Adi: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Adam: The inexorable passage of time, my phone alarm and plethora of Todoist notifications letting me know what problems I’m going to try to solve that day.
AM: How would you describe your role to your nieces & nephews?
ABP: I run a company which makes websites and apps easier to use. But we don’t actually build them.
AM: Strangest work-related experience? Either past or present role is fine
ABP: Loaded question, I’ve certainly worked with some interesting people over the years! The funniest thing that’s happened was when we were pitching using a speculative user test video. The participant who was a teacher was really articulate and she gave us some really useful insight. However, everyone noticed at once (including the client) that she had an *ahem* “adult” site open in another tab of her browser! However, it obviously worked as we won the project and we’ve worked with the client repeatedly since.
AM: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
ABP: A rocket. After I realised the difference between anthropomorphic objects and career paths, I wanted to be an architect and then vaguely “something with computers”. I’m glad the first one didn’t happen as, despite all the travel, I’m a terrible flyer.
AM: As you’re such a well-travelled individual, what’s your favourite place you’ve visited?
ABP: That’s another difficult question. For a relaxing holiday, I loved Honolulu. For a city break, Tokyo all the way. For raw nature and views which look like a documentary, Iceland in November. New York (specifically Brooklyn), Yosemite and Goa also get honourable mentions.
AM: And what place would you rather not revisit? Why?
ABP: Bergen in Norway. We made the mistake of going there for New Year once. It’s dull, constantly rains and everywhere closed at about 10 pm. I think I assumed it would be better as I’d enjoyed Oslo in the past.
AM: Some people might describe you as a foodie. Pick one meal to eat every day for the rest of your life.
ABP: There are three options here. Either something like lamb rogan josh from Nutmeg in Clifton and live a much shorter life in a permanent food coma but with the joy of a good curry. Along the same lines, ribs from The Ox. Those would be worth shaving 40 years off my life.
If I wanted to function and live a little longer, I’d have teppanyaki steak and veg with rice from an unpronounceable place we went to in Ueno once. The people in there were really charming and funny (I assume, we didn’t speak each other’s language) and they’d probably stop me getting too bored when the novelty has worn off. I suppose I could also learn more Japanese that way.
AM: What technological breakthrough would you like to see within the next few years?
ABP: It would be cool if Stem Cell research progressed to the point where we could effectively order replacement organs on Amazon.
More immediately, someone needs to fix push notifications. It’s ridiculous that we’re still constantly interrupted with pointless messages. Those messages cause people to context switch which throws their concentration and ruins their productivity.
The solution is probably some kind of contextually aware software which prioritises what to tell you and when.
AM: With your love of metal in mind, what’s your favourite album?
ABP: I really like Alestorm’s 'No Grave But The Sea. My favourite album changes pretty frequently though as I tend to over listen to stuff. Hammer of the North by Grand Magus is definitely up there too.'
AM: If someone filmed a biopic about your life, what actor would play you?
ABP: Maybe Robb Flynn from Machine Head could take up acting? I’ve been told there’s a bit of a resemblance. The only actor who looks a bit like me is Christina Ricci and there’s an obvious flaw to that plan. Just cast Tom Hardy, inexplicably delivering my lines as Bane and it’ll be the highest grossing film ever.
AM: What would you call the film?
ABP: A man draws grey boxes and watches people use websites
AM: And finally, if I gave you £10,000 right now what would you spend it on?
ABP: House deposit. I’m clearly a walking millennial cliche, although I’m not fond of avocado.
Adi has been at the heart of the Natural Interaction team since joining us in 2013. Adi’s speciality is empathising with users and ensuring that our design doesn’t lose its humanity. She’s participated in interaction design and usability testing for clients including Jaguar, Consortium and Rolls-Royce.