Leo Poll

Leo Poll

President Akendi UK

Technically everything is possible, making it work for people is where the real challenges are. Addressing these challenges from an end-user perspective in a way that makes business sense is what has driven Leo throughout his career. With more than 15 years of experience, he is able to bring an ability of strong lateral thinking combined with very broad domain knowledge of applications/markets and technical enablers.

Author Archives: Leo Poll

Don’t let the old stop the new!

Don’t let the old stop the new!

A little while ago Michelle wrote on this blog how bad usability nearly turned her to crime and I am sure she is not alone. However, good insight-driven UX can also prevent crime. Take music streaming. I don’t know whether you have noticed but the music industry has become quiet lately. What a change fromRead more

Innovation? Fast follow that Uber taxi instead!

Innovation? Fast follow that Uber taxi instead!

It has finally happened. Uber made it to Cambridge. Some, like myself, were looking forward to this. Others like Cambridge’s taxi firms, cannot have been, but the arrival of Uber in Cambridge cannot have been a surprise to established taxi firms and that bugs me a little bit. Why? Because existing taxi firms seem toRead more

The Internet of Things – Who Cares?

The Internet of Things – Who Cares?

I have always found the term, the “Internet-of-Things” a bit of a misnomer. What does it actually mean? Are things going on the internet and if so why? What is the counterpart of this term? The “Internet-of-People”? Surely IoT is just connectivity added to Things in order to, hopefully, enhance their functionality. This is, inRead more

Why Your Experience Is Your Reality (And How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Coffee)

Why Your Experience Is Your Reality (And How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Coffee)

I love coffee, it fuels my day, it fuels the company, and I couldn’t do business without it. Fortunately, I am not alone. Even the Brits have fallen for the allure of good coffee, and coffee shops such as Nero, Costa, Starbucks can be found on every corner of self respecting city centres. Sometimes, youRead more

The Dark Side of UX

The Dark Side of UX

Does UX have the power to manipulate and deceive? It does. And we must use our powers for good. Let me explain… I recently was the victim of a dark user experience designed to scam. This went as follows: As a Dutchman, I travel to The Netherlands quite frequently and, in true Dutch fashion, IRead more

UX IS NOT A PROFESSION

UX IS NOT A PROFESSION

There is a direct link between your organization’s revenues and the experience you deliver to your customers and users. More and more companies are aware of this and realize that they need to address their lack of UX expertise. The solution? Hire a UX lead and the ‘problem’ is solved. Unfortunately, it rarely is becauseRead more

Why Philips Needs a CXO

Why Philips Needs a CXO

A large part of my career was spent at Philips and as a Dutchman. I was, and still am, proud of this Global Dutch company. At one point it was the last large consumer electronics giant still standing outside of Asia. Great new innovations such as the compact cassette (enabling Sony’s Walkman) and the compact discRead more

Seeing is not always believing.

Seeing is not always believing.

We have 5 senses (some people claim they have six) and you cannot trust any of them. Cognitive psychologists studying exteroception try to make sense of how we make sense of our senses. The results of some of the experiments conducted are quite remarkable. Give people a perfectly round coin to hold and distort theirRead more

Designing Good UX Is An Ungrateful Job

Designing Good UX Is An Ungrateful Job

Recently somebody remarked that he didn’t understand what all the fuss around UX was all about. Surely this was not a professional discipline but you simply use your ‘common sense’ when designing. When asked why there is so much bad UX around, the answer was that this was designed by people who are simply not good enough. TheRead more

Less is more… if you collaborate

Less is more… if you collaborate

The smart phone is an octopus in a box. It is a calculator, web browser, instant messaging device, social hub, spirit level, star map, sat nav and more in a handy single mobile package. In addition, you can also still make phone calls with it. All this functionality comes without the user manuals that we would normally expectRead more

Lean UX: the what, the how, the where

Lean UX: the what, the how, the where

“Are you ‘lean’?” is what somebody asked me recently. The timing for this was pretty lousy so just after Christmas and I nearly replied with a ‘not as lean as before Christmas’ when I realised that the question referred to our way of working as a company. Documentation Anyone? The answer depends on what youRead more

Innovations for Niche User Needs

Innovations for Niche User Needs

Tech is cool. And engineers just keep inventing cool tech, often without really considering what their inventions are really going to be used for. This is great news for user groups with ‘niche’ needs especially if there are multiple niches that can be served by the same technology. This week the Akendi UK team wasRead more

The Year of the iBeacon: roundup

The Year of the iBeacon: roundup

Our Year of the iBeacon event on the afternoon of 21 May saw a lot of ‘great minds that do not think alike’ come together in Cambridge, UK. It was here that we pushed the boundaries of iBeacon-inspired user experiences. Starting with three speakers, Leo Poll (me) from Akendi, Nicolas Graube from CSR (find hisRead more

Have solution, need a problem?

Have solution, need a problem?

In a previous blog I wrote about the importance of inventing less and discovering more. This insight driven approach (discovery) is based on the principle that customers/users cannot tell you what they want but they do know what they need or at the very least where the experience pain points are. One way of elicitingRead more

Invent Less, Discover More!

Invent Less, Discover More!

I was intrigued by a story on breakfast radio on how one of the general practitioners practices in the United Kingdom have managed to significantly reduce the number of patient no-shows. The idea is quite simple, patients receive a reminder of an appointment by SMS. If they can no longer attend then all they needRead more

Product Innovation: Focus on needs, shop for the tech

Product Innovation: Focus on needs, shop for the tech

Does true product innovation require agility? Validating many concepts quickly and cheaply? Most companies will answer both questions with a big YES. “Our customers change their minds all the time because they do not know what they want!” is what we hear often. Agile and lean UX are considered to be the answer. I canRead more

Product Innovation – From film set model to remarkable customer experience

Product Innovation – From film set model to remarkable customer experience

Product Innovation never ceases to amaze me. I was given a nice box with a couple of artisan English ales over Christmas. The packaging, the shape of the bottles, the names of the beers all gave me the impression that I was about to taste (and have by now :-)) truly remarkable beers brewn inRead more

A Digital Life for Physical Objects

A Digital Life for Physical Objects

“Whatever happened to RFID?” somebody asked me recently. Interesting question, we had just used our Oyster cards to enter the London Underground. Millions of public transport passengers all over the globe do the same, all without thinking. We call it Oyster card in London, ORCA in Washington, OV kaart in The Netherlands, call it whatRead more

Home is Where the Smart(phone) is

Home is Where the Smart(phone) is

Would you call a smartphone smart, as in SMART smart? Probably not. Granted, it’s a very capable device with high speed internet, a large screen, more apps than you can use in a lifetime, sensors detecting location, orientation, illumination, heart rate, etc. But smart? Not really. You, as the user, will still have to doRead more