UX London - Our First Time Attending

UX Design | 23th June 2017

This year Hi INTERACTIVE has been busy partnering with a few events and one of the highlights was definitely being part of UX London.

As an added bonus I was flown out to London to attend the event, meet the Clearleft team (UX London organisers) and discuss the partnership.

I was only able to attend the first day of the event due to various commitments, but what a full day it was.

Arrival

Upon arriving at the event I was greeted by the great poster seen in the image sporting the Hi INTERACTIVE logo. I was proud.

UX London Entrance
UX London Entrance

Check-in was quick and organized. As soon as I gave my name, I was handed a goody bag, and whisked away to meet the Clearleft team. The reception I received was great and it was a bonus being able to drop my bags in the admin room.

Upon leaving the admin room I saw a table filled with Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden’s new book Sense & Respond. I’ve been trying to get a copy for a while and upon asking the price was told by the Futurehead representatives at the table that I could have a free copy!

Sense & Respond by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden’s
Sense & Respond by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden’s

Thanks to the Futurehead for the great gift!

The talks

The event had barely started and I was already feeling like I was winning, but now it was time for the talks to start and I wanted to be sure to have a good seat.
 

I was lucky to secure a seat in the 3rd row from the front pretty close to the middle. I suggest always trying to get a seat upfront, it’s much better for everything.

After a quick introduction by Andy Budd, it was time to kick off the talks.

Scott Belsky - Crafting The First Mile Of Product Experience

Scott belsky presenting grounding product
Scott belsky presenting grounding product

If you’re a designer or have ever worked with designers, chances are, you’ve heard of Behance, the portfolio platform and Scott Belsky is the man responsible for its existence.

 Scott Belsky stresses we should create for people
Scott Belsky stresses we should create for people

Scott’s talks had some great insights into how sometimes we limit ourselves, over complicate our processes and easily overlook basic principles because we’re overly concerned with “innovating”.

The key point that Scott left us with was that “You’re creating for humans. Be as human as you can.”

Samuel Hulick - Growing Your Userbase with Better Onboarding

Next up Samuel Hulick talked on how onboarding can be done so wrong and how, if done well, can be a game changer for your product.

Samuel explained to us about how sometimes the process is so complex that we need an onboarding process for the onboarding process. He also showed some great examples on how some products “shame” the user rather than make the user want to interact with the product, as seen in his example in the image below.

Samuel points the product should make the user interact with it
Samuel points the product should make the user interact with it

Samuel’s final message was that “People don’t buy products. They buy better versions of themselves.” So if people don’t understand the value of the product and how it’s going to make them better at something (optimize time etc...) than they won’t know why they should use your product.

Molly Nix - How Uber Designs for the Future of Transportation

Uber has become one of the most talked about brands, so after the coffee break I was pretty excited to hear Molly Nix’s talk on how uber approaches design.

After an explanation on how the concept of self driving cars has been around for almost a century, the actual implementation has only now started hitting the market now because of 3 key factors that one has to keep in mind for product implementation: Technology, Regulation and People.

Molly Nix explaining the concept of self driving cars
Molly Nix explaining the concept of self driving cars​

Three key factors for product implementation
Three key factors for product implementation​

Molly then took us through the nine principles that the Uber team uses when designing for the self-driving cars. She also showed real examples of these principles in action.

Nine uber principles used for designing self driving cars
Nine uber principles used for designing self driving cars

Sian Townsend - Jobs to be Done: from Doubter to Believer

Jobs to be done was a concept I was not familiar with and so I was interested in hearing Sian Townsend’s talk on the subject.

Although the concept isn’t completely new, it approaches product development from the angle of what the user needs to do rather than just focusing on the user. What I found particularly interesting was the way it takes user stories and transforms them into job stories, which are much more complete and give us a better idea of context and need.

User Story
User Story​

Job story
Job story

Barry O'Reilly - Designing for Business Evolution

Being the last talk of the day and just before lunch, Barry O’Reilly’s had to be everything but boring and he delivered completely.

The whole concept behind Barry’s talk was about how Businesses need to adapt to this new digital age and stop using systems and processes implemented over a hundred years ago in the Industrial age.

Designing for business evolution
Designing for business evolution

With ever changing technology and audience we need to implement systems that can respond quickly and continuously in order to adapt to anything. Long gone are the days of spending months developing a product and then launching it only to find that it was the wrong product to develop. Rather create Minimal Viable Experiments that you can put in front of users and learn from them what you should do next in the roadmap of development.

The advantages, are a reduction in production waste and creating products that bring actual value.  

Importance of accumulating knowledge
Importance of accumulating knowledge​

Barry also focused on the fact that we should start focusing on the outcomes and not the deliverables. Outcomes give us an objective and aren’t just a product I’ve handed in and it’s done. Rather embrace goals that can be reached in many ways and set the direction to reach that goal.

Focus on the outcome
Focus on the outcome

Lunch Break

Over lunch it was great to chat with a few fellow UXers and discuss ideas and process. I had the opportunity to catch up with Invision’s Brendan Kearns and we had much to discuss as our team uses Invision App quite a lot!

Afternoon

Although the afternoon was going to be about the workshops, I was unable to attend any because I was going to leave early to catch my flight back.

It did however give me the opportunity to chat with the organisers about our participation and hopefully the start of a long friendship.

Another nice surprise was running into Josh Seiden in the common area, so I managed to get my copy of Sense and Respond signed. That makes 2 books that Josh has signed and it was great catching up again, even if for such a brief moment.

Hopefully we’ll be back next year and for more days.
 

Did you enjoy our UX London experience?
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