I’m the leading user experience and usability consultant specialising in forms and surveys.
I set up my business Effortmark Ltd in 1994, working on a wide variety of forms (paper and web), websites, transactions, and surveys. I’ve written extensively on these themes and speak regularly at international conferences on design, usability, surveys and forms. See a full list of my presentations and publications.
From 2013 to 2016, I worked mostly with the UK Government Digital Service (GDS). My main focus there was on design patterns for forms, which I spoke about at the SDinGOV conference. My work helped GDS to create the GOV.UK Design System, released as a public beta in June 2018.
After taking a year off to have successful treatment for leukaemia, I am now gradually returning to consultancy on design systems and design that’s relevant to forms: service design, content design, interaction design, and user research with designers and with people who use forms. My main focus at the moment is NHS Digital, mostly providing advice to their team working on the NHS Service Manual.
- Forms that work: Designing web forms for usability Morgan Kaufmann / Elsevier 2008
- the textbook User Interface Design and Evaluation The Open University/ Morgan Kaufmann / Elsevier 2005
- I’m currently working on a book on survey design, to be published by Rosenfeld Media.
Some of the clients I’ve worked with
My government clients have included:
- Government Digital Service (GOV.UK)
- HM Revenue and Customs
- Ministry of Justice
- Internal Revenue Service (USA)
- Australian Taxation Office.
My non-profit clients have included:
- The Open University
- The European Molecular Biology Laboratory – European Bioinformatics Institute
- IEEE (USA)
- The Mayo Clinic (USA)
Other major clients have included:
- Equitable Life
- Royal Mail
- Sun Life Assurance, an AXA company
- The Co-operative Group
Some of the partners I work with
Much of the work I’ve done for the Open University has been in collaboration with usability expert Whitney Quesenbery . In the US I offer consultancy in association with TecEd who specialise in user experience research and design.
Closer to home I’m supported at Effortmark by Malcolm Jarrett and Jane Matthews.
Professional qualifications and memberships
MA (Oxon) in Mathematics
Diploma in Statistics (Open)
Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication
Member of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT
Member of the Association for Project Management
Member of the Market Research Society
Member of the User Experience Professionals’ Association (UXPA) and charter member of UXPA UK
Member of the European Survey Research Association
Member of Clarity International, advocating plain legal language
Corporate member of the Information Design Association
My work in usability and design
For the 2014 UXPA (User Experience Professionals’ Association) Conference I was interviewed about surveys and forms design – and why I do it.