Mike Atherton

Head of User Experience at Huddle

Who’s Mike?

Mike Atherton is the Head of User Experience for Huddle. With a background in information architecture and web design, Mike was formerly a lead IA with the BBC, working on structured content services for lifelong learning. His presentation ‘Beyond the Polar Bear’ has toured around the world, giving insight into the BBC’s work in using content modelling to deliver its Food and Natural History products.

Mike’s topic

Brand-driven design

Every week a smorgasbord of startups demand attention. Innovating, imitating and pivoting with every iteration. How do we cut through the noise? This is the story of my mission to change a B2B startup. Business software is the last frontier of experience design. Too many products, too many features. Most of it sucks. What if we didn’t compete on features, but on experience? We’d need to change company culture. Persuade engineers to do less. Get management to narrow their focus. Then address the experience itself. Find an uncontested market, find our voice and combine to deliver a unique, memorable experience building preference and loyalty: A brand. The talk will take you through my wins and fails of building experience culture and asking the question: Can a product and its content be driven by brand values? If your product feels like everyone else’s, you’ll come away with tools to make a difference.

Audience will learn:

  • An understanding of what brand really means, how to break down and articulate the things you care about.
  • How to apply brand theory not just to characterful content, but to be the center of a product experience.
  • Great examples of brands doing it right, and first-hand experience of implementation within a startup