‘When I Consider UX I Include Both Design And Research’

We sat down with Rodney Brandenburgh, Lead User Experience Strategist for Concept Development and Implementation at AT&T


One mistake many brands make when developing their UX is to fail to put the customer as the heart of the process. Some designers will include features for the sake of including another impressive gimmick, rather than because the demand is there from their audience. It’s vital that every improvement and every tweak to the experience of a brand’s digital offerings are made as a direct response to feedback or research into how they can best provide value to their customers.

Rodney Brandenburgh is the Lead User Experience Strategist for Concept Development and Implementation (CDI) at AT&T. He runs the user experience arm of an agency model, multi-disciplinary innovation practice within AT&T. His team is responsible for developing game-changing innovations across the enterprise.

His focus includes redesign and enhancement of existing platforms as well as new application development and innovation. Rod uses a holistic and organic perspective to determine how new and emerging technologies can best serve end users. He has been involved with nearly every customer touch point including: Web, Mobile, IVR, tablet interfaces, as well as the design of physical space.

Ahead of his presentation at the Digital Design and Web Innovation Summit this September 11 - 12 in San Francisco, we sat down with Rodney to talk all things digital design and UX.

1. How did you get started in your career?

I landed a position as an associate human factors engineer designing artillery cockpits and from there I went into aircraft cockpit design.

2. Why do you think UX is such a vital part of digital strategy?

When I consider UX I include both design and research in that equation. As a result any strategy that does not have these perspectives leveraged is at a disadvantage. UX is strategy, everything else is speculative.

3. Which areas of UX design excite you the most?

The post research brainstorming. I thrive on having a room full of people and getting crazy ideating on the possibilities. It’s innovation’s seminal moment.

4. How does commerce on mobile differ to that of a desktop?

Mobility is OMNI, anywhere anytime and on the go.

5. What, in your view, are the underserved aspects of UX and UI design?

The quality and insight of good research. This is where the corner cutting begins and it is the most critical part of the process.

6. What impact do you think emerging technologies like voice recognition will have on digital design?

I would not consider voice recognition “emerging” given how long it’s been around. Having said that I think it will play a key role in the technology dance with other mediums like digital and AR for example.

7. What can attendees expect from your presentation at the summit?

Hopefully it will stimulate some different perspectives and new ways of thinking about our space and free people to take risks.

You can hear more from Rodney, along with many other industry leading UX and digital design experts, at the Digital Design & Web Innovation Summit this September 11 - 12 in San Francisco. To see the full schedule, click here


Read next:

Engineering A Successful Digital Future For The Rail Sector