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Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Bar staff urged to delete NHS Covid app

Bar staff are being told to delete the NHS Covid-19 app after staff shortages have forced pubs, restaurants and hotels to temporarily close. More than 600,000 people using the app in England and Wales were sent self-isolation alerts in the week between 8 and 15 July, and about one in five hospitality workers are isolating.

There is no legal obligation to have the app and also no legal obligation for those pinged to self-isolate (in contrast to the NHS Test and Trace system)…


Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. PM discusses online abuse with social giants

Boris Johnson is meeting representatives of the social media giants to discuss the online racism aimed at England footballers after the Euro 2020 final on Sunday, as well as asking how their companies are tackling bullying. The round-table meeting will include executives from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat.

Perhaps Johnson could ask them why it is that they can take down copyrighted material within minutes, but racist posts flagged to Instagram were still live three days later. …


A group of designers from Zone attended the DesignOps Global Conference with the theme of ‘Accessibility & Inclusivity Design For All’. Senior UX designer Shabana Ahmed and product designer Piero Carcagni report back…

At Zone, accessibility is integral to our values and the way we work. So when we were given the opportunity to attend a mega-week at the DesignOps Global Conference, we were thrilled.

I have always believed that the subject and importance of accessibility and inclusivity is not only the experience designer’s responsibility — it’s yours too. If you’re a researcher, interface designer, product owner, service innovator, software…


Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Trump sues tech giants alleging ‘censorship’

Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against Google, Twitter and Facebook, claiming he is the victim of censorship. The former US president was suspended from his social accounts in January over public safety concerns in the wake of the Capitol riots, led by his supporters. And plans for his own social media platform have come to nothing.

As a result, without his social media megaphone Trump has been unable to speak directly to voters — a method which proved invaluable in getting him…


Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Amazon launches kid-friendly speaker in UK

Amazon is launching a child-friendly version of its Echo Dot smart speaker in the UK. The speaker — available with either a panda or tiger design — is billed as a learning tool, allowing children “to have fun and learn with Alexa”. It will have parental controls to allow parents to block things such as explicit lyrics and set time limits.

The Echo Dot Kids was released in the US several years ago and has run into trouble with privacy campaigners and child…


Zone’s Martha Green handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. AI restores centuries-old masterpiece

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come to the rescue after it was used to restore the edges of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. Originally painted in 1642, it was trimmed in 1715 to fit between two doors at Amsterdam’s city hall, leaving 60cm from the left, 22cm from the top, 12cm from the bottom and 7cm from the right missing.

Luckily, the AI didn’t have to guess what the masterpiece looked like more than 350 years ago, as a copy was created by Gerrit Lundens…


Continuing our series of Pride-related blogs, Zone’s people and talent officer Katie Clarke discusses ways to create a comfortable working environment for all…

Even as a member of the community, I’m terrible when it comes to understanding all of the LGBTQ+ letters, flags and acronyms. I consider myself open to finding out as much as I can, but it’s often quite hard to find the right information without seeming ignorant. Luckily for me, to celebrate Pride this year Cognizant’s queer workplace group ran its first ever non-binary and trans training.

This gave me the perfect excuse to ask those awkward…


Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. World Bank rejects El Salvador Bitcoin help

The World Bank has rejected a request from El Salvador to help it with implementing Bitcoin as legal tender. Earlier this month the Central American country announced plans to become the first nation to formally adopt the digital currency, which would be used as a parallel legal tender alongside the US dollar.

But the World Bank has cited concerns over transparency and the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining. It means El Salvador could miss its deadline of having Bitcoin accepted nationwide in the…


John Riley, the recently appointed experience strategy director at Cognizant DX and Zone, shares his changed approach to Pride…

John and his husband

I have to admit that I have a complicated relationship with Pride. While I enjoy the parades and festivals as much as the next cis male homosexual living in a big city, I have pangs of guilt when I reflect on the gulf between Soho celebrations every June (or September this year) and gay activists in Ghana being arrested simply for being who they are.

Pride is still critically important, as one of my colleagues Kristof Hamilton, reminded Zone last week…


The new CX50 is live! The prestigious list, curated by Zone in association with Cognizant Digital Experience and Marketing Week, celebrates the 50 people leading the customer experience agenda in the UK. Read on for a profile of five inductees, and download the full list at the bottom…

1. Delivering profits with social purpose

The Body Shop has been the poster brand for purpose that sells. Despite a challenging retail environment, its parent company, Natura & Co, saw net profits grow 200% in its last quarter of 2020. David Boynton guided The Body Shop’s slice of that success with a rapid shift to online and At…

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