Desk research is a key way to get to know a client and what’s happening in their world. Search engines provide a series of useful, if somewhat hidden, shortcuts that help you to get more effective results.

Here’s a round-up of the seven search tips covered in the video…


Diagram showing the circular movement of a digital team through three activities; futures, features and fixes
Digital products need teams tackling ‘fixes, features and futures’

Successful and sustainable digital products come from a blend of innovation and iteration. Yet most design teams and their digital product roadmaps are out of balance.

Start-ups over-index on big and new ideas at the cost of accumulating design and technical debt. Established organisations play it safe tending to focus…


It’s 7pm in the UK. I started my day talking to someone in Tokyo, before moving to Manchester, and I’ve just finished up in San Francisco. Eighteen timezones. 14,645km (give or take). And no jetlag.

A map of the world with lines from the UK to major cities five continents
Image is a derivative of “Figma World Map Dotted” by Raven, used under CC BY 4.0.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been globetrotting to carry out research as part of…


Starting a project with a new client is both exciting and daunting, especially in a sector you haven’t much experience of. I’d like to share my client immersion checklist. It’s what I use at the outset of a project to help make the unfamiliar more familiar.

One of the joys…


Nathan Dumbleo on Unsplash

Just because your training budget has stopped doesn’t mean your training should. Instead of making cuts to staff training, I want to suggest some alternative and cost-effective ways to achieve similar results.

In times of economic uncertainty, one of the first things to get cut and last to get reinstated is the training budget. Upskilling staff is often perceived as an unjustifiable expense. A luxury, an extra, a perk only to be rolled out during the good times. …


I find training people in UX, research and digital design skills both a rewarding and fascinating part of my role at Clearleft.

Over the years I’ve done a fair amount of remote training sessions. However, my preference has always been for delivering in-person classroom-based training. Well, times have changed. …


A handful of things in life are inevitable. On this list you’ll find taxes, death and — if you work in a project team — having more ideas than you have time to deliver.

Whether creating products or services, working for an agency or for an in-house team, the list of potential features and ongoing fixes is always outpaced by the available time to explore, build and release them.

In ‘Good Strategy. Bad Strategy’, Richard Rumelt says sagely: “strategy is at least as much…


Want to create better designs? Interested in becoming a better designer? There are few shortcuts to better design but introducing regular structured critique to your design process is one of them.

In my role as a UX consultant, I’m often helping clients improve the impact and efficiency of their design…


We regularly use design sprints to help clients to accelerate design, unblock problems and investigate new ideas. We’re big fans of design sprints when done well.

However . . .

. . . we also find there are some common misunderstandings about the technique pioneered by Jake Knapp and the…


‘How do you know your site structure is needing attention before it becomes really broken?”. I’ve recently been asked variations of this question by a couple of clients, a colleague and the attendees of an IA presentation I was giving. …

Chris How

Principal UX Consultant @clearleft & Co-organiser of @uxcampbrighton. Insatiable curiosity for people, digital design and tech. Recovering Post-it note addict.

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