One Day At UXLX

UX Design | 25th May 2017

UXLX is an annual event for User Experience Professionals combining talks and hands-on workshops by leading experts in the field. It is one of the biggest industry conferences in Europe, gathering attendees from all over the world.

On Wednesday 24th I had the opportunity to attend two workshops about research (one of my UX passions)  and left the venue recharged with a lot of inspiration and willing to use all the tips.

The first workshop in the morning was Rapid Research ministered by Sarah Doody, with the following summary:

“The workshop will consist of a brief overview of why research matters so that you have excellent talking points to take back to teammates and colleagues who don’t buy into research. Then, we’ll take a deep dive into the research process as well as practice doing research on each other based on a mock project that you’ll learn about in the workshop.”

Sarah started asking us to do a paired analysis, and we had the opportunity to interview each other to understand our habits around our smartphones. It was comforting to know that most of us  - people of different backgrounds and countries - use to start our days in the same way: with our alarms ringing on our mobile devices. And that lead us to:

Importance of Research

All this to prove the point of how important research is, which should not be considered a cost but an investment with a great return instead. These were some benefits Sarah stated:

benefits of user research
The benefits of User Research

Then she went through a brief explanation of generative and evaluative research and gave us more valuable insights and practical tips that are helpful in improving our research methods and allow us to deliver best outcomes for our customers and companies.

The workshop was so dynamic and hands-on that we had another opportunity to practice interviews (yes, three times in a morning <3). The exercise was about an user evaluating a DIY website, and in just a few minutes - asking the right questions (all prepared by Sarah) - we could get so many insights and improvement tips that we could make a list of action points to improve that overall website experience.  

I repeat that so often, but I can’t help myself on doing it: research is an amazing way to deliver better products aligned to what the users want to have and are willing to pay for it, it is not a cost, but an investment. Keep in touch with our users' needs and desires should always be the fuel to making our designs better and us better designers. Because at the end of the day:

designing for the user
Focus on Designing for the User

Later in the afternoon, continuing with the research theme I’ve attended Accessible UX Strategy for Humane Products by Sarah Horton and David Sloan, that had the following summary:

“In this workshop, you will learn how to use principles of inclusive user research and accessible user experience to focus product design on creating humane products.”

Na minha opinião, foi complementar à primeira. Na maior parte das vezes, especialmente devido a restrições temporais/orçamentais, temos tendência para não considerar casos extremos na nossa pesquisa, convencendo-nos de que isto é normal. Mas assim que eles apresentaram as personas e fizeram-nos pensar sobre o quão doloroso pode ser para as pessoas que SÃO esses casos extremos, comprovaram o argumento de que o design deve ser inclusivo.

An example of one of Sarah’s edge-cases persona:

average user

I’ve already had the opportunity to interview people with disabilities and making a product/interface accessible makes a huge difference in their lives and improves the overall experience of a product. So yes it is worthy, and every designer should keep in mind how important it is to design for accessibility.

Those were my impressions of the workshops I've attended at UXLX. Their content just made my passion about research grow stronger.

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I suggest you to also read our article about "Localising Your User Experience".

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