Jack Stoker

I want to talk about Tom Morello, the guitarist from Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave. It may seem like an odd topic, but stick with it — there’s something here for every creative out there.

Anyone that’s heard Morello will know he does things a bit differently. From using a pencil to make his guitar sound like a helicopter, to recreating DJ-esque vinyl scratches, he’s always pushed the boundaries.

I’ve always been intrigued about the effects pedals he uses. …


Mark Howlett, a designer here at DLG, recently delivered a user experience presentation at Digital’s monthly Bytesize session.

The presentation focused on 10 guiding principles for creating great user experiences, as detailed by our head of digital design, Richard Beaumont.

It seemed like a good idea to then turn the presentation into a blog, so here are 10 guiding principles for creating great user experiences:

1. Focus on the quality and integrity of the customer experience

Keep this principle front and centre. As designers we’re sometimes accused of creating beautiful designs first and putting the user second.

2. Create customer…


In September, just ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Florida, Tesla rolled out an over-the-air software update for some of its Model S and X cars.

The free update didn’t add a new system interface or make changes to the sat nav.

What it did was enable owners to tap into the full capacity of their car’s battery. You see, the battery had been software limited based on the owner’s chosen specification.

The increase to 75 kilowatts, up from 60 or 70KW, enabled up to 40 more miles of travel before needing to recharge. …


You’re sat with colleagues, you’re all facing a whiteboard, and you’ve been set the group task of brainstorming ideas.

This group activity is a pretty standard way to encourage creative thinking and problem solving.

What if I told you we may have been doing it wrong all these years?

Research seems to support much anecdotal thinking that the best ideas often come about when walking.

In 2014, Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz of Stanford published the research paper, Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking.

Oppezzo told The New Yorker that the pair were…


For much of the summer a shroud of darkness hung over the Content Team at DLG Digital. This is not a metaphor; a literal shadow was cast over us by a seven-foot banner that blocked the window.

Its presence was discussed almost daily, yet none of us did anything to stop the promotional standee from throwing shade in our direction.

Then, in the autumn our editor got up from his desk, rolled the poster back into its base and moved it. Our faces were lit by glorious sunshine.

Months of moaning was banished, and it only took a minute or…


When we talk about driverless cars, the constraints usually revolve around the technology being used.

Will cars made by different manufacturers communicate seamlessly?

How do they behave when faced with moral dilemmas?

Can they be hacked?

Nonetheless, tests are still taking place around the world, as various industries prepare for the driverless revolution.

In America, Domino’s and Ford have teamed up for an initiative that will see them experimenting with driverless deliveries.

Curiously, the test isn’t to see whether the cars will work — both parties have total confidence in the tech.

The test is about something far more unpredictable.


This is a question that crops up fairly regularly. and the answer is best illustrated by an experience I had.

A couple of moths ago, I ordered something from an online retailer and was given a guaranteed delivery date of September 12.

A few hours later, I received an SMS from the courier who was going to deliver it on the 12th, and it had a link in the message that I could use to book a delivery slot.

I clicked the link and was smartly jumped into a browser where I chose a delivery slot of 11am-12pm. …


Chatbots are revolutionising the way customers interact with services and brands. Rather than fill in a form, we’re now simply asked to strike up a conversation.

It’s a growth area driven by advancements in AI, but also the domination of mobile messengers. Recent figures put monthly unique users of WhatsApp at 1.3 billion, Facebook Messenger at 1.2 billion and WeChat (the market leader in China) at 889 million.

From ordering a pizza to accessing a boarding pass for a flight, it’s never been easier to create sophisticated bots which have the ability to take away much of the strain on…


There’s so much to distract our attention these days that it can be difficult to focus on the task at hand.

Whether you’re at work, trying to study, or aiming to have an uninterrupted family dinner, managing even a few minutes of undivided attention can prove challenging.

For the most part, your number one cause of distraction is probably your mobile phone.

From Facebook notifications to checking out the latest trending topics on Twitter, smartphones and the applications they run are designed to keep us coming back for more. We often simply can’t help ourselves.

A 2017 study by technology…


Rachel Greene-Taylor

In lots of surveys, public speaking comes out as people’s number one fear. Death often comes in at number two. Take that in; people are more afraid of public speaking than dying.

And for a very long time, I was one of those people.

It was a very familiar feeling. Palms sweating, heart racing, throat drying up, ears ringing. I look at the door a few times. If I ran off would anyone realise? Someone else would step up and do the presentation, right?

And it wasn’t just public speaking in large groups. Small morning stand-ups of five…

DLG Design

Thoughts and ramblings from the Direct Line Group Design Chapter.

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