Given the calibre of talks at UX London it feels a little unfair to highlight any one speaker, but Jon Kolko’s talk on Social Entrepreneurship was enthralling, inspiring and definitely a highlight of the conference.
These are my notes from Anders Ramsay’s talk outlining the challenges (and solutions) for UX in an agile development workflow. There’s lots of practical advice that applies to agile and non-agile workflows alike and kudos to Anders for stepping in at the last minute after Janice Fraser’s flight was delayed.
Dan Rubin’s workshop covered a lot of ground on the how we should be approaching our virtual products (like physical product designers, paying close attention to the fit and finish) and how we should be working (collaboratively… “everyone on the team is a good problem solver, not just the people doing design or UX”).
Despite being the last workshop on the last day, and taking place just after lunch, Leah Buley’sUX Team of One Bootcamp was so engaging and so well-structured that I don’t think anyone in the room could have fallen victim to the post-lunch slump. Later this year, Rosenfeld Media will be publishing Leah’s book, UX Team of One. If it’s half as good as the workshop it’ll be a must-buy for lone UX practitioners and small UX teams.
As with any talk or workshop, notes can only capture so much but I’ve included all of my notes as a mind map below. If Leah puts her presentation online I’ll update this post with a link.
The PDF linked above covers the (consistently great) content of the workshop, but I think the structure Leah devised was key to its success:
Leah asked us to line up according to our UX experience and then reassigned seating with an even mix of new / somewhat experienced / highly experienced people at each table.
After walking through some lightweight UX techniques, we were divided into teams of three and challenged to devise a 2-week project plan to address a set brief. Along with the brief, each team was given a stack of cards with overviews of around 20 lightweight UX techniques that could be used as inspiration.
On the topic of addressing tough questions from stakeholders, we were paired up and given sets of question cards. Each person would alternate role-playing as the client and put a tough question to their partner (eg. “My engineers have done some designs Photoshop, would you mind looking over them?”, “I spent a lot of money on an IA consultant last year, is it worth the cost?”). The ‘client’ fed back on each answer with thoughts on what was good, what could have been better and something to try. Irrespective of experience level, this was an eye-opening opportunity to learn and practice.
There were plenty of collaborative discussions, including sharing project plan approaches and answers to client questions; the workshop was as much about learning from eachother as learning from Leah.
Now that I’m settled back in Ireland, I’ll be posting my notes from UX London talks and workshop over the next few days. If you’re looking for any older posts, I’m afraid there aren’t any. I’ve been sitting on this blog for about a year with an assortment of article fragments I’ve never done anything with, but once I have these notes all online I’ll move on to other interesting things.