Web designer stresses importance of customer experience


William T Young Library

Ally Hicks

The customer is always right, especially in web design. Communication technology majors were treated to a presentation from an experienced web designer on Thursday evening in the William T. Young Library Auditorium.

UK hosted Austin Knight, senior designer, speaker and author at HubSpot, a software service company. Knight’s presentation was titled “Lean UX in the Enterprise.”

Knight joined HubSpot to oversee their website.

“I was hired as our first user experience employee three years ago,” Knight said. “My job was to bring everyone together.”

Knight noticed the disconnect between different sections of the marketing process, leading to negative user experience. To correct this, Knight created his own form of interface design, Lean UX in the Enterprise. Operating in a fluid and cyclical manner, this process advances the user experience and broadens the marketing process to encompass a wider demand.

“(Lean UX in the Enterprise) recognizes that there is no one perfect design that can be applied to every scenario. It needs to adapt to the unique needs and demands of the situation,” Knight said.

Knight emphasized how important the content and design of a website is as it relates to customer experience. He emphasized that one must always prioritize the needs of the customer.

“The best aesthetics account for what the users consider to be beautiful more than what the stakeholders consider to be beautiful,” Knight said.  

The term “user experience” incorporates all of the interactions with a company and its products by customers. Knight’s overarching responsibility was to to improve the quality of these exchanges.

The School of Information Science, part of the UK College of Communication and Information, invited Knight to present his user experience process in part for University of Kentucky students who are interested in marketing, design, development and technology.

“Some students may come in having a background in technology and communication but others may say ‘I want to learn a little bit more’ because user experience essentially impacts them in any kind of faucet that involves technology,” Tamika Tompoulidis, Student Affairs Officer for the School of Information Science, said.            .

Knight’s insights about user experience aren’t just appreciated in his hometown of Lexington, he is widely regarded around the world.

“He is an international public speaker but a Lexington native,” Tompoulidis said. “He travels all around the world giving presentations about user experience and about the projects that he conducts at Hubspot.”