Another cracker of a conference 👌
I bloody love UX Scotland. What could beat 3 full days catching up with my local tribe, getting to know friendly UXers from all over the world, enjoying talks, workshops, yummy food and free massages, all in the gorgeous setting of Holyrood Park? It’s brilliant.
As in 2018 and 2019, I came home with my hands full of new tools, head full of ideas, and heart full of joy 🥰 Here are my scribbles on the stand-out moments. Each heading links to the programme listing for that session where you can find slide decks, resources and more info on the speakers.
Two sessions showed me the way forward on things I’d been struggling with lately.
🏆 The most actionable
At Emily Nicholson’s hands-on workshop we got to try 2 different ways to prioritise incoming research requests. I’m currently supporting designers across 4 workstreams with completely separate user groups, so I can see these frameworks being useful in the near future!
🏆 The biggest a-ha moment
My product team is looking to adopt the JTBD approach. None of us had tried it before and we were getting bogged down in job types and statement formats and weightings and semantics — I really couldn’t see where to focus. Thanks to Nicola Dunlop’s talk cutting right through that confusion, we’re now zeroing in on desired outcomes and powering ahead.
🏆 The most brain-tingling
I’m a big fan of my virtual reality headset, especially games where I can ditch the controllers and just act naturally, so Matt Corrall’s talk on hand-tracking tech and touchless haptics really lit up my brain. And ooh the videos: so hypnotic…
This technology goes way beyond gaming and simulations, for example as a safer and cheaper way to train people to handle dangerous situations: with visceral immersion and easy resets, they can build up the emotional resilience and muscle memory they’ll need, without putting themselves in danger.
It was great to hear about the open design principles Matt’s company is developing for the field. I look forward to seeing these grow over the next few years.
🏆 The most thought provoking
While I try my best to be inclusive, I do tend to focus mainly on physical, neurological and socio-economic differences. Alberta Soranzo reminded me there’s a whole other layer of cultural differences — in particular the ways people from different cultures perceive time — and provided some really helpful spectrums and further reading.
I’ve mentioned the deep tribal joy I get from this conference, and I often credit my career and sanity to the support I’ve found in communities of practice. These have included workplace-based ones like Scottish Web Folk, IWMW and the UCD communities in government, and more informal ones like the UX Glasgow meet-up, which I love so much I became a co-host!
Three sessions at UX Scotland celebrated communities and offered invaluable ways to launch, grow and sustain them.
🏆 The most encouraging
Kara Kane’s opening keynote beautifully explained the value of formalised communities in the workplace. My main takeaway was that the only way to make them really successful is to make it someone’s job to nurture them.
🏆 The chattiest
My UX Glasgow co-host Neil Scott and I enjoyed breaking out the stickies, sharpies, dots and shop bell to run this Lean Coffee discussion session. Fired up by the keynote, our lively participants brought along loads of great topic suggestions, questions and experience to share, and were a joy to facilitate 🙏
🏆 The most uplifting
🏆 The most fun
BRAVO to everyone who made their public speaking debuts at this session: there were a lot of cold sweats at the start, but a lot more big grins at the end! I especially look forward to hearing more from Anna Chojnacka and Lewis Dorigo.
Still to see…
As always, there were some difficult choices to be made between simultaneous sessions, and between soldiering on or having a rest. Here are the ones I most regret missing.
- Embracing the complexity mindset
I think Gerry Scullion’s much-talked-about keynote was filmed and will pop up on the UX Scotland website soon 🤞
- Colour, contrast, & accessibility: not as black & white as it seems
Roger Atrill wrote a fascinating blog post on this topic, but I still want to see the live action version somehow.
- Get in where you fit in: understanding which teams work for you
Happily, Tricia Okin will be giving this talk again at UX Glasgow’s online meet-up in July, so do join our mailing list if you want come see #ShamelessPlug
- The circle of life: lessons learned from killing services
My inner goth has an idea for a UX Glasgow ‘death special’ featuring this interactive session by Anne Dhir…watch this space ☠