an alien environment, right? So if you can build something that also works on Mars then hopefully it works and lots of other areas.
Roger Dooley: Right, makes huge sense. And this is something that’s been going on I think since the early days of digital, where I remember when we all didn’t have fast internet connections, you’d have these websites that looked great to their designers because they had a broadband connection in their office, but you put it on a dial up connection for the typical home user and even many business users and it didn’t work at all. But still you’ve got different issues these days, but the problem remains the same.
And also looking at different users of different skill levels, I think that probably an aspect you did mention too is could an alien use this if I didn’t have the base of knowledge that some users have, because that’s the other area where I think digital designers get trapped in things are obvious to them because they do this all the time. And if they ask the person at the next desk to test it, it’s obvious to them too. But when you let your grandmother do it, well, it may not be quite as obvious and she may struggle. But in any case, for starters, I focus a lot on customer experience and user experiences, I guess, an element of that. How would you compare those two things or is there a big difference? How would you define that?
Peter Ramsey: Yeah, so they’re pretty similar. There’s definitely like a gray area where they kind of merge. So I would throw user interface, so UI into there as well just to help clarify this. So if you think about a car, the UI would be the materials you use and the layout of the wheel and things like that. The UX would be can you at night fumble around and find the volume knob to turn right? Like through a tunnel. Can you do that with one hand without looking? Because that’s like the experience, that’s not how it looks. That’s like the experience of using it.
Now the customer experience in that kind of example would be when you’re purchasing the car, how does the sellers kind of make you feel, what kind of interactions do they have? So calling a call center, I recently did a study on customer support, there is a user experience of getting customer support and then there is a customer experience in the sense of can they solve your problem, right? So they definitely overlap, but I would say the customer experience kind of transcends the user experience and it covers a lot more ground basically.
Roger Dooley: Great. And I want to get into your amazing banking study, but I will also for the moment, now our audio listeners won’t be able to see this, but for our video viewers, I’m going to stand up and show that I have my Friction Hunter shirt on and Peter has one as well. That is, as far as I know the only one of those on your side of the Atlantic, Peter.
Peter Ramsey: Oh wow.
Roger Dooley: It’s a really exclusive shirt right now. But the reason I sent Peter one of those, I actually had it printed in the UK to speed things up a little bit, was because he did such an amazing job of finding friction in banking by doing something that no human should be forced to do and that is set up an account at 12 different banks and go through the entire process. Now I would think that if you were working in consultancy and somebody, your boss came and said, “Okay, Peter, I want you to set up accounts at all these 12 banks and write it all up, look at every aspect of it.” And you would say, “Oh my God, that’s not something that I want to do, it’s horrible”, but you actually forced yourself to do this. So explain sort of the origin of the study and how you carried it out.
Peter Ramsey: Sure. So I’ve been publishing UX content for about six months, which is taking a product like Disney plus and then showing people where the friction in it is and where users would find problems and how they’d improve Disney plus. Now I’ve been doing those as isolated case studies, which I think pretty good, but I wanted to find a way to do something bigger. And to me, banking was a sector where it’s like, look, you work every day and then you take all your money and you put it in this thing, which is a bank, right? Largely.
And the experience of a banking app is something that is quite meaningful. You might use it every day. You’ll probably use it for the rest of your life. It’s got all of your savings in it. So for a bank app to crash, and there was actually a bank, Smile bank in the UK, that’s been inaccessible for five days already because of some error, right? So everyone with a Smile account couldn’t access their money through the app.
Roger Dooley: Last thing you want to do is go to your bank’s website, get a 500 internal server error or something.
Peter Ramsey: Yeah, exactly.
Roger Dooley: That doesn’t give a lot of confidence that your money is in good hands.
Peter Ramsey: Exactly. And you’re not talking to, Disney plus could get away with that and you’d go, oh, maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow, but a bank can’t. So for me, the idea of comparing these banks and saying, look, the bank should be the best experiences you can buy that these are billion dollar companies, these are really experienced companies. So they should be really good at this. And the idea of this was me showing that actually even these huge companies make really small mistakes, the kind of things that you would expect a very beginner design team to not make. And the idea is that everybody makes mistakes. And so by showing it in banking, I can kind of compare it to other sectors.
Roger Dooley: Yeah. It’s funny how that works. A couple of years ago, I did a rear consulting gig for a very large financial company, not a bank, but in the financial space. And my role was supposed to be to add some sort of behavioral science, neuro marketing dust to their experience to make them convert better. And when I got into what they were doing, it was much less a need for non-conscious marketing and much more a need for dust fixing what was really a pretty terrible user customer experience. Just you would have you’d have had a field day writing that up, just seeing stuff you would never see on even a small company site.
But I think that over the years, these things just kind of develop. You’ve got the compliance people, you’ve got the legal people oh hey, you’ve got to do this, we’ve got to have these disclosures right up front. And so just all these horrible aspects made the site very difficult to use, very difficult to figure out what you were supposed to do next and certainly not effective at selling a product. It did not convey a sense of warmth and comfort and oh yeah, I can really trust these people.
Peter Ramsey: Sure. Yeah. People refer to the term technical debt, right? Which is these large institutions, typically banks, because so in the UK that there was a bank called Metro bank and they were the first bank in 150 years to get a banking license, which meant that all the other banks, and that was in 2010, all the other banks had had decades to basically build stuff in languages that you would never build stuff in these days. And so if you look at the banking sector now, the incumbent banks, they’ve got huge technical debt, which is every time they try and do something they’re like okay, by changing that, we break something over there and we break something over there.
And these challenger banks don’t have that because they’re quite fresh. So for them, moving is a lot faster and you know, the world of apps and the quality that people expect in applications has dramatically increased in the last decade, right? So like from web 1.0 to 2.0 to where we are now, the experience that we would expect has gone up and the languages and the debt and the weight of all of that legacy code is just holding these guys back. So I don’t see it getting any better, I see actually it getting worse and eventually these banks will just start again. And in fact, if these banks aren’t starting again already, I’d be surprised.
Roger Dooley: Yeah. I’ve seen that in airlines too. United Airlines is one when I was traveling, which I’m not these days, most people aren’t, used a lot and their website was, and still is, pretty horrible. And it just hasn’t improved over the years. They’ve gussied up the appearance a little bit, but some of the functionality still isn’t changed. I’m guessing it’s because there’s a bazillion lines of COBOL there that they don’t want to touch that they’re afraid to touch, but the app is actually quite good. I mean, they know how to create a good user experience. But I think that the app, they could start fresh, the website was tied into all this legacy stuff. But okay, now, as you were looking at the bank experience, what kind of metrics did you look at? What did you measure to compare the various entities?
Peter Ramsey: Yeah, I actually went into it measuring everything. So like hundreds of things. So what I produced was, or what I published where the most interesting five or six metrics for a particular chapter. So I split it over six chapters. Each chapter covered a certain thing that you would do. So opening an account, making a payment, international payments, that sort of thing. So I recorded everything, like literally counted the words on every screen, everything you can imagine. And then the most interesting metrics that I published were things like how quick was the app in terms of an infrastructure layer, how quickly did they load? How quick are they to use? How much input was required? So number of clicks. And then I kind of benchmarked all of the banks against each other to say this bank was quicker than this bank. And then underneath I kind of went into the detail as to why it’s quicker and why it feels better. And sometimes why speed isn’t the most important factor if it’s quick but dirty to use.
Roger Dooley: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Peter Ramsey: Yeah.
Roger Dooley: Right. Which do you think, when you sort of look at the user experience overall, where did you see the biggest differences between the brands? I mean, I’m sure some you looked at and said, well, okay, there’s really not, none of these really seem too significant. Brand A is not that much better or worse than brand B, but I’m sure there are others where you said, wow, this really makes a difference and this bank is going to get more customers or lose more customers because of this feature or the way it operates.
Peter Ramsey: Yeah. So international payments I think was the largest variance between banks. So it took, so the challenge of banks, Revolut was free, Starling was about 70p and Monzo was about one pound thirty. Now Monzo is a proxy because they use TransferWise. So what I did is I opened a TransferWise US account and then had a proper account there. And then I sent money to myself from Pounds to US dollars and then measured how much money effectively got through to the other end, right? Because that would cover all of the fees. And I actually paid all those fees and that sucked.
But for some of those banks, so a few of them were nearly 30 pounds. So the difference between sending a hundred pounds with a challenge of bank to this account versus with an incumbent bank was about 29 pound 30. So it’s like, why would anybody send money abroad using these banks when it costs you 30 pounds to send a hundred pounds? And so for me, it’s like that’s a classic case of that’s how much it used to cost, but because there was no transparency, because you didn’t know what it costs, everyone just paid it and now people know, right? And TransferWise exists, a bunch of other borderless money transfer Fin Techs exists.
Roger Dooley: The friction that we talk about most of the time is friction in the user experience, but in my book I also talk about financial friction. Fees, taxes, all those things that are part of a transaction that aren’t absolutely necessary to complete the transaction and research shows and data shows over the years that when you have those extra costs added on to things, they decrease that activity. And in this case, that’s going to decrease the activity for those banks that have the high fees and shift it to those banks that have lower fees.
Peter Ramsey: It’s also the way that the banks sell this feature, right? And effectively the context they build around it making a payment online. So some of these banks, there was a difference in markup and the interbank effects rate they get and the one that they provide for the user, they will add a markup on. And so that was anywhere from zero to 5%. But they put that in the terms and conditions and they put that somewhere, right? And they say oh, this is your exchange rate, it’s 1.24 or whatever, 1.22.
Most people don’t understand exchange rates. If you’re just a general consumer and you’ve got no interest in stocks, no interest in markets, no interest in FX at all, and someone says, oh, the pound to USD right now is 1.22. You’ll go, okay. If that’s what it is, that’s what I buy, right? And it’s the same model for an airport. So you travel, you convert money, it’s how they make their money. So it’s like it’s not that the banks are just more expensive, it’s that there’s actually some complexity in terminology there that they’re not doing a good job of explaining to the users.
Roger Dooley: Well, it is challenging. I know when I travel, I tend to just use a credit card most of the time, one that hopefully does not charge me fees for currency exchange but sometimes I do have to convert cash and it’s really confusing because you’ll see one place says no fees, free transactions, but their exchange rate is bad and another place may have a higher fee, but a favorable exchange rate. And for the average person, just having to sort this out is a real pain. But where we’ve got a confusing thing in particular, you go to one of these exchange places and they’ve got 47 different currencies displayed, and you’re trying to figure out which direction you’re going in and it can be kind of confusing. What does 8.7 really mean?
So you did this sort of massive tear down on the experience in different aspects of doing things, Peter. How would you compare that activity with say, if you had access to this, which of course internally they do, say measuring user behavior data, how long are people spending here? What are they clicking on? What are they trying to click on? And all the wealth of data that you can get from any kind of digital app or website these days. Which is more valuable, or do you need both? Or how do you structure that?
Peter Ramsey: It’s tough. So I think companies rely on data too much. So this data exists, the companies will I assume be looking at it, the data doesn’t tell you everything. So as I’m sure you know, it’s hard to measure friction when it’s anger or frustration. How do you measure frustration, right? If people aren’t clicking off and they’re just carrying through but they’re annoyed and then they take that annoyance and then they tell their friend in the pub that they’re annoyed at your app. How do you measure that? Incredibly difficult.
Roger Dooley: Right, right. There are tools to do that actually, facial coding.
Peter Ramsey: Okay.
Roger Dooley: There is profanity detection in call center voice systems, but it’s a sad state when we have to measure whether people are cussing out our automated voice systems.
Peter Ramsey: Yeah.
Roger Dooley: That’s a thing.
Peter Ramsey: Okay. So I didn’t know that. So on the automated like press one for, they listen to that do they, and then…?
Roger Dooley: Well, they apparently have the ability to listen and this, I don’t know how widely implemented this is, but I have been told by people who study these things that it is implemented in some call center situations where they can actually detect profanity. And also, I guess it’s the sort of online equivalent would be rage clicking when people are trying to get something done and they just keep clicking, nothing’s happening. And you can measure that too.
Peter Ramsey: Yeah. Okay. So there’s a few examples there, but I think largely, like anger might be the easier one, right? Like how do you measure loyalty? Like there are a bunch of experience things and how people feel that are hard for data to capture. So for these, there’s two problems with what you said, well, the question. So one of them is that it’s hard to measure and so when these banks have the data, they’re not getting the full picture. So they need to use both the data they can see and also their common sense and learning what users think, right? And however they get that data.
The second is their data for stuff like how quickly do we pick up the phone might not include the time the user spent to troll through the app, find the right number, sit through the dial, press one, for press two for. The call might be picked up in 30 seconds, but they spent 15 minutes going round and round and round. So I’m skeptical as to when the banks measure this information and how measure it. For example, how quickly the app loads, right? Like when do they measure that the app is loaded? Is it from the first time their server pushes the first image? In which case is that a second delayed?
Roger Dooley: Right. I would say that any responsible business would use tools that are readily available to see, say how quickly your website loads, where some remote site tries to load it and do whatever you would normally do so you’re not connected directly to your own server and such. But I have a theory that many companies measure only those things where the data will produce an answer that they want to hear. Looking at customer experience, I had a super frustrating experience with my internet provider, which is shocking, isn’t it? I know that that never happens anywhere, but providers tend to be monopolies in their particular area.
At the end of this frustrating experience, I was really hot, and I was going to say, I never do those customer survey things where they say, “Stay on the line.” Well, in this case, all they did was ask me about the agent I had spoken with. Like, was your agent helpful and courteous and so on. They didn’t ask how was this overall experience? Did we solve your problem? Would you recommend us? They didn’t do anything as simple as even a net promoter score question because the answer would probably be very disappointing to their CEO to find out that nobody would recommend them to their neighbors.
Peter Ramsey: Yeah. Well, you’ve touched on another thing there. So when I talk about the difference between large and smaller companies, I sort of have this keynote presentation that I end up doing, and there’s three debts that I say these large companies have. The first one is technical debt. The second one is legislative debt. So is there some regulatory body holding back these organizations and not these ones, right? And that does happen, and in banking you have what’s called the CMA and they hold back these larger banks to a greater standard than the newer banks, right?
The third one is political. I could have political debt. Now I could probably come up with a better word for that, but it’s basically the middle managers of middle manager effect, which is kind of what you just described in that someone is trying to get a promotion and they’re in charge of the net promoter score, right? So they are only showing that survey to people who have already passed a certain criteria because if they do well, they get a raise, they get a promotion. And then their boss, even though they know that goes on, they don’t care, because if they get a good MPS, then they can show their boss.
And you end up with this cascading system that people aren’t getting the right data and the people in charge of collecting the data, they’re not the ones that should be collecting it, basically. Asking a developer, how quick is our website that you’ve designed. It’s like, well, they’ll find the best score they can, right? They’ll pick servers that will perform the best.
Roger Dooley: It’s like the automobile dealer surveys, which historically, at least in the US perhaps in the UK, have been an important metric for a dealer performance and their ratings from their customers effect their bonuses from the car manufacturers. And so the traditional way of delivering a new car is to inform the customer that in two or three days, you’ll be getting a questionnaire. If for any reason you can’t award us a 10, please call me personally and I will take care of that issue for you.
And so naturally most people end up giving them tens because most of the time probably nothing goes wrong anyway. And they’ve been primed to give them a 10 as if anything less than a 10 would be injurious to this individual and his dealership. And also they’ve been given an avenue, if they have a problem, the way to get it solved is to call this person and say, hey, I got this survey, but my turn signal isn’t working. Think you can get that taken care of? Yeah, we’ll send out a truck and tow your car in right away.
Peter Ramsey: Yeah, and the route to good user experience and good customer experience is partly transparency, right?. And I know Elon Musk is quite a polarizing figure, but one of the things that he undoubtedly does well is he, through Twitter, speaks to customers, right? You have the CEO of now, thanks to the stock market, the largest car company somehow in the US, throughout the world. He speaks directly to people, idiots like me, right? He hasn’t spoken to me, but people like me that go, hey, I really want this in the car. And he goes, cool, yeah, we can do that. And that kind of transparency and having that plane to be able to put forward suggestions is how, that bypass is the middle manager of middle manager kind of debt, really.
Roger Dooley: Mm-hmm (affirmative). One other way, Peter, that companies can evaluate their app or their website experience or their call center, I guess, is to do sort of either a lab type study where they bring people in, perhaps off the street, to use it while they’re being observed through a video or one way glass and so on. Or perhaps using digital panels where now you can hire these companies and say hey, I’ve got a new website. And in a few hours, they will have 10 people or 50 people use your site and record their experience while they’re doing it. I’m just curious what your opinion is on those as a way of testing or measuring user experience.
Peter Ramsey: Yeah. I’ve used them and my experience with them has been pretty poor. I’m sure that there’s a psychological term for this and I’ll kick myself for not remembering it, but the act of being monitored changes how people think and how people use stuff.
Roger Dooley: The Western Electric effect from an old and partially discredited, I guess, study in which they were trying to measure the results of lighting on productivity. And what they found was when they made the lights brighter, people got more productive and then, well hey, it worked. Then they turned the lights back to the old setting and people got more productive again. And it turned out that it made them aware they were being monitored. But I think the results of that have been called into question. It’s been a long time since I looked at that.
Peter Ramsey: All right, nice. Yeah. So, I certainly, anecdotally I know that, and I think people are aware of that. When they bring in customers to their office and hey, we really just want to learn about how you use our product, you don’t get the real world experience. So there is software like tracking software that can be used to kind of watch users actually use a product without them knowing they’ve been monitored. I’ve used them in the past, I know people who’ve used them. As long as they’re done in a good way, I guess it’s fine. And that can be better because people don’t know they’re being watched and then you can kind of get that experience.
When I think about films and stuff and they have like the panel where there’s like five different flavors of Coke and they go in and they give their opinion behind a glass screen, I think in software that’s more difficult because people don’t interact with apps with other people. They sit at home on their sofa on their own in front of the tele using the app. And so when you take someone out of that context of casually scrolling and you put them in a lab, they don’t don’t think the same.
Roger Dooley: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, my critique on the digital panels is that they are good for fast feedback. If you’ve got something new and you want some quick feedback on it, then hey, it’s better than not doing anything at all. But to me these panel members end up not being naive users much of the time. The first time they look at a website and they’re told to, okay, figure out how to buy a pair of socks on this website and just talk us through it. Then, okay, that’s probably a legitimate experience because unless they’re really avid shoppers, they may struggle with it.
But if you’ve done this a hundred times for different companies and different industries, you become almost a sort of mini UX expert, not with the formal knowledge, but you’ve seen the buy button hidden in the upper right corner, in lower left corner and every place else. So now you’re pretty adept at finding the buy button, even if it’s put someplace where the average user might say, oh, what am I supposed to do now?
Peter Ramsey: Yeah.
Roger Dooley: But at the same time, to me, a company that does anything is better than one that does nothing. And I really get the impression some of these companies design something and just sort of push it out and say, wow, hey, it looks great.
Peter Ramsey: I would agree with you actually, I think it’s better than nothing and as long as they understand that the people in these digital panels are self selecting, right? It’s not jury duty, they’re not being called up randomly. You’re picking people who make 50 cents an app or whatever to click around stuff and they may have done hundreds of these things. So exactly like you say, they’re used to navigating websites. They’re probably pretty technical, they probably understand how to do the certain things because they get asked the same questions, which is like sign up to my website. What’d you think about this?There’s probably only like 10 questions they ever get asked. So it’s better than nothing though, for sure.
Roger Dooley: You know, Peter, one area that I’ve focused on over the last few years, not in as formal a way as you do, but is site search in comparing the effort to accomplish stuff on people’s websites. And I’ve looked at differences between big sort of home improvement brands and I’m curious whether you have gotten into site search at all and what your thoughts are on that.
Peter Ramsey: Yeah. So I’ve done some sites search stuff within case studies. I haven’t done anything site search specific. So I guess I don’t have like a broad opinion on site search, but like everything else, I think some people do it poorly, some people do it quite well. As with most of UX, the benefits and the wins are in the nuances and the niche kind of context building elements you add. So shopping on Amazon is pretty easy because you can type something and you bet it’s there, right? You could type anything, it’s pretty much there. But if you were shopping on some random website for something really small, you might need a little bit more help, you might need a few more examples.
Roger Dooley: By the way, in my much less formal study than what you do, Amazon was the top performer. They inevitably gave you smart suggestions as soon as you began typing and their suggestions were closer to your end goal than other brands. Some other brands, Home Depot did pretty well with that, with offering smart suggestions. Then also their results were typically a hundred percent spot on, at least for the organic results. Occasionally sponsored results end up just being poorly designed by the advertiser. They match a keyword and don’t exclude some other keywords. So if you’re looking for a camera with a zoom lens and you’ve typed visual camera zoom, they just saw digital camera and match that. But by and large, they do a great job.
The other area that I’ve seen that really drives me crazy is reviews are so important these days. And it used to be that Amazon was the only place that had a sufficient quantity of reviews to really make them usable. Other sites would have no reviews or 12 reviews for product, where they’re so skewed by the small number that you don’t know if it’s meaningful. But now other sites are getting there. But searchability of reviews. What I find I’m doing often is, okay, I’ve got this product, I’m looking for this feature, do people like this feature?
And if you’ve got 500 reviews and they’re displayed five per page and the only way to get through them is by going from page one to page two to page three, it’s really not too helpful. I mean, the overall rating is helpful I think, but just adding that search feature would let you show all the reviews that mention the specific characteristic that you’re looking for. Just such a simple little change that would be useful on so many sites, but many sites don’t have that for some reason.
Peter Ramsey: Yeah. One of the issues with reviews are that people psychologically are looking for negative reviews, firstly, right? You can see 500 good reviews and then you see a bad review. So the searches are, visually when you look through something, you’re finding the bad ones, skipping through the good ones. The other issue with it is that a lot of the time these reviews are hosted on third party websites for credibility, right? So TripAdvisor is the platform where you can book and have reviews, but initially they were just reviews and you would be booking somewhere else and that would be your credible source. So the hotel on their website, they wouldn’t have built a way to search and filter all your TripAdvisor reviews. That’s kind of TripAdvisor’s job.
And that’s kind of what happens, especially in the UK, you have a few kind of big names for reviews that do some of the things, and yeah, I don’t know what the solution is. I mean, Amazon has obviously the quantity on their own platform and yeah, I mean, your example of features, if I was buying, yeah, a camera, I would want to type in waterproof and see if anyone has dropped their camera and did it survive and all that sort of stuff.
Roger Dooley: Right, exactly.
Peter Ramsey: But yeah, that’s done quite poorly.
Roger Dooley: Yeah. So Peter, you’ve looked at different industries, banking is the one that you’ve looked at in great depth, but I’m curious whether just in either your more formal work or even just in your daily life, is banking the worst typical user experience on average, or is there another industry that makes banks look good?
Peter Ramsey: I don’t think they make banks look good but there’s a few. I’m actually doing more publications like the banking one on other sectors. So they take time, so it’ll be kind of Q3, Q4 of this year. But one that I’m not doing that I would like to do is car information systems. So I use the example of a call for UX all the time, but actually, if you have a get in like a lower, actually even a high end car like an Audi or BMW, the screen on that is low resolution. You’ve got this dial to try and navigate through the letters. The back button is all the way up there so you have to scroll for like a minute to get all the way back. If you took that screen and you said to a consumer, how much would you pay for this software and this experience and this screen? They would go, well, this is the worst thing I’ve seen all year, right?
And then they take that and they put that in a 60, $70,000 car. And they’re like that’s our information screen. That’s how you get your maps on it. And you’re like, Google maps is 30 times better than what you’re showing me. And that’s why people have nice cars and then have a silly little dongle for their phone to set up right next to where the information system is because they’ve gone, it doesn’t matter how good this thing is, I’m just going to use my phone.
Roger Dooley: Maybe that’s why Tesla is the most valuable auto company world.
Peter Ramsey: Right. So I’m a big fan of Tesla. I think that’s exactly one of the areas where these other car companies just don’t understand how far behind they are. Is that like Tesla, what they’ve done is make great software as well, right? Like the UI and the UX off of a Tesla in isolation is pretty good. It’s not as good as Apple, it’s not as good as Google, but it’s got all the right pieces and it’s certainly not clunky, I don’t think.
Roger Dooley: Well, that should be an interesting project, maybe an expensive one if you’ve got to get all these cars, but I think you’re the man to do it, Peter. I think we should probably be respectful of your time and wrap up here. So let me remind our audience that we are talking to Peter Ramsey of Built for Mars and Peter, how can people find you and your work?
Peter Ramsey: Yeah, so the easiest way is just the website. So builtformars.co.uk. And there’s a newsletter on there. It’s totally free content. So there’s yeah, if you enjoy this sort of UX tear down stuff, I release things on there every now and then. So that’s a pretty good way.
Roger Dooley: We will link there and to any other resources we spoke about on the show notes page at rogerdooley.com/podcast. Peter, thanks so much for being on the show. It’s been a lot of fun to actually connect for the first time, at least seeing each other, if not in person. And I hope that one of these days, as we were discussing off air, we could meet in your local for a pint.
Peter Ramsey: Lovely. Yeah. Pleasure.
Thank you for tuning into this episode of Brainfluence. To find more episodes like this one, and to access all of Roger’s online writing and resources, the best starting point is RogerDooley.com.
And remember, Roger’s new book, Friction, is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and book sellers everywhere. Bestselling author Dan Pink calls it, “An important read,” and Wharton Professor Dr. Joana Berger said, “You’ll understand Friction’s power and how to harness it.”
For more information or for links to Amazon and other sellers, go to RogerDooley.com/Friction.
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