What our team got up to in 2023

As we bid farewell to another transformative year, here’s a look back at the milestones and accomplishments that have shaped our company and team. In 2023, we dedicated ourselves to continuous improvement, ensured we maintained a culture of learning, and embraced new opportunities for professional development and growth. You can read a little more about the impact we’ve had in our blog 'Reflecting on our impact in 2023'.

We also welcomed new team members, got together for lots of training and conferences, and retained our Great Place to Work certification with a score of 95% for the overall Trust Index© in early 2023.

Let's take a closer look at the key highlights that defined our journey this year.

The whole cxpartners team stood together outside the office in Bristol

Training initiatives: investing in our team's growth

Throughout the year, our commitment to employee development took centre stage with a range of training programmes aimed at enhancing skills and knowledge.

Behavioural insights with Coglode

Solving problems behaviourally is crucial to the work we do and we are always wanting to improve how we can do this. Our behavioural insights training programme helped us to: 

  • Learn the importance of defining an emotional outcome alongside a behavioural one and determining a measure for success.
  • Learn how to diagnose business problems through a behavioural lens to determine the behavioural barriers to overcome.
  • Explore the ways in which principles relate to one another and can be combined for maximum impact to apply behavioural insights.


Measuring the impact of our work has always been important to us. We developed a framework to use in a discovery phase and trained our consultants how to use it.

This framework helps us to identify what impact we desire (from a business and user perspective), what the indicators would be, and how to measure it. This means we, and our clients, stay outcome-focussed.

Power, privilege and equity: Designing and building services and products

As people who create and deliver services and products, it's our responsibility to understand how our power and privilege impacts our work and the services we create, and to try to do better. In the training course, run by ​​Clara Greo and Sonia Turcotte, we explored our own privileges, how power manifests in services, how power and privilege plays out in the way we work (our practice and methods), how the decisions we make determine who has power, and how we might change this.

Coming out of that training it was like my view of the world had shifted. Talking about our own power and privilege really put into perspective the influence we have as designers to create change that makes society a better place for everyone. And doing it as a team made it easy to bring these things up in our work and start acting on it.
Chloe Langan, Senior UX Consultant

Participatory design

We want to increase the participation of people in the design process - especially those who are most impacted by what we’re designing, but have historically not been prioritised. We could have dictated how our consultants should do this. But we decided to do this in a more democratic way. Our consultants came together and identified ways to increase participation in our projects. That included simple steps like reviewing research findings with research participants – giving them more control over what’s being said about them.

We believe making our work more participatory creates better outcomes for both people with lived experience and our clients.

Bootcamp for new recruits

And finally, as we do every year, we ran a two-day training bootcamp for all of our new team members. Our programme gives non-UX new starters an opportunity to gain an insight into how we apply our lean, agile, human centred approaches. It also enables new designers in the team to learn the techniques and ways of working that are specific to cxpartners. The purpose is to empower and encourage everyone to use design to solve big (and small) problems in and around cxpartners and apply this approach in our own areas of work.

Speaking opportunities: sharing insights with the community

We were thrilled that many of our team members were invited to speak at and contribute to some exciting events and conferences throughout 2023.

In addition to many in-person events, our team also spoke at three Sopra Steria and Digital Leaders webinars on ‘The cost of not doing Discovery’,  ‘Roadmaps: Destination unknown’ and ‘Design pragmatism: navigating design through complex environments’. As part of the Sopra Steria family, it's wonderful to come together with our colleagues and discuss topics pertinent across our client partnerships.

Nicola Pritchard chatting to Mark Skinner at SDinGov 2023

Service Design in Government

In September, Amanda Payne and Germaine Faulkner - Customer Experience and Service Design Lead at the Civil Aviation Authority -  spoke at SDinGov about Customer Centricity in the Public Sector. Together, they introduced cxpartners Customer Centricity Maturity Model and discussed how centring around the customer within the public sector can make a real difference to strategy, governance and people.

Sopra Banking Summit

Our Strategic Director, Stu Charlton, joined a panel of experts at the Sopra Banking Summit to discuss all things compliance in the session 'Fortifying compliance: automate banking defences'. In the session he spoke about how customer-centric organisations are best prepared for new regulation such as the Consumer Duty, because it's based on principles rather than rules.

It's less about compliance, more about culture, so it's an opportunity to build trust, not just a painful obligation.
Stu Charlton, Strategic Director

Magnify Conference

Our Senior UX Consultant, Claire Barrett, discussed neurodivergence & neuro-inclusion for researchers and designers working in the UX industry at Magnify Conference. Alongside a panel of practitioners with lived experience of neurodivergence, they discussed myths that exist about neurodivergent strengths and weaknesses, how organisations can better support neurodivergent employees within the industry by creating more inclusive workplaces, and how the intersectionality of needs means neuro-inclusive workplaces benefit everyone.

UX Brighton

Along with the talks we held, we also delivered a workshop at UX Brighton - ‘Impact mapping: the Service Designer’s secret weapon’. Together, Nicola Pritchard and Hannah Whiteley worked through the steps of developing an impact map,  both as a process and as a tool for setting clear intent around the impact we want to achieve in our projects, and mapping the journey for getting there.

Hannah Whiteley and Nicola Pritchard leading our impact mapping workshop to a room full of people at UX Brighton
Photography by Christian D.

Service Design Bristol

James Chudley, our Experience Director, was invited to speak at the inaugural 'Service Design Bristol' meet up in November where he outlined the qualities of a great user experience in his talk 'Better Service Experiences'. In the session, James introduced a new approach involving identifying and using these qualities to help to design, evaluate and continually improve the services you work on.

UX Bristol

While sponsoring UX Bristol in July, our very own Henry Bacon held a lightning talk on five reasons why teams should run private Betas. These reasons include the high quality of feedback teams often get back, the ability to test service stability, and being able to gauge how ‘release-ready’ a service truly is.

Amuse Conference Compass Tech Summit 2023

We also travelled further afield to Budapest where our CEO and Co-founder, Giles Colborne, held the keynote talk on ‘How to make your organisation more customer centred' at the Compass Tech Summit 2023. In the session, he spoke about findings from our study into customer centricity, discussed why the most customer centric organisations are also the ones that perform the best and shared some of the secrets of their success. He also then joined a panel discussion into the 'Future of Design'.


At the beginning of the year we joined the UX Brighton mentorship programme where we had the opportunity to support and encourage the careers of brilliant UX professionals. It was an absolutely wonderful scheme to be part of, and a great opportunity to meet others in the industry.

As part of the programme, mentors were partnered with mentees and Sharon Webster, Nicola Pritchard and Kate Grant all jumped at the opportunity to get involved as mentors.

Company conferences

As well as external events, we also held our three annual company conferences. It’s always brilliant to get everyone together and catch up with the whole team in person.

Across the year, we held workshops looking at the key themes from our staff survey, went for a wine tasting afternoon and had a speculative design hack day where we made some prototypes of the future, provoking debate on societal, technological and environmental trends.

Amy Girdler wearing an IKEA sign on her top as part of a prototype of the future exercise.

And of course, we threw in a few quizzes for good measure - it wouldn’t be a cxpartners conference without one!

Get to know our team!

Throughout the year we have been writing employee spotlights on our fabulous colleagues so that you can get to know our team a little better and learn more about their backgrounds and some of the projects they have been working on. We heard from:

We’ll be sharing more about our team, where we will be speaking and everything else we are getting up to in 2024 throughout the year so keep an eye on our socials and blogs to find out more!

As HR, Culture & Ops Director, Tamlyn leads on our people and operations strategies. Outside of work, she's a long-term member of Bristol Cabot Choir.