Motionlab team hits the NUX5 - UX & Design Conference in Manchester
After attending last year’s NUX conference, we had high hopes for what was in store for 2016, and we weren’t let down. This year’s speakers at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, came with a wealth of knowledge gathered from working both agency-side and client-side at the likes of Lyft, Foursquare, Twitter and Scott Logic to name a few.
Early morning starts are never great, but they are certainly made better when you have hot drinks, cake and goodies on arrival. This event was definitely onto a winner already!
Boon Sheridan kicked off the event with a fantastic talk about all the confusing and at times contradictory ‘rules of thumb’ – checklists, best practices, and guarantees in the world of work, and how he then applies his take on approaching new projects, taking into account everything he has learnt over the past 20 years. Boon’s method has been to make a list / mind map, in a similar way to writing out a CV, to then help identify the tools or methods that best suit the project’s requirements.
Following on from Boon we had talks from Lola Oyelayo – Director of Strategy & UX at wearehead, Karina van Schaardenburg – Senior UX Researcher at Lyft, and Glenn A. Gustitus – Lead Identity Access Designer at Cerner Corporation.
Lola explained her take on ‘wicked problems’ when it comes to UX, where a solution might not always be straightforward and will potentially have implications for future iterations of a project. ￼￼
Karina shared her experiences of dealing with a request to “find out info on Turkey and its habits”. She explained how she travelled to Turkey to implement several research methods in order to obtain on the ground insight into how users were using her company’s app.
Finally Glenn went into depth around how Security and UX don’t need to fight each other and with planning are able to work hand in hand. He elaborated on the point recently of Yahoo and the loss of over 500 million users private data (one of the biggest security ‘fluff ups’ in recent years) and how sacrificing security for better UX was a factor in the company’s loss of data.
After a fantastic lunch, a bit of mingling and some more freebies, we were ushered back into the theatre for the second half of what had already been an interesting series of talks.
Kicking off the afternoon was Sophie Dennis – Lead service designer at digitalDWP. Her talk on ‘The Art of Things Not Done’ was one of my favourites from NUX5. She explained how each project she has worked on has always included the need to review three main issues: Quality, Scope and Time. The need to improve one of them within a project will indefinitely mean that one if not both of the other two will be affected in a negative way. ￼
Sophie explained the Kano Model which essentially provides understanding on three core routes when thinking of adding features to a project.
One Dimensional – Performance pay off gives the most steady increase in satisfaction (the better the feature, the more satisfied the user will be).
Must Have – Meeting expectations shows how adding a ‘must have feature’ will, at a point, simply give the user average satisfaction, no matter how impressive the feature.
Attractive – Generate instant excitement by adding a unique feature that gives faster and stronger satisfaction for the quality of the feature.
She then used the same three examples to explain the ‘peak to end rule’, in which a user journey will have 3 main touch points (low, high, end) that if managed correctly will result in a positive user experience. In her example, where she was designing a conference for local designers, she showed that by removing a poor lunch, for no lunch, raised the low point. Adding cake in the second break created a strong high point. Finally, finishing with a reasonable after show party left the attendees with a positive outlook on their experience.
Graham’s talk was the most unique as he showed us how ChatBots are the future of digital communication and how he and his company are utilising them for a banking client. He successfully provided live examples of how his company is using a ChatBot within Facebook Messenger to do simple functions such as requesting his bank balance, paying friends and even reporting lost cards, all of which would traditionally require either a separate bank app, or to route out the contact information on a company’s website.
Lastly, we had a talk from Henny who explained her experiences with user accessibility and how UX can help make it easier for more people to view information easier, while still adhering to the principles of accessible user experience.
NUX5 was a blast and a must for any UX designer / researcher of any level. It’s great to hear other people’s frustrations and how they have found creative ways to overcome them, be it physical restrictions or restrictions bound to social convention.
Bring on NUX6 next year!