User experience (UX) comprises a vast array of principles and practices that help visitors navigate your website effectively, engage with your content, and progress to a desired outcome or transaction.

Businesses are becoming more and more savvy to the benefits of user-centric design and embracing the customer experience. But some are still overlooking certain elements of the user journey (thereby deprioritising the customer) – and to their detriment.


The perils of poor UX

If an overly complex checkout process can deter 27% of potential customers, consider how many are likely to drop off before they even reach a buying decision. So, while it may seem fussy to agonise over clicks or the wording of your calls to action (CTAs), these seemingly small moments along the user journey can make a huge difference.

So, now that we understand the scale of the problem, how can we go about creating a streamlined user experience based on best practice and customer-centric design principles?

First, let’s define some key terms:

Optimising website navigation

Website navigation is the backbone of your user journey. Without effective menus, buttons, and links, your site would have no direction. These elements should guide users to the information they need, and onto the next logical step.

Effective navigation can significantly enhance the usability and accessibility of a website.It also enhances customer satisfaction, improves engagement, and can lead to better conversion rates.

So how can you ensure your website navigation meets UX best practices? Here’s a simple framework (and mnemonic) you can use: SASS ME


An uncomplicated menu structure facilitates quick information retrieval and task completion.


Employ readable fonts, contrasting colours, and strategic placement to enhance visibility.


Clear, easy-to-read labels and buttons (with calls to action (CTAs) like ‘Contact us’ or ‘Request a quote’) provide users with direction and an understanding of what to expect.


Website navigation isn’t solely about your users. A sitemap needs to be readily available so that search engine crawlers can navigate it effectively too. It can also be a great place to start when planning your information architecture.

Mobile optimisation

With over half of internet traffic coming from mobile devices, navigation should be touch-screen friendly for effortless tapping and responsive browsing across every device size.


Your navigation menu isn’t the only way your users jump from page to page, so use your content blocks and CTAs wisely. A more engaging user journey encourages longer sessions, improves conversion rate, and makes navigation intuitive and enjoyable.

Understanding the user journey

Setting out the perfect user journey involves understanding and mapping out how users interact with your site from their first visit to the final action you want them to take. This could be making a purchase, requesting a quote, registering interest, or getting in touch.

The goal is to create a seamless, intuitive, and satisfying experience that guides users towards each of your desired outcomes.

Best practice for setting up an effective user journey:

By following just a few simple steps, you can create a watertight user journey that minimises bounce rate and maximises conversions.

1. Understand your audience and create personas

Start by understanding your target audience. Research their needs, preferences, pain points, and behaviours. Then, create user personas to represent different segments of your audience. This helps in tailoring the journey to different user needs.

2. Define user goals and business objectives

Identify what users want to achieve on your website (e.g. find information about your services, buy a product, read industry news) and align these goals with your business objectives (e.g., increase sales, generate leads).‍

3. Map the current user journey

Analyse the existing path users take on your website using tools like Google Analytics, heatmaps, and user feedback. Identify any pain points, bottlenecks, or areas where users drop off. You’ll also want to consider how users will enter your site (homepage, landing pages, blog articles) and optimise these entry points.

4. Tailor content and simplify conversion

Ensure your content addresses the needs, desires, and questions of your users at each stage of their journey. Crucially, minimise the number of steps needed to complete a conversion (e.g. making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, or getting in touch) and ensure forms are simple and easy to fill out.

5. Optimise for different devices and channels

Ensure your website is responsive and provides a seamless experience on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Consider how different channels (social media, email, ads) impact the user journey and optimise accordingly.

6. Incorporate feedback loops

Use surveys, user testing, and analytics to gather feedback on the user experience. Regularly review this feedback to identify areas for improvement. And finally: test, test, test!  Constant testing and optimisation will ensure your site stays up to date, your users enjoy the best possible experience and you’re ahead of any issues or bugs that may arise.

By prioritising UX, businesses can ensure higher levels of customer satisfaction, but also engagement, trust and loyalty, leading to increased conversions and retention. So, investing in a meticulous, user-centric design approach is not just a best practice, it’s a strategic must.

If you would like a free consultation to discuss your website’s UX contact us at [email protected].

You’d be forgiven for thinking your web presence had a small, rather insignificant impact on the environment, but research shows this isn’t the case.

In fact, the average website produces 4.61 grams of CO2 for every page view. For websites that have an average of 10,000 page views per month, we’re talking approx. 553 kilograms of COeach year. For high-traffic websites and businesses with multiple domains, that figure represents just a fraction of the actual emissions you’re putting out.

That’s right. Your website has its own carbon footprint.

The internet consumes a lot of electricity: 240-340 TWh per year according to the IEA. In fact, if the internet was a country, it would be the world’s 4th largest polluter – ranking higher than the United Kingdom.

With businesses around the world committed to reducing their emissions and helping to fight climate change, it’s important we all take responsibility for our digital footprint, too.

By investing in more sustainable web design, we’ll also benefit from faster load times, a more enjoyable user experience, and a better chance of ranking higher in Google search results. Basically, everyone wins.

What is sustainable web design?‍

Sustainable web design is an approach to designing digital products and services that focuses on environmental impact first and foremost. It respects the principles of the Sustainable Web Manifesto, which calls for the internet to be clean, efficient, open, honest, regenerative, and resilient.

4 simple steps to website sustainability

To help you navigate the world of sustainable web design, we’ve put together a few top tips. For more comprehensive guidelines, download your FREE checklist.

  1. Embrace JEDI design

No, i’m not talking about harnessing the force. JEDI stands for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Remember, not everyone’s surfing the web with perfect vision, the latest tech and lightning-fast connections. Justin Reyna put it perfectly when he said: “Not creating accessible products is just rude”. So let’s make the digital world enjoyable for all, not just a privileged few.

By striving to meet the highest possible accessibility standards, you can enhance code quality, which in turn boosts energy efficiency and elevates your SEO rankings –it’s a no-brainer.

  1. Simplify user journeys

Did you know that 90.6% of web pages get zero traffic from Google? That’s why it’s best to prioritise page quality over quantity. Simplifying the user experience doesn’t only serve to help people find what they’re looking for. It’s also more energy-efficient, because it reduces the number of wasted clicks needed to navigate your website.

  1. Reduce page weight

Lightweight pages load faster and consume less energy. Saving your assets in optimal formats and sizes, using video content efficiently, and embracing dark mode can all help.

  1. Choose green hosting

Last, but not least, switch to a hosting provider powered by 100% renewable energy, e.g. Krystal. Unsure about your current hosting? The Green Web Foundation’s checker can help.

How do you calculate your website’s carbon impact?

Whilst it’s relatively straightforward to track the environmental impact for most major industries (e.g. miles per gallon for cars or energy per square meter for homes), it’s not as simple to measure the amount of COproduced while browsing the internet. Fortunately, the team at Sustainable Web Design have created a comprehensive methodology for estimating emissions.

If you have any questions about your website’s sustainability, you can request a free website audit here and we will send you a breakdown of different areas that you could improve. Or feel free to contact us at [email protected], for a no obligation chat.

We initially developed our own Abandoned Cart module back in 2019 after researching and testing various that were available. From our tests the modules lacked certain features or didn’t work how our clients would want the module to, and also how we expect the module to work.

The first version of the website was developed and installed on a number of our clients websites, generating them additional revenue that would have been lost without the module.

As the OpenCart platform has progressed and new versions launched we finally switched to using the latest most stable version of 3.0 in 2022 for our ecommerce web design projects, with the new version also included a new code structure which meant our bespoke abandoned cart module would no longer work with any new website that we built.

So, as we continue to upgrade existing ecommerce web design clients and provide ecommerce websites to new web design clients we set about upgrading our abandoned cart module to work with the newer version of OpenCart. The upgraded version was a good opportunity to simplify, streamline and improve the module to benefit our own clients and a wider audience.

Continue reading this article at

Bristol Beer Factory stands as a brewing icon in the city and beyond. Bristol-based design agency Rhombus Studio is excited to announce its new creative partnership with the independent brewing giant, crafting a new chapter in BBF’s beer branding story.

Rhombus is excited to draw inspiration from the city to continue Bristol Beer Factory’s incredible design work across cans, kegs, casks, merchandise, and more. The partnership will encompass the core beers and the brewery’s special releases, pouring a fresh touch into every new brew.

Rhombus Studio, a proudly independent design agency from Bristol, crafts identities, and websites for progressive businesses, change-making charities and forward-thinking people. Their commitment to creativity and community aligns with Bristol Beer Factory’s vision, a brewery that lives, breathes and brews Bristol.

This collaboration is more than design; it’s about values and a shared commitment to the local community. BBF has always looked for ways to give back – recently, the brewery launched Brewed to Give – contributing 2% of their total brewery sales to activities that uplift people and places across Bristol. 

Brewed to Give supports a range of vital community services across the city, from primary school play equipment, subsidised sporting activities for young people from deprived areas, cooking classes for asylum seekers and refugees, and mental health therapies for men to care and support for people with terminal illnesses.

Bristol Beer Factory and Rhombus Studio are raising a toast to community, creativity, and collaboration – cheers to giving back!

To find out more about the causes BBF champion, visit Bristol Beer Factory’s website.

South West-based brand and communications specialist AgencyUK has announced record growth as evolutions in the company’s culture continue to drive unprecedented levels of performance, despite an economically turbulent period for many.

AgencyUK (AUK) achieved record numbers in their 2023 financial results, following two years of cultural alignment and investment in their new Senior Management Team led by founding members Sammy Mansourpour and Amy Stobie. The business has delivered 220% annual growth in revenue for each financial period since January 2020, putting them on track to becoming one of the UK’s largest independently owned agencies.

“Celebrating 16 years is a seminal moment for the whole agency. It really feels like a transition into adulthood. As an established agency business with a team rich in experience, it is in no small part down to our team embracing creativity and new technology. AI and data analytics have made a meaningful difference to our work, by fuelling our creativity and building in new features around advertising campaign performance. This has been instrumental for our clients, particularly those in the B2B space, where we have a particular foothold in the healthcare sector. And we’ve seen the agency grow exponentially because of it,” says Sammy Mansourpour, Managing Director.

In 2021, the Senior Management Team focused on expanding the agency’s client portfolio in the health, life science and pharmaceutical sectors, leading to a record signing of three top-tier new drug development organisations, as well as launching Our Future Health, a nationwide health research programme in partnership with the NHS, which now has over 1.2 million participants across the UK. 

The agency now boasts a stronger B2B portfolio making up 50% of its revenue. The remaining 50% houses well-known food, drink, health and wellbeing brands, including beloved sweet brand Chewits, currently enjoying a renaissance since our amplified brand campaigns and award-winning work across social media.

In response, the agency has expanded its in-house teams by growing its creative department and assembling a new senior management team, recruited from its in-house fast track careers programme. Overall staff numbers have increased by 50% with a further 30% expected to be in place by January 2025.

“We are of course delighted with the performance of the business over the past five years, and we have no doubt that our long-term investment in developing the agency’s culture and staff careers plays a significant part in our success on the bottom line. We welcome turning 16 with open arms,” says Amy Stobie, Director.

The AUK leadership team has embarked on a comprehensive programme of cultural development, sustainability and community outreach. Framed around people, planet and community, these initiatives also form the bedrock of the agency’s commitment to being a certified B Corp since their accreditation in 2021, as well as an award-winning staff development and well-being programme.

Hospitality and retail designers Phoenix Wharf have completed a first outlet for Oricha, a new bubble tea emporium, located on Birmingham’s Coronation Street.

The concept is a fusion of ancient tea-drinking culture and a contemporary treatment, as well as melding East and West, taking inspiration from China, Japan and specially Taiwan, as well as from British tea and coffee houses. This fusion reflects the background of the brand’s owners, one-time students-turned-entrepreneurs, who first met at Bristol University, before plotting their new venture.

The brand name, Oricha, is a fusion too, bringing together the words ‘Oriental’ and ‘Original’, with the word ‘cha’, Chinese for ‘tea’, a word first introduced to the English language as far back as the 1590s via the Portuguese, who traded in Macao and picked up the Cantonese pronunciation. When Phoenix Wharf came on board, Oricha’s brand identity was already in hand, having been created by a Taiwanese branding agency.

The Oricha logo features a tea leaf integrated into the letter ‘R’, whilst the brand icon is a T Rex dinosaur, a fun take on the Chinese dragon, hinting at the meeting of old traditions and a contemporary sensibility. The T Rex bears a large, traditional tea bowl on its back, representing the Eastern tradition of offering hospitality, and is decorated in a bespoke pattern inspired by stems and leaves. The Oricha crest above it represents the seal of quality and encompasses the Chinese character for ‘tea’ in a circle. The brand strapline – ‘Oriental and Original, since antiquity’ surrounds this family of icons. The identity’s colourway of rich blue, white, gold and grey also formed part of the brief for the new environment.

‘The site itself was a double retail unit and former jewellery store’ Chris Gwyther, Creative Director of Phoenix Wharf, explained. ‘We were briefed to work with the new branding and the idea of an Asian-Western fusion, referencing the eclectic cafes of the 30s/40s Shanghai Bund era and incorporating elements of traditional Chinese design, such as the use of tiles and timber battens. British coffee and tea houses were a further part of the mix, alongside more modern elements such as a concrete floor and contemporary lighting.’

The 55.9 sq m space is made up of 16.9 sq m front of house and 18.6 sq m behind the counter. The deep counter is sited almost halfway back, so that customers don’t have to queue in the street when the weather is inclement. The counter front is clad in timber-effect laminate, set over custom-made steel units, and featuring brass detailing with a tiled lower section, using a porcelain tile that replicates the pattern used for the identity.

A row of three digital menu screens sits above the counter. The back wall of the space features is a manuscript scroll – another nod to authenticity and ancient traditions – featuring a fun illustration of a dinosaur chasing a bubble. A large, gold Oricha crest features on the back-of-house door, which is painted blue.

Flooring throughout is large concrete tiles. The left-side wall of the interior features the Oricha branding at large scale, including a fret-cut T Rex, backed by tiles featuring the Oricha crest in pale gold, with the wall framed in pale timber. The right-side wall features promotional posters set against white, with a grey-painted lower wall section, as well as a floor-to-ceiling joinery unit. This displays set dressing ephemera, such as the brand’s unique teapot-shaped carry-out holders, alongside traditional glass jars of tea to underline the promise of high-quality ingredients.

‘Our clients are tea leaf experts and very particular about the sourcing of their tea product’, Chris Gwyther explained, ‘using only high-quality, Taiwanese, rice-roasted oolong tea.’

Just inside the store’s front window are two high tables with velvet-upholstered bar stools on a brass-coloured base. Two pendant lights over the tables are the Chubes ceiling pendant from Lights and Lamps, whilst wall lights throughout are the Brass drop curve wall light from houseof. The inner shopfront area is painted royal blue to match the brand blue, whilst the external shopfront is in dark stained wood with three panels of the brand pattern above the glazing, reversed here as white out of blue. The Oricha name in gold on the fascia is backed by deliberately-faded timber panels to suggest age and authenticity, with a protruding ‘bus stop’ sign also featuring the full brand dinosaur-and-tea icon. The brand icon appears once more in larger scale on the glazing as a manifestation.

‘Oricha immediately stands out from its more brightly-coloured competitors with its subtle and under-stated references to the traditional and the modern’, Chris Gwyther commented. ‘We’re sure it will trade well and look forward to working with its owners on future iterations in different British cities!’

‘It was great to work with the Phoenix Wharf team – they are very efficient and professional’ Jaspar Lo of Oricha said, adding that ‘Many customers told us that they like our shop’s design, which should be a great thank you to the team. We wish them all the best!

One of the big benefits of Bristol Creative Industries membership is the ability to self-publish content on our website. We’ve seen lots of great content published in 2023 including some brilliant business advice.

Here are the 20 most popular advice posts of the year. The list includes some posts from 2022 that have continued to attract views thanks to their great tips.

Want to publish business advice on our website and make it into the top 20 in 2024? Become a member of Bristol Creative Industries.


1. How ChatGPT will impact search marketing

Written by Varn

Click below or read the article here.

How ChatGPT will impact Search Marketing | Varn’s View

2. The best organisational structure for your agency

Written by Janusz Stabik – Digital Agency Mentor

Click below or read the article here.

The Best Organisational Structure For Your Agency

3. Startup funding: What is the difference between pre-seed and seed investment?

Written by Gravitywell

Click below or read the article here.

Startup funding: What is the difference between pre-seed and seed investment?


4. The role of brand architecture in Facebook’s rebrand to Meta

Written by JX Branding / Joanna Xenofontos

Click below or read the article here.

The role of brand architecture in Facebook’s rebrand to Meta


5. The break up: Is Gen Z dumping social media?

Written by saintnicks

Click below or read the article here.

The Break Up: Is Gen Z dumping social media?


6. Sneaky sexism: Sexism in advertising still prevails

Written by Adapt

Click below or read the article here.

Sneaky Sexism: Sexism in Advertising Still Prevails


7. Paid social trends for 2023

Written by Fanatic

Click below or read the article here.

Paid Social Trends for 2023

8. Why networking is key in PR

Written by Carnsight Communications

Click below or read the article here.

Why networking is key in PR

9. Why video is vital – the power of video in a Google search

Written by Varn

Click below or read the article here.

Why video is vital – the power of video in a Google search

10. Five years into a four-day week

Written by studio floc

Click below or read the article here.

Five years into a four-day week

11. PR touchpoints: what are they and why are they important?

Written by Carnsight Communications

Click below or read the article here.

PR touchpoints: what are they and why are they important?


12. 6 brand strategy models for focus and structure

Written by Halo

Click below or read the article here.

6 Brand Strategy Models For Focus And Structure


13. How to keep up with social media trends on Instagram

Written by Trusty Social 

Click below or read the article here.

How to Keep Up With Social Media Trends on Instagram


14. Which ESG platform is right for me?

Written by AMBITIOUS PR 

Click below or read the article here.

Which ESG platform is right for me?


15. How to position yourself as an expert in your field

Written by Blog Write Ltd 

Click below or read the article here.

How to position yourself as an expert in your field


16. Three ways Varn are using ChatGPT to streamline SEO

Written by Varn

Click below or read the article here.

3 ways Varn are using Chat GPT to streamline SEO


17. “Millennials don’t like being told what to do” – Time to rethink your strategy?

Written by Proctor + Stevenson

Click below or read the article here.

“Millennials don’t like being told what to do” – Time to rethink your strategy?


18. Can artificial intelligence replace our creative team?

Written by saintnicks

Click below or read the article here.

Can Artificial Intelligence replace our creative team?


19. Here are 7 steps to PR yourself

Written by Carnsight Communications

Click below or read the article here.

Here are 7 steps to PR yourself

20. One size doesn’t fit all – usable HTML across different email clients

Written by Flourish

Click below or read the article here.

One size doesn’t fit all – usable HTML across different email clients


Want to publish business advice on our website and make it into the top 20 in 2024? Become a member of Bristol Creative Industries.

As another year draws to a close we look back on some of the fantastic web design and web development projects we have worked on during 2023. Over the course of the past year we have worked with some amazing clients and delivered high quality, bespoke websites built on either WordPress or OpenCart content management systems.

To celebrate another great year of designing and developing websites in Bristol we have decided this year to put together a video showreel showing off our recent work.

This year we have worked with Dream Bites creating an ecommerce sweet treat website, brochure website for civil engineering company Lynwood Civil, ecommerce and informational website for Cardiff Nail & Beauty Training School, brochure website for mortgage broker Mortgage Gold, brochure website for The Natural Pool Company and many more.

Not only do we provide amazing web design and development we have also provided responsive and transparent website maintenance and support to a range of our clients this year to ensure their websites are up to date, new features are added or given technical assistance through our client portal and maintenance packages.

Grab the popcorn, sit back, relax and discover some of the exciting web design projects that we have been busy with!

According to the World Economic Forum, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are at the top of the skills list that employers believe will grow in prominence over the next five years.  Yet we continue to passively meander through our working week; going to meetings where there’s no one leading and there are too many invitees, observing team members who are distracted or doing something else.  We leave the room feeling frustrated at the time wasted, and none the wiser on how we’re going to solve the problem we came together to discuss.

A few stats I found on time wasted in meetings (US research):

·      71% of senior managers believe meetings are unproductive and inefficient

·      Only 50% of employees feel their ideas are heard during meetings

·      An estimated 50% of meeting time is spent on irrelevant topics

·      Companies with fewer than 50 employees waste an average of $18k per year on unproductive meetings, whilst for companies with over 100 employees it’s an average of $420,000

What if we turned these lazy, lacklustre meetings into something positive?  What if we started running bite-sized workshops instead, putting our energy into creating experiences for participants to problem-solve together?

Do workshops take more time and effort to plan?

Initially, yes.  But … the more you do, the more confident you’ll become, and the quicker you’ll be at designing activities that actually help solve problems, where everyone leaves the room with an agreed plan of action that’s been created by you all.

What’s the difference between a meeting and a workshop?

I use the following distinction to guide me.  If your goal is simply to share or exchange information then a meeting will suffice.  If your goal is to solve a problem where you need input from people with different skills and experience (those skills and experience will be based on the topic and outcome you’re after), and that will result in actionable options, then try running a workshop.

5 tips to get you started

1. Only invite participants who will contribute, and have a diverse set of skills and experience

2. Share the workshop purpose and goals with participants beforehand, so they know what to expect.  And don’t be afraid to give them pre-work to help get them into the zone beforehand

3. Design activities that will play to the strengths of the participants and different learning styles – consider a mix of discussion, individual reflection and group work

4. Don’t be afraid to flex the agenda if you feel like another way might be more effective in achieving your goal

5. Always capture actions with owners at the end, to ensure you keep up momentum after the workshop

New year challenge – facilitating positive change

Give it a go in January, and let me know how you get on … Tell your team and clients that you’re trying something different, and encourage them to do the same.

If you need help, get in touch.  I’m running a Workshop Wizardry ‘workshop’ on 31st January, which will be packed with handy tools and techniques to build your workshop confidence. I also offer tailored in-house sessions with your team with 20% off for BCI members.

Introducing our annual Design – People, Work & Engagement Survey, a concise yet comprehensive exploration designed to provide a snapshot of working in Design and User Experience roles across the United Kingdom. This survey allows us to inform employers about the evolving needs, priorities, and aspirations of those shaping the Design landscape.


The purpose of this survey

Whilst we have a lot of internal data at ADLIB, we’re always looking to strengthen this and develop a better understanding of the people and communities we work with. Along with our experience, surveys like this help us to inform employers of what’s important to people and create better environments and offerings too.

We plan to run this survey annually each year. Alongside our internal data this survey will help us publish a report that offers a snapshot of the people, working practices and priorities of those in the Design sector and how this is changing. We’ll make this available on the ADLIB blog.

We’ve tried to keep it short but insightful.

Who’s this survey for?

People working in permanent roles (including full-time & part-time) in Design and User Experience in the United Kingdom at any level. The job title’s featured in the survey reflect the most common roles and job titles we recruit for, so it’s worth noting that not all roles across the sector are featured.

How long will it take?

Around 5 minutes.

The questions

The questions are in 3 main sections;

The personal information we ask for here is to help us better understand and share insight on the diversity within the sector. All these questions are optional and please only answer what you’re comfortable with, there is a ‘Prefer not to say’ option. We’ve also included boxes to self identify or describe (we couldn’t change the text to ‘Self describe’ in the form creator, so these say ‘Other’).

Data security

We take data privacy very seriously and are fully GDPR compliant. Entering your email at the end of the survey is entirely optional and this information will be securely stored. Your email address will only be used to contact you to share the results of the survey and to let you know of future surveys we’re conducting should you choose these options at the end.