Seb Lee-Delisle joked last night, in the day two closing event (where he turned the whole audience into a band using glow-sticks, after we’d all played a game of giant laser drawn flappy bird where we, the crowd, controlled the bird through the medium of clapping) ‘didn’t you all used to be called UI designers?’ I last saw him at the New Adventures In Web Design Conference in 2013 where I think he asked ‘didn’t you all used to be New Media designers?’ The de rigueur drifts.
We (UX’ers) are living in a world where we’re now super in tune with the wants and needs of our the people who will (hopefully) use what we design and make: our products. How we look at our users and the way we do this – to help us make delightful, friction free experiences, is partially the point of UX LONDON. Yesterday’s theme was ‘product’. To me, some of the big learnings were how to align the product, with the user. Understanding what matters; helping us understand what we should be doing for not only our users, but the products we build.
Here’s some of my notes and observations from the day
Cennydd (yea, it’s Welsh) talked about the things we typically measure, (see fig 1) then told us the things we should be measuring (see fig 2).
He told us of the risk of where a reliance on experimentation can stifle vision. Incrementation is fine for a while, but to get ahead, a good strategy is one that your competitors are not using. How the danger of flawed methods – can be the equivalent of opening the oven door half way through cooking a soufflé. Flawed data = flawed decision. How we should strive for fewer, better targets. His message in a nutshell: Be data informed not data driven.
Melissa told stories of UX via a collection of fascinating parables from the restaurant industry – where her entire family resides. How the KANO Model maps not only onto restaurant success, but also product success.
What differentiates good chefs and restaurants from great chefs and restaurants is similar to what differentiates good UX from great. Perhaps we need a Michelin star rating for experiences?
Great restaurants and good UX ‘magically’ anticipate the needs of the diner/user.
I later attended Melissa’s workshop where we spent the afternoon re thinking what we know of MVP’s and how to design better ones. Superb. She introduced us to a new way of thinking about MVP – if you’re making a wedding cake, make a cup cake first. Test it, iterate, move on.
Clara challenges conventions. She’s made some of the most innovative and inspiring products out there – including the first (and only?) mobile phone user manual to make it to the Museum of Modern Art. She implored us to remove the digital element from our research, instead, look at aspirations. The removal of barriers is key. The study of actual user behaviour is method. She shared two videos running side by side (well, actually one on top of the other…) of two people unboxing their new mobile phone.
1 minute in – the 20 y/o has sent a txt (user discarded manual)
1 minute in – the 65 y/o was still struggling to orient herself with the phone (manual, adverts, paperwork, warrant etc.)
From this, we got a glimpse of how she eventually arrives at her award winning works. She wrapped up her talk with an intro to a current project: bit-planner . Nice.
Erika won most SciFi Geek points of the day. She possibly won teh internetz. Her talk, in the theme of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Star Trek (TNG) was essentially telling us to temper our ambition with humanity and that only when we know the question, will we know the answer. (42 cropped up).
She told us an amazing
story dramatisation of a Canadian who was trying to fix a serious problem. 60% of Cambodia suffered from iron deficiency. Quite an easy problem to fix – just add iron to the diet. But how? The fist attempt – ‘put the metal rock in your food’ failed. However, by observing to and listening to the Cambodian’s a solution was unearthed thanks to field research observation of the Cambodian people – there’s a lucky fish. Solution: re shape metal into luck fish shape, hand out for people to put in their cooking pots. The result? Success.
Inputs were identical – but the success, measurable. And the moral of the story? Biological facts were no match for good folk law.
She advised us to make bets on insights from observed human behavior , rather than abstracted data based on surveys. The most measurable data may not be valuable.
She also snuck in a fact: Humans create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day : (Source IBM). I can’t remember why she said this, but I thought it best to include it, because quintillion.
I struggled to let information osmosis have it’s usual way with me during Dan’s talk. I think his message could be like a new album that you eventually love. It’s a grower. He talked about what good means. The qualities therein. Why good is better than really good. He’s interested in the space. He drew thoughts from the worlds of James Joyce, Denise Scott Brown and Christopher Alexander. He told is to try tactics like – going backwards from the problem. Mastery of the tool.
What good means – make the complex clear.
What good means – deep human agreement.
What good means – Wholeness * beauty * life
So, I’m now way behind schedule of getting my shiz together. I’ve got a full english hotel breakfast to consume, and a UX LONDON day 3 to attend! I can’t wait.