The UX Conference began in 2017, hosting its first event in June with a theme for designers and developers to understand UX and each other better. We attended their second conference, on the 20th of Feb, in hopeful anticipation of a day of learning.
This years theme/direction was all about helping designers and key business stakeholders communicate, with speakers coming in from Uber, Moo, British Gas, Deliveroo, Sage and others. After the free coffee, fruit and pastry, our host and organiser – Sergei Golubev – got things going with a brief overview of the day and we jumped straight in.
First up was Joost Van Der Ree, from Uber, on shipping learning and making trade-offs. He spoke about constraints and how they can make you a better designer, and how to compromise effectively.
Onwah Tsang, from LexisNexis, followed up on how to disrupt the indisruptable – his talk centred around the fact that old and established businesses die because they can’t adapt, don’t change and don’t embrace transformation.
Ben Frank then got in before lunch to deliver his mind-expanding talk on usability testing and how he went from guerilla tactics in coffee shops to get a user testing lab built in the British Gas office.
After a quick bite in Leadbelly’s we jumped straight back in with Natalia Talkowska, from Natalka design. She had the audience doodling each other’s secret talents, going on to show that as humans we still rely heavily on images, pictography and iconography – demonstrated in the success of image-driven platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, and the fact that we use emojis. Tom Nichols, from Bookatable, followed with a talk on good UX vs Bad (dark) UX. His talk was informative and he spoke on how to walk the line between user needs and business goals.
Byron Fernandes, from Moo, settled the room with his anecdotal, but enlightened, talk on office conflict and how to manage yourself and use conflict productively.
Christine Rode took us through how important it is to use your own product and go through the motions your users do to build up empathy.
Dan Miller, co-founder of Level Therapy, gave an emotionally engaging talk on how to design a solution for a problem where the target users struggle to seek help because of stigma. The task of wrapping things up fell on Robert Fransgaard and his talk on speaking the same language as top-level execs when you’re a designer.
This was hugely informative and fun; Sergei and the team have done a wonderful job of creating this event. Each of the speakers had valuable insights to share and some useful pro tips. Get on their website and get some tickets. We’ll see you in September.