Digital & IT

Published: March 6, 2020 | Updated: March 6, 2020

Agency founder and military history buff who is on a mission to ‘wage war on assumption’

Lee Hill, Founder and Managing Director, Insightful UX (centre) with (left) Chris Newnham, Co-Founder and Client Director, and George Beverley, UX and Research Director.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Lee Hill is a man on a mission.

It’s a pretty simple one – but it’s amazing how many companies and organisations have failed to grasp it.

So obsessed have they become with designing and creating good-looking websites that, somehow, the most important person in the equation has been forgotten.

The user.

Or, to put it more bluntly, the customer you’re hoping will part with their hard-earned cash for your product or service.

Lee, who up to the age of 15 wanted to drive tanks but is now calling the shots as Managing Director of Poole-based Insightful UX, said: “When someone looks at your website you have just seconds to resonate with them.

“Within ten seconds 60 per cent of users will have left so literally every second counts.

“Our job is to help top brands understand how their marketing and digital presence can more effectively resonate with their customers and align with their needs.”

Lee, pictured left, founded Insightful UX – the UX stands for user experience – four years ago.

A former marketing and advertising graduate at Bournemouth University, his first marketing job was, appropriately for a tank and military history enthusiast, at The Tank Museum.

He moved from there to Bournecoast, the family-owned property agent, where, as Marketing Manager, he increased sales by 18 per cent by just re-aligning the existing marketing budget.

It was a foretaste of things to come.

Posts at Lawton, Ageas UK, Thinking Juice and WeClickMedia followed before Lee landed an e-commerce consultancy role at Gallagher.

His two and a half years with the global insurance brokerage was to act as the springboard for launching Insightful UX in 2016 at the age of 36.

He said: “I was increasingly frustrated while working in financial services with the agencies servicing the business.

“I just felt that some were selling me what they had to offer and not what was best for my business or what our customers wanted.

“I quickly realised the traditional method of designing a website, then hoping and praying it works, wasn’t helping anyone.”

Beginning from home – like so many start-ups – Lee hit the ground running with first year earnings matching his previous salary.

A year later co-owner and fellow director Chris Newnham, at the time Acquisition Marketing Manager at Gallagher, joined the business full-time followed in close succession by George Beverley, UX and Research Director.

Today the ten-strong agency, which has an annual turnover of £350,000, has an impressive list of clients.

They include local brands Conker Spirit, Arena Business Centres and Waterside Holiday Group.

Insightful UX also beat off competition from London agencies to win First Wealth, the Marylebone-based financial planning firm headed by Managing Director Anthony Villis.

Meanwhile it has added to the team by recruiting three new key members of staff in the last six months.

Angela Barnard, Marketing Strategist and Account Manager, has worked for some of the area’s biggest names, including Lush and Hobbycraft, as well as Pizza Express, while Claudia Pharoah, Marketing and Client Experience Manager, has joined from CuCo Creative where she was, latterly, Client Services Director.

Georgie Wells, Digital Account Executive, was employed in e-commerce for New Look and M&S.

Services offered by Insightful UX include a full digital review, including a website audit and competitor analysis, to digital and content strategies and digital marketing and consultation.

Lee said: “What we do is pretty simple but it’s the key to everything.

“We go back to basics and talk to the actual users of a website.

“Tools like Google Analytics tell us what people are doing but not necessarily why they are doing it.

“This creates an over-reliance on assumptions.

“And that’s where we come in – and why I and my team are on a mission to Wage War on Assumption.”