We encourage the team to take every opportunity to professionally develop their skills and knowledge and to learn from industry peers at events and online training. To continue their education in this fast moving industry, last month before the lockdown the team attended UX Conf in London and Deliver Conf in Manchester.
Sharing our learnings with the team, our clients and our wider network means others can benefit from our drive and obsession to learn, improve and be at the forefront of digital.
User Experience Conference
March 2 & 3, London
Christian and Ricky attended the UX Conference in London, an excellent event now in its 5th year and focusing on collaboration between UX, UI and content designers.
Felice (content designer) and Rosina (UX designer) shared some insights from working together on Transport for London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) project.
- Put the same effort into microcopy as you do for page content, thats the little bits of content not always considered and included in content plans, like button labels for example ‘Buy now’ or ‘Add to basket’. Strategically this micro messaging needs to fall in line with the same editorial and branding guides which define page content, and can make a big impact on experience.
- Include your content designers, creators, editors in the whole process, right from the off, getting their clear feedback on style guides, wireframes and sitemaps can save time later in the process.
Sim from OpenTable is responsible for transforming customer experiences across the product, and spoke about A/B testing and reinforced some important points;
- You are not your user – seek external testing whenever you can from your actual users
- Losing is a step to winning
- Define metrics to remove friction.
Accessibility Hobo Henny Swan, UX director at specialist accessibility solutions provider Paciello Group, spoke about how so many websites display a link in the main navigation by using a button style, a common mistake which is easy to fix in code.
She also highlighted cold hands, RSI or migraines as nice examples of accessibility needs which are often overlooked, and how focus states should be included in the design process which is something we’ve already adopted.
Alp Turgut from Nike spoke about consumer, customer and employee culture driving UX, and how story-telling is an important tool to build an experience.
Amy Hupe and Ignacia Orellana Drago spoke about building the community behind the Gov.UK Government Digital Service design system, which was of particular interest not least because Christian often refers to the beautiful simplicity of the Gov.UK site.
They spoke about how inclusivity means continuously investigating what barriers your users are facing, and doing the work to remove them. And how to build a strong community you need to be collaborative, open, available, inclusive and relentless.
Other highlights included;
- Brand unity – Uniformity doesn’t mean uniform – Hayley, Shopify
- Positive feedback is easy, aim for higher – provide feedback training – Andrew, Spotify
- Share early, share regularly, share bad versions – Andrew, Spotif
- Ethical standard in every decision – Holly, DuckDuckGo.
March 12 & 13, Manchester
Christian and David attended Deliver Conf in Manchester, Christian attending for the 5th consecutive year and David for his first visit in preparation for moving from his developer role to that of project manager over the coming months.
James Birnie from the Codurance agile consultancy delivered a presentation titled “Agile is a dirty word”, an interesting and thought provoking presentation about the pitfalls and misinterpretations of the agile process, we took two interesting points from this;
1) Focus on outcomes over processes, meaning that the process should be fluid to meet the goals – which is in fact the opposite of what is typically taught in the PM world. Usually process is more important than result. It is so because process is something that we do and that is something which is in our control, but result is something that is based on numerous factors and is beyond our control.
2) Risk management theatre – avoid documenting stuff that looks like a risk but isn’t. It is probably worthless.
Vivi Campbell, Lead Agile Delivery Manager at BBC Voice + AI, spoke about managing and working in remote teams and their own remote-first approach, especially useful during this Covid19 pandemic. She highlighted some interesting points including; always enable your camera, how can it be interpreted if you don’t; use the old-school method of raising your hand; set the rules and roles clearly; always come prepared; and a number of new collaboration tools including the free app Google Jamboard, and Miro, visual collaboration software.
Beth Lang, Head of Operations at User Conversion in Manchester, shared some useful thoughts on stakeholder management, including how to aim for success for all stakeholders.
One slide we particularly liked was about emotion intelligence, the capability of individuals to recognise their own emotions and those of others and ways to help; tell me and I forget, team me and I remember, involve me and I learn.
Some other points we’re going to read up a little more about;
- Radical Candor – being brutally honest, professionally
- Pre-motem – https://www.riskology.co/pre-mortem-technique/
- The IBM 7 keys to success method
- How to win friends and influence people.
This is a very top level summary of the two events, if you have any questions please direct them to [email protected]